The appointment of a hardline supporter of the annexation of Palestinian land as the following Israeli ambassador to the UK has dismayed sections of the British Jewish neighborhood, with some calling on the UK authorities to refuse to just accept the nomination.
Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s settlements minister, has been named by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu because the successor to Mark Regev, who stepped down as ambassador to the UK final week.
She has described herself as “a spiritual rightwinger” and rejects Palestinian claims to any a part of the West Financial institution, Gaza or East Jerusalem. In a speech in 2015, she mentioned Israel had tried too onerous to appease the world. “This land is ours. All of it’s ours. We didn’t come right here to apologise for that.”
Hotovely’s appointment was introduced as Natanyahu’s coalition authorities is getting ready to annex nearly a 3rd of the West Financial institution in a transfer which has drawn sharp criticism for being in breach of worldwide legislation. Final week, Boris Johnson instructed the Commons his authorities had “strongly objected” to the plan and restated its help for the two-state resolution.
UN human rights consultants warned the plan to increase Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements within the West Financial institution and the Jordan Valley amounted to “21st-century apartheid”.
In an announcement final week they mentioned: “What could be left of the West Financial institution could be a Palestinian Bantustan, islands of disconnected land fully surrounded by Israel and with no territorial connection to the skin world.”
The archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster expressed “opposition to any transfer by Israel to annex West Financial institution territory” in a letter to Regev and Johnson. Justin Welby and Vincent Nichols, the leaders of the Anglican and Catholic faiths in England, mentioned peace and safety “can solely be secured by way of negotiation relatively than annexation”.
Earlier this month, among the most outstanding and revered names in British Jewry – together with Sir Simon Schama, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Dame Vivien Duffield – raised alarm over the annexation plan in a letter to Regev. They mentioned the transfer would have “grave penalties for the Palestinian individuals” and be an existential risk to Israel.
Now, 800 British Jews have signed a petition posted on-line by the anti-occupation marketing campaign group Na’amod highlighting Hotovely’s “appalling file of racist and inflammatory behaviour” and calling on the UK authorities to reject her nomination as ambassador. The appointment of envoys requires the approval of the host nation. A counter-petition supporting Hotovely attracted 240 signatures.
A spokesperson for Na’amod mentioned: “There’s clearly rising unrest in our neighborhood about Israel’s blatant disregard for human rights, and folks more and more realise that it’s time to take a stand.”
Laura Janner-Klausner, the senior rabbi to Reform Judaism, additionally criticised Hotovely’s file. “Her political opinions on Palestinians, annexation and spiritual pluralism conflict with our core values,” she mentioned.
The Labour peer Lord Beecham instructed the Jewish Chronicle: “The appointment of an ultra-rightwing ambassador, whereas typical of the current authorities of Israel, will do nothing to win associates within the UK – or certainly another affordable nation.”
In an announcement, Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, mentioned: “We will likely be delighted to work with the following Israeli ambassador to maintain and advance the connection between Israel and the UK Jewish neighborhood … We are going to give her no matter help and recommendation we are able to to realize these ends.”