Left-wing British Jews demand UK reject new Israeli ambassador

Small organization of left-wing British Jews opposed to ‘the occupation’ wants Britain to reject Israel’s nomination of cabinet minister Tzipi Hotovely as next ambassador to UK.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A small left-wing Jewish organization in the United Kingdom is calling on the British government to turn down Israel’s nomination of cabinet minister Tzipi Hotovely to be the Jewish state’s next ambassador in London.

Hotovely is currently the Minister of Settlements in the new unity government, but recently she accepted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to replace current Ambassador Mark Regev, whose term ends this summer.

“It is undoubtedly one of the most senior positions in the foreign service,” Hotovely told the Jewish Chronicle after accepting the appointment. “Within Europe, Britain is terribly important and very friendly [to Israel], certainly under [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson, that is something we have to leverage and do important diplomatic work on.”

However, the group Na’amod – British Jews Against Occupation launched an online petition calling on the UK government to reject Hotovely due to her support for the proposed annexation of Israeli settlements Netanyahu said he will launch in July.

“Tzipi Hotovely’s appointment as ambassador has been a wake-up call for many in our community. It is time for us to take a stand against the occupation and the political leaders who defend it,” Na’amod tweeted.

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“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,” the petition states, and so far has garnered 800 signatures, the Guardian reported.

However, according to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, there are 284,000 Jews living in the UK and a counter-petition supporting Hotovely has already gained 240 signatures.

On its website the Na’amod organization says it is committed to “collective liberation” and “wants our community to stand for freedom, equality and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis,” calling for the end of Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria.

However, the Na’amod website says nothing about the Palestinians and the peace process or pursuing a two-state solution, simply that Israel has to “end the occupation.”

Born to a religious family and a practicing Orthodox Jew, Hotovely is known for her staunch right-wing positions, but she also gained headlines in 2011 when she sat at the front of a “kosher” bus used by the ultra-Orthodox public where men sit at the front and women are relegated to the back of the bus.