UK FM David Cameron says Israeli ambassador’s rejection of two-state solution ‘disappointing’
UK Foreign Minister David Cameron has criticised the Israeli ambassador to London who completely rejected a two-state solution to the Palestine-Israeli war.
Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, was interviewed by Sky News and sparked outrage when she said that Israel would not accept a two-state solution - the internationally-backed roadmap to bring peace to the Middle East.
Following her remarks, Cameron referred to Hotovely’s comments as "disappointing", after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak affirmed his support for a two-state solution.
While being questioned as the recently appointed foreign secretary in front of a Lords committee on Thursday, Cameron said that Israel has a ‘right to exist’- however believed that the Palestinian people should also have an independent state.
"I don't know the answer. I read the transcript and it is disappointing but ultimately, true security and stability for Israel which is something I care deeply about," Cameron said.
"I believe in Israel as a homeland for Jewish people, I believe in its right to exist, to thrive, to defend itself and all the rest of it – long-term security I think requires there to be a state for Palestine as well.
"So I don't think we should put too much weight on one interview. We have to get on and think about how to help make this happen."
Since the divisive Sky News interview, Hotovely has been decried by MPs, activists, and organisations in the UK who have called for her to resign.
Jewish-led UK rights group Na’amod condemned the ambassador's comments.
"Tzipi Hotovely has shown time and time again that she won’t accept anything even approaching equality or justice for Palestinians," the group tweeted on X.
"Our government should have refused her ambassadorship when she was appointed, and they should condemn her now."
A pro-Palestine supporter, Asim Suleman, kickstarted an online petition to demand her expulsion, which has been backed by activists and organisations such as The Big Ride for Palestine.
In an interview with Sky News, Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, rejected the notion of a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians.— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) December 15, 2023
This is how the interview unfolded👇#CeasefireForGazaNOW pic.twitter.com/zLtFBs6qqu
In the description for the petition on the Change.org website, Suleman said that he was "deeply concerned about the potential radicalisation" of anti-Palestinian extremists in the UK, as a result of Hotovely's remarks.
Accusing the ambassador of inciting "division and extremism within our society", Suleman argued that the government needed to take action at Israel's clear rejection of a two-state solution.
"This petition is not against Israel or its people but against actions that could potentially harm our society's fabric. We urge the UK government to consider this matter seriously for maintaining peace within our borders," he wrote.
The petition has since accumulated up to 15,000 signatures out of a total of 25,000.
The Israeli ambassador has caused controversy since she was appointed to the role in 2020.
Branded as a hardline supporter of the annexation of Palestinian land, Hotovely infamously described herself as a "religious rightwinger" who has denied Palestinian claims to any part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem.
Many Palestinians believe the writing was on the wall for the two-state solution since Oslo, with Israel continuing to occupy Palestinian land and expanding settlements in the territory.