Facing fierce protest, Israeli envoy rushed from London event | The Express Tribune


LONDON:

Israel’s ambassador to the UK was rushed into a diplomatic car from an event at the London School of Economics (LSE) Tuesday night as protesters amassed outside booed the diplomat.

Footage on social media shows Tzipi Hotovely being evacuated from the building with tight police protection as a group of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside.

Protesters shouted pro-Palestinian slogans, chiding the ambassador “aren’t you ashamed!” They also chanted: “Israel is a terrorist state.”

They urged her to be “no-platformed,” a British term for denying a venue to speak to persons whose views are beyond the bounds of decency.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss blasted the incident, writing: “The treatment of Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely last night and the attempt to silence her was unacceptable.”

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“We in Britain believe in freedom of speech,” she added.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Education Secretary Nadhim Zawahi also condemned the incident.

The Israeli ambassador was invited by LSE student union to take part in a debate forum.

Controversial appointment

According to various Israeli media, including The Times of Israel, Hotovely was targeted because she had “advocated for settler colonialism, engaged in Islamophobic rhetoric and has perpetuated anti-Palestinian racism.”

The online Israeli outlet described Hotovely’s appointment to London last year as “controversial.”

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Her appointment to the British capital sparked a backlash from left-wing British Jews, who called on their government to reject her posting in a petition which attracted as many as 2,000 signatures.

“Hotovely has an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behavior from throughout her political career,” the petition said, according to the outlet.

“As British Jews we are clear: Tzipi Hotovely’s values and politics have no place in the UK. It is crucial that the UK government sends a message that her views are unacceptable, and rejects her nomination as ambassador.”

The outlet also said Wednesday that Hotovely, who was deputy foreign minister between 2015 and 2020, is a staunch supporter of Israel’s illegal settlement movement and a vehement opponent of a two-state solution.




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