Israeli ambassador to UK evacuated amidst protest
A shocking video has emerged of the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK), Tzipi Hotovely, being evacuated from an event at the London School of Economics (LSE) on the evening of 9 November amid a large crowd of pro-Palestinian activists.
The clip shows Hotovely being rushed to a vehicle under heavy security while others try to fend off a group of activists which booed and jeered.
The protesters specifically targeted Hotovely, preventing her from taking part. She had been invited by the prestigious university’s student union to speak on “A new era in the Middle East”.
The protesters said she “advocated for settler colonialism, engaged in Islamophobic rhetoric, and has perpetuated anti-Palestinian racism”.
Hadi Nasrallah, who bills himself as a researcher focused on Syria, Lebanon, and global jihadist terrorism, was the first to share the video on Twitter. He wrote, “Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely was forced to flee London’s LSE university after students protested her presence and refused to give her a platform. This is how colonial war criminals must be treated everywhere. #FreePalestine.”
Many have questioned if Hotovely is the right person to be ambassador to the UK as she is a member of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and was appointed by him to the post after serving as settlements minister. The move drew a petition by left-wing British Jews, who called on their government to reject her as ambassador.
Before the event, a person on Twitter using the name “LSEclasswar” said, “Whoever smashes the ambassador car window [Lincoln’s Inn Field] gets pints. Let’s f**king frighten her.”
The call to violence came as many were marking the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, when the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues were smashed by Nazis and their supporters across Germany.
The incident was condemned by education secretary and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi as “deeply disturbing” in a public apology to Hotovely on Twitter.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews called for those “who exceeded the bounds of peaceful protest” to be disciplined and prosecuted by the LSE and the police if necessary. It also praised Hotovely for “facing down intimidation”, saying, “the bullies will not win”.
The Israeli embassy released a statement on Wednesday, 10 November, saying, “The violence we witnessed when the ambassador left the premises after the talk won’t deter Israeli diplomats from engaging in meaningful dialogue with all parts of British society.”