The British Parliament must form a committee to formally discuss the matter if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures upon submission, in accordance with parliamentary rules.
A petition demanding the expulsion of Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Tzipi Hotovely, has garnered over 100,000 signatures.
This surge in public demand comes from allegations of her support for genocide in Gaza.
Hotovely, a prominent figure in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has been the subject of increasing scrutiny due to her racist comments regarding Israel’s military assault on Gaza.
The petition, initiated in December by Dr Asim Suleman, expresses deep concern about the potential radicalisation of the UK population, influenced by Ambassador Hotovely’s presence and stance.
“I am deeply concerned about the potential radicalisation of our UK population due to the presence and influence of the current Israeli Ambassador,” Dr Suleman’s statement read.
He further emphasised the alarming potential of an ambassador inciting division and extremism within British society.
An updated statement on January 5 re-emphasised the calls, suggesting that Ambassador Hotovely is now employing “openly genocidal language” and advocating for genocidal acts.
This assertion references her remarks in an LBC radio interview where she implied that every building in Gaza could be considered a legitimate military target due to the alleged ubiquity of Hamas.
“One of the things we realised is every school, every mosque, every second house, has access to tunnel,” Hotovely remarked, mirroring previous statements by Israeli officials.
Furthermore, in December, Hotovely faced criticism after disputing the UK government and United Nations’ longstanding stance on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state during a Sky News interview.
Hotovely’s tenure as Israel’s settlement affairs minister was full of contentious statements about Palestinians and advocacy for illegal settlement expansion. She described the 1948 Nakba – the mass displacement of Palestinians for the formation of Israel – as an “Arab lie”.
Her appointment in 2020 was met with disapproval, not only from activists but also from within the British Jewish community, including some Zionists. A previous petition accused her of a “complete disregard for international law throughout her political career”.
In contrast to the petitioners, some argue that Ambassador Hotovely’s candidness reflects the extreme viewpoints of the Israeli government.
Palestinian political analyst Marwan Bishara shared this sentiment, stating, “I for one think she should stay; she represents the ugly but true face of Israel government. Better than fake soundbite diplomat…”
British MP, Afzal Khan, sent a letter to Foreign Minister David Cameron, urging him to summon the Israeli ambassador.