Israel’s UK envoy evacuated amid pro-Palestinian protests
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'I will not be intimidated'

Israel’s UK envoy evacuated amid pro-Palestinian protests

Tzipi Hotovely was evacuated under heavy security from an event at the London School of Economics amid a large protest by pro-Palestinian activists against her presence.

Israeli Ambassador the UK Tzipi Hotovely is seen being evacuated under heavy security from an event at the London School of Economics on Tuesday, November 9. Photo: Twitter
Israeli Ambassador the UK Tzipi Hotovely is seen being evacuated under heavy security from an event at the London School of Economics on Tuesday, November 9. Photo: Twitter

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely was evacuated under heavy security from an event at the London School of Economics on Tuesday evening amid a large protest by pro-Palestinian activists against her presence.

Video from the scene showed security guards rushing Hotovely, who was clutching a bouquet of flowers, into a vehicle, while others tried to fend off a group of jeering activists, who chanted, “Aren’t you ashamed?”

Hotovely had been invited by the prestigious university’s student union to take part in a debate forum.

“We will not give in to thuggery and violence,” Hotovely pledged after the incident, according to Ynet. “The State of Israel will send its representatives to every stage.”

Hotovely and the spokesman for Israel’s embassy in London both stressed that the hour-and-a-half event took place in full, and 200 students were able to hear what Israel’s envoy had to say.

“The extremists will continue to demonstrate outside – and the embassy will continue to speak directly with students inside,” the spokesman said.

The event drew widespread opposition from pro-Palestinian and other groups on campus for “platforming racism”.

The protests specifically targeted Hotovely, saying that she had “advocated for settler colonialism, engaged in Islamophobic rhetoric and has perpetuated anti-Palestinian racism”.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said there was “no other ambassador that would have faced this”.

“Not one. Not Iran. Not China. Not Venezuela. Only the one representing the Jewish country. Only Jews attract this visceral, fanatical hatred. This will be whitewashed as a political protest. It was a racist one,” he said.

The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) described the incident as “outrageous”.

“If you cannot tolerate other people’s opinions – cannot tolerate free speech – then you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror,” the ZFA stated, adding, “Are these people actually interested in peace? The answer is, clearly, no.”

Hotovely later tweeted, “I’m thankful for all the support I have received from the British government, many friends and partners.

“I had an excellent event at [the London School of Economics] and I will not be intimidated. I will continue to share the Israeli story and hold open dialogue with all parts of British society.”

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