Pro-Palestine LSE students 'expel' Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely
Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom was forced to leave an event she attended at the London School of Economics Tuesday night by pro-Palestine students.
Videos shared on Twitter show students chasing Tzipi Hotovely out of the building as she is surrounded by bodyguards, while police ward off protesters.
She was attending a debate forum at the central London university which lasted approximately 90 minutes according to LSE.
🚨 | NEW: Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely fleeing the London School of Economics— Politics For All (@PoliticsForAlI) November 9, 2021
"Shame on you," shouted the crowd, raising Palestinian flags and booing the ambassador as she was whizzed away.
Students reportedly accused the student union of giving a platform for "racism," calling Israel a "terror state".
Pro-Palestinian groups applauded the incident, condemning Hotovely as a "war criminal".
THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE FOR COMING OUT AND FOR SHOWING ALL YOUR RAGE AND SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINIANS! 🇵🇸❤️— LSE for Palestine (@LSEforPalestine) November 9, 2021
We made sure to let Tzipi, LSE SU and LSE SU Debating Society know that war criminals, islamophobes and anti-Palestinian deniers are not welcome on this campus! pic.twitter.com/cvWCJJfheR
In a statement released on Wednesday, LSE condemned what they called threatening behaviour on the side of the students.
"Free speech and freedom of expression underpins everything we do at LSE. Students, staff and visitors are strongly encouraged to discuss and debate the most pressing issues around the world, but this must be in a mutually respectful manner. Intimidation or threats of violence are completely unacceptable."
"We will be reviewing the processes around this event to inform future planning," it added.
The New Arab tried to get in touch with the Israeli embassy in London but to no avail.
Hotovely is from former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, and previously served as settlement affairs minister.
A petition by left-wing British Jewish organisation Na'amod was started against the former minister's appointment as ambassador to the UK last year.
Known for her fervent opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state, the diplomat has dubbed the 1948 Nakba – when Palestinians were expelled from their homes with the creation of the State of Israel – as an "Arab lie," and that Israeli occupation is a "myth".
She has even criticised American Jews for not enlisting their children to "fight for their country".
Just a week before the LSE demonstration, the UK-based activist group Palestine Action occupied the Bristol headquarters of Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest privately owned arms manufacturer, on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
The activist group has targeted several of Elbit's UK sites over the past year, including a six-day demonstration in May that targeted a factory allegedly producing combat drones for Israel. It coincided with Israel's 11-day military campaign on Gaza which killed over 250 people.