LONDON - Participants of the International Quds Day parade were told by organizers that they are permitted to wave Hezbollah flags during the march on Sunday, in an annual event established by Iran to promote the destruction of Israel, the Jewish News reported on Thursday. The London Jewish community plans to hold a counter-demonstration at the march, an initiative organized by the Zionist Federation of the UK and partners including the World Jewish Congress.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission, which is organizing the parade, said in a statement on its website that participants “are welcome to bring flags that show solidarity with the Palestinian cause” but flags of proscribed or illegal organisations are not allowed.” It also said, however, “You can bring a Hezbollah flag to show support for the political wing of Hezbollah. This is because the political wing of Hezbollah is not a proscribed organisation.”
More than 8,000 have signed a petition to ban Quds Day, citing the presence of Hezbollah and Hamas flags at previous events, and the counter-demonstration was organized in response to London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that he did not believe he held the authority to prohibit the march.
The counter-demonstration is being organized by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain, World Jewish Congress, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, We Believe in Israel, Sussex Friends of Israel, North London Friends of Israel and the Israel Advocacy Movement.
The World Jewish Congress is lending its full support to the community efforts, and is assisting in the promotion of the organization to draw as many counter-protesters as possible. The WJC will also be sending a member of its Jewish Diplomatic Corps, Vladimir Bermant, to address the event.
“The World Jewish Congress stands in full solidarity with our communities in the United Kingdom and around the world as they contend with the threats and incitement that reign at Quds Day marches,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer. “Terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah must not be given reign to take to the streets and control public opinion on Israel.”
Quds Day events are held every year in cities across the globe. Demonstrators routinely call for boycott Israel and for a third intifada (armed uprising) against Israel.