British Jews call on Foreign Office to reject Tzipi Hotovely as new Israel envoy

Tzipi Hotovely

More than 1,500 British Jews have signed petition calling on the British government to reject the appointment of the UK’s next Israeli ambassador, the extremist Tzipi Hotovely.

The petition says Hotovely has an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behaviour from throughout her political career, including:

  • Publicly opposing relationships between Jews and Arabs.
  • Accusing Palestinians of being “thieves of history” who have no heritage or connection to Israel-Palestine.
  • Calling for the Israeli flag to fly over the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa Mosque compound) – a violation of the status quo in a holy site for both Muslims and Jews.
  • Stating that the occupation is “a myth” and, as Settlements Minister, directly upholding Israel’s illegal presence in the West Bank.
  • Leading the campaign for annexation and claiming that Biblical texts entitle Israel to the entirety of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The appointment of Hotovely, which is subject to ratification by the British government, seems to be splitting British Jewry with the community’s main representatives, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, insisting that they are prepared to work with her.

In a statement, Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “We will be delighted to work with the next Israeli ambassador to sustain and advance the relationship between Israel and the UK Jewish community … We will give her whatever support and advice we can to achieve these ends.”

Here is the letter, organised by Na’amond (British Jews Against Occupation) to the Foreign Office in full:

As a British Jew, I am appalled that Israel is nominating Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely as its next ambassador to the United Kingdom. I am calling on the government to invoke its right – and responsibility – to reject her appointment.

Hotovely has demonstrated a complete disregard for international law throughout her political career, and has an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behaviour.

This includes inviting the far-right organisation Lehava to speak in the Knesset, supporting campaigns to prevent relationships between Jews and Arabs and referring to Israeli human rights activists as “war criminals” and “an enemy” within.

She has accused Palestinians of being “thieves of history​”​ who have no heritage or connection to Israel-Palestine, and said it is her “dream” to see the Israeli flag flying over the Temple Mount –​ a violation of the status quo in a holy site for both Muslims and Jews.

As Settlements Minister, Hotovely shares responsibility for upholding Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank – which she has called “a myth” – and she is a leading advocate for annexation. She has previously claimed that Biblical texts​ entitle Israel to the entirety of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Less than five years ago, Brazil rightly rejected settler leader Dani Dayan​ as Israeli ambassador to the country.​ Now the UK government must do the same.​

Hotovely’s values and politics have no place in the UK, and if the Israeli government believes they do then the British government must send a clear message otherwise by refusing her nomination.

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