The new Israeli ambassador to the UK will be Tzipi Hotovely who is pro-settlement, anti two-state solution and wants to see Israeli sovereignty over the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.
Hotovely, who is currently Israel’s Settlements Minister, said last week that she had accepted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to be Israel’s next ambassador to the United Kingdom.
“It is undoubtedly one of the most senior positions in the foreign service. Within Europe, Britain is terribly important and very friendly [to Israel], certainly under [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson, that is something we have to leverage and do important diplomatic work on,” Hotovely told Army Radio.
If confirmed by the Israeli and the British governments, Hotovely, 41, of the Likud party, will replace Mark Regev who is finishing his five-year term in July.
According to the new coalition agreement, Hotovely will remain ambassador in London for the entire time of the unity government’s existence “and cannot be replaced after the rotation agreement was implemented,” which is set to happen after 18 months.
Hotovely, who served as deputy foreign minister between 2015 and 2020, is a staunch supporter of Israel’s settlement movement and a vehement opponent of the two-state solution.
She has also advocated for a unilateral Israeli annexation of the West Bank, something the British government has repeatedly rejected as a blatant violation of international law.
In fact, her current position gives her responsibility for preparing Israel’s annexation of a significant proportion of the West Bank, despite the fact that all Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
The new ambassador, who describes herself as a “religious right-winger,” also once claimed that there is “no Palestinian people.”
In a speech to supporters of the Temple Institute in 2017, Hotovely called on them to enter the mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest site.
In October 2015, in an interview with the Knesset Channel, Hotovely said: “It’s my dream to see the Israeli flag flying on the Temple Mount.” She added: “I think it’s the centre of Israeli sovereignty, the capital of Israel, the holiest place for the Jewish people.”
She made headlines after a 2015 speech to civil servants marking her arrival at the foreign ministry, when she invoked religious texts to claim that the entirety of historic Palestine belongs to Jews alone – what she has termed the “Greater Land of Israel.”
“This land is ours,” she said. “All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.”
The announcement that she will be Israel’s next ambassador has even raised opposition among Zionists in the UK, who worry she will damage Israel’s image.
Writing for The Jewish News, Jenni Frazer described her appointment as an insult to the UK and warned that she would “alienate so many British Jews” from Israel.