Israel ambassador Hotovely expulsion petition reaches over 100,000 signatures
Tzipi Hotovely, a hardline member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks over remarks on Israel’s war on Gaza.
"I am deeply concerned about the potential radicalisation of our UK population due to the presence and influence of the current Israeli Ambassador," reads the petition’s statement from December, started by Dr Asim Suleman,
“As a citizen who values peace, unity, and respect for all, I find it alarming that an ambassador could potentially incite division and extremism within our society.”
An updated statement added on 5 January said the ambassador is “now using openly genocidal language and is advocating for a genocidal act to take place”, referring to remarks made by Hotovely in an interview with LBC radio.
In the interview, Hotovely suggested that every building in Gaza is a legitimate target due to the alleged presence of Hamas.
"One of the things we realised is every school, every mosque, every second house, has access to tunnel," Hotovely said, echoing similar statements made by Israeli officials.
In December, Hotovely was also criticised after telling Sky News that she did not believe in the long-standing position of the UK government and the United Nations that an independent Palestinian state should be established.
Hotovely, who previously served as Israel's settlement affairs minister, has long been a controversial figure, known for incendiary statements about Palestinians and support for illegal settlement expansion.
The ambassador once called the 1948 Nakba – the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their native land to create the state of Israel – an "Arab lie".
This is not the first time activists in the UK have called for Hotovely to be replaced as ambassador. In 2020 following her appointment, British Jews – including prominent Zionists – spoke out against her taking the role. One petition at the time accused Hotovely of showing a "complete disregard for international law throughout her political career".
In response to the recent petition, some have argued that Hotovely should not be expelled, as her statements are seen as an honest reflection of the extreme views of the Israeli government.
"I for one thinks she should stay; she represents the ugly but true face of Israel government. Better than fake soundbite diplomat …" wrote Palestinian political analyst Marwan Bishara on X.