Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2019 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:15 pm on 28th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Turnberg Lord Turnberg Labour 12:15 pm, 28th February 2019

My Lords, I strongly support the Government on this order.

There can be little doubt that Hezbollah has completely taken over control of Lebanon. It is certainly in the Parliament but it is also in the military—it is everywhere—and Lebanon and its Government can do little without Hezbollah. The deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, has repeatedly said that the political and the military wings are as one—they are not distinct. There is little doubt too that Hezbollah is funded and supported by Iran and represents an outpost of that country, with its Shia expansionist policies, and that those policies are not only anti-Israel and anti-Zionist but anti-Semitic; wherever Jews exist, one just needs to see the sorts of terrorist attacks Hezbollah has made on Jewish installations around the world. It is not just Jews—they have attacked and killed British troops in Syria, as well as the poor Syrians.

It is not only Israel that has worries in the Middle East; Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are all extremely worried about Hezbollah’s activities, and we have a good example in Yemen, where it has a role too. Its interests have nothing to do with the plight of Palestinians. They are just pawns in their game, and if a peaceful resolution and a two-state solution eventually emerge, which we would all like to see, it will not stop Iran and Hezbollah in their anti-Semitic activities.

Against this background, it is impossible to believe that the so-called political wing of Hezbollah was unaware of what goes on. How can the political wing not be pulling the strings with Iran to produce 150,000 or more missiles and rockets in southern Lebanon, and digging six tunnels under the border with Israel? How can that possibly be thought of as a purely defensive action? Both wings are as one, both should be proscribed, and I hope we agree.