Israel's ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, was attacked by a group of 'pro-Palestine' students Tuesday, November 9 night at the London School of Economics. Hotovely was part of a debate on the Holborn campus. Bodyguards helped Hotovely into her car as student protestors screamed and tried to grab her. The students could be heard screaming "aren't you ashamed" as they approached her car. Hotovely's car then raced off from the scene.
Footage from the incident showed the diplomat carrying flowers as she encountered furious pro-Palestine student protestors who booed her and tried to force their way past the police to reach her. Government ministers Nadhim Zahawi and James Cleverly criticized the "aggressive and threatening behavior" the next morning, Wednesday. The incident took place while Hotovely was leaving the building after attending the peaceful debate on the Holborn campus.
'Tzipi Hotovely doesn't deserve the right to speak'
Bodyguards managed to get Hotovely into her car just in time as one protestor broke the line of security before being tackled by officers. Her car had to force its way through the protestors. The mob chanting "shame on you" later clashed with Met officers guarding the protest. "If Palestinians are not represented we will not stop debating," one student protestor told Iran state-affiliated media Press TV. Another student added that someone like Tzipi Hotovely "doesn't really deserve the right to speak." "She's made comments dehumanizing an entire people. Her appointment as ambassador is evidence enough of the attitude of the current government of Israel and the current attitude of our own government."
Who was behind the protest?
An Instagram handle by the name 'LSE Class War' seemed to take responsibility for the mayhem by 'inciting' students to 'smash her car window' and 'storm the building'. "Whoever smashes the Ambassador car window gets pints," the account posted before the incident. Later it added, "18:25: we're storming in. Let's make her shake. F*** the old bill."
Tzipi Hotovely was invited by the student's union to participate in a debate forum, that angered anti-Israel protesters. LSESU Debate Society titled the event "Israel's Perspective: A New Era In The Middle East." While speaking to students during a question and answer forum, Hotovely's insistence that "Israel Defence Forces (IDF) never targets civilians" left students gasping, a video showed.
Hotovely's controversial appointment as Israel's Ambassador to the UK was set in place by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu. As she assumed her role in London last year, she was met with a petition to ban her from becoming an ambassador. "Hotovely has an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behavior from throughout her political career," the petition read.