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Israel’s ambassador to the UK is evacuated from LSE by security guards

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Israel‘s ambassador to the UK was last night evacuated from London School of Economics when pro-Palestine students tried to storm the building.

Tzipi Hotovely was bundled into her diplomatic Jaguar by her bodyguards and raced away after protesters screamed and tried to grab her.

The diplomat, who was part of a debate at the union, carried flowers while thugs yelled ‘aren’t you ashamed’ as they set upon her car.

An Instagram handle called LSE Class War appeared to take credit for the chaos by calling for students to ‘smash her car window’ and ‘storm the building’.

Government ministers Nadhim Zahawi and James Cleverly condemned the ‘aggressive and threatening behaviour’ this morning.

Footage from last night showed Ms Hotovely holding flowers as she fled the students’ union after a debate on the Holborn campus.

She was met by livid pro-Palestine protesters yelling ‘aren’t you ashamed’ while booing and trying to force their way past police.

Bodyguards rushed the diplomat into the back of her Jaguar just as one protester breaks the line of officers before being tackled by her protection.

Her car sped away and was followed by her security in a Land Rover – which had to force its way through the crowd. Demonstrators chanting ‘shame on you’ later appeared to clash with Met officers guarding the protest. 

Tzipi Hotovely was bundled into her diplomatic Jaguar by her bodyguards and raced away after protesters screamed and tried to grab her

Tzipi Hotovely was bundled into her diplomatic Jaguar by her bodyguards and raced away after protesters screamed and tried to grab her

The diplomat, who was giving a speech at the union, carried flowers while thugs yelled 'aren't you ashamed' as they set upon her car

The diplomat, who was giving a speech at the union, carried flowers while thugs yelled ‘aren’t you ashamed’ as they set upon her car

Government ministers Nadhim Zahawi and James Cleverly condemned the 'aggressive and threatening behaviour' this morning

Government ministers Nadhim Zahawi and James Cleverly condemned the ‘aggressive and threatening behaviour’ this morning

Protesters follow the car of the UK Ambassador after she was bundled into the back of the Jaguar due to the security threat

Protesters follow the car of the UK Ambassador after she was bundled into the back of the Jaguar due to the security threat 

Footage from last night showed Ms Hotovely (centre at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on October 5) holding flowers as she fled the students' union after a debate on the Holborn campus

Footage from last night showed Ms Hotovely (centre at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on October 5) holding flowers as she fled the students’ union after a debate on the Holborn campus

Religious right-winger Tzipi Hotovley supports expanding Israeli settlements on West Bank and opposes Jewish-Muslim marriage

Tzipi Hotovley is the right-wing Israeli Ambassador to the UK. She is seen as controversial to some for supporting Israeli settlements on the West Bank as well as opposing Jewish-Muslim marriages.

The Orthodox Jew describes herself as a ‘religious right-winger’ and was born and raised in Rehovot, near Tel Aviv. But her family have roots in what was the Soviet country of Georgia, with her parents Gabriel and Roziko Hotovely immigrating to Israel before she was born.

After leaving school Ms Hotovley did two years Sherut Leumi, which is what some religious women do instead of National Service in the army. During this time she was worked as a tour guide in Beit HaRav Kook museum in Jerusalem.

Ms Hotovely was a controversial choice as Israel's Ambassador to the UK, having been appointed by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured together) and a member of his Likud party

Ms Hotovely was a controversial choice as Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, having been appointed by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured together) and a member of his Likud party

She went on to do an undergraduate and master’s in law at Bar-Ilan University, before working for a law firm in Tel Aviv. Ms Hotovley was the editor of Bar-Ilan’s Journal of Law then moved on to her doctoral studies at Tel Aviv University. In 2008 she joined Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and became a member of the Knesset. Ms Hotovely was a controversial choice as Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, having been appointed by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu and a member of his Likud party.

She took up the role in London last year – provoking uproar among left-wing British Jews after serving as settlements minister back home. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tried to oust her from the position when Mr Netanyahu fell earlier this year, but she refused due to her three-year contract. A petition was set up last year to ban her from becoming ambassador, which read: ‘Hotovely has an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behavior from throughout her political career.

‘As British Jews we are clear: Tzipi Hotovely’s values and politics have no place in the UK. It is crucial that the UK government sends a message that her views are unacceptable, and rejects her nomination as ambassador.’ Ms Hotovely was also deputy foreign minister from 2015 to 2020, a move panned by some for her views on Israel’s settlement movement and rejection of the two-state solution.

She found herself in hot water in 2017 for suggesting American Jews lack patriotism because most ‘don’t have children in the US military’. She questioned whether ‘people that never send their children to fight for their country’ could understand the ‘complexity’ of the Middle East.

‘Most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan or to Iraq,’ she said on i24 TV news. ‘They don’t feel how it feels to be attacked by rockets, and I think part of it is to actually experience what Israel is dealing with on a daily basis,’ said Ms Hotovely.

While Israel has often quarreled with American Jews over their right to advise it from afar, Hotovely’s remarks went further by appearing to some to insinuate they are not militarily committed to their native country, a notion US Jewish organizations have long fought against in their battle against anti-Semitism.

In a statement, Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel’s foreign minister, denounced Hotovely’s comments as ‘hurtful’. ‘There is no place for such a harangue and her remarks do not reflect the State of Israel’s position,’ the statement said.

One student protester told Iran state-affiliated media Press TV: ‘A the students at this university are deeply ashamed. This university has failed the recognise and represent the student body. If Palestinians are not represented we will not stop debating.’

Another said: ‘Someone like this person doesn’t really deserve the right to speak. She’s made comments dehumanising an entire people.

‘If she can dehumanise people and refuse their right to speak, why should she have any…

‘Her appointment as ambassador is evidence enough of the attitude of the current government of Israel and the current attitude of our own government.

‘But we provide… training to Israel more effectively bomb a population that has already suffered enough.’

Instagram account LSE Class War appeared to take credit for organising the chaos.

It wrote before the incident: ‘Whoever smashes the Ambassador car window gets pints.’ The account later added: ’18:25: we’re storming in. Let’s make her shake. F*** the old bill.’

LSE Class War has previously been mocked from trying to ban private school students, eradicate free market economist Friedrich Hayek from the curriculum, no platform speakers and introduce minority quotas for staff at the university.

Hadi Nasrallah, who bills himself 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.’

Another clip, which appeared to have been posted before the rioting, showed hundreds of youngsters waving Palestine flags outside the building shouting: ‘LSE shame on you.’

Reem Ibrahim, 19, who is studying government at the university, posted the footage online with the caption: ‘Anyone who thinks that shutting down open discussions will help Palestinian people are deluded.’

Earlier video appeared to show Ms Hotovely speaking to students during a calm question and answer forum inside the building.

The diplomat was sat at the front of the lecture hall next to the host while youngsters sat on either side and listened on.

She says: ‘It’s as simple as that. IDF never targets civilians period. IDF will target civilian places where rockets are being launched from.

‘Because according to international law you’re allowed to target places that are the infrastructure of a terror organisation.

‘But IDF never, and I can stand behind this, IDF never targets civilians. Terrorists organisations are targeting civilians. When Hamas…’

The video cuts out before Ms Hotovely finished her sentence.

Some students gasped at parts of her speech, mostly when she said the Israel Defence Force did not target civilians.

Ms Hotovely had been invited by the student’s union to take part in a debate forum which sparked anger from anti-Israel protesters.

LSESU Debate Society shared a post on Instagram advertising the event titled: ‘Israel’s Perspective: A New Era In The Middle East’.

It said: ‘The Middle East has been affected by the Israeli-Palestinian issue for more than 70 years. The Summer of 2021 saw another wave of violence break out which only further beckoned the question of whether peace was ever a tangible possibility.

‘Recent developments though have seen various Middle Eastern countries take an unprecedented step and recognise the State of Israel, has this opened a possibility of peace in the region?

‘Encompassing all of this, LSESU Public Debates is honoured to host Her Excellency Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on the 9th of November 2021.

‘The interactive event, its questions and the subsequent discussion will revolve around on ground realities and what needs to change and happen to achieve a peaceful Middle East.

‘Not only will questions revolve around the conflict but also of recent developments in Israeli Politics and the effect they will have on Foreign Relations.

‘This is an interactive session where Students will be given the platform to ask the Ambassador questions. The event will be hybrid and shall see an in-person attendance.’ 

Another clip, which appeared to have been posted before the rioting, showed hundreds of youngsters waving Palestine flags outside the building shouting: 'LSE shame on you'

Another clip, which appeared to have been posted before the rioting, showed hundreds of youngsters waving Palestine flags outside the building shouting: 'LSE shame on you'

Another clip, which appeared to have been posted before the rioting, showed hundreds of youngsters waving Palestine flags outside the building shouting: ‘LSE shame on you’

Reem Ibrahim, 19, who is studying government at the university, posted the footage online with the caption: 'Anyone who thinks that shutting down open discussions will help Palestinian people are deluded'

Reem Ibrahim, 19, who is studying government at the university, posted the footage online with the caption: 'Anyone who thinks that shutting down open discussions will help Palestinian people are deluded'

Reem Ibrahim, 19, who is studying government at the university, posted the footage online with the caption: ‘Anyone who thinks that shutting down open discussions will help Palestinian people are deluded’

An Instagram handle called LSE Class War appeared to take credit for the chaos but calling for students to 'smash her car window' and 'storm the building'

An Instagram handle called LSE Class War appeared to take credit for the chaos but calling for students to 'smash her car window' and 'storm the building'

An Instagram handle called LSE Class War appeared to take credit for the chaos but calling for students to ‘smash her car window’ and ‘storm the building’

Pro-Palestine groups and others blasted the union for what they claimed was ‘platforming racism’ and tried to stop her taking part.

They claimed the diplomat had ‘advocated for settler colonialism, engaged in Islamophobic rhetoric and has perpetuated anti-Palestinian racism.’

LSESU Palestine Society said ahead of the event: ”We are outraged by both the invitation extended towards a figure with a track record of anti-Palestianian racism and war crimes, as well as the LSESU’s approval of this event in the first place.

‘It must be stressed that there are no ‘two sides’ to ongoing settler-colonialism, to apartheid, to ethnic cleansing, and to the occupation of Palestine.

‘We condemn the securitisation of the event via the Metropolitan Police and demand LSESU take steps to safeguard students from the islamophobic PREVENT agenda. The police have absolutely no place on our campus.’

Members of LSESU Debate Society is understood to have received death threats for hosting the event, as well as being blasted as ‘war criminals’.

This is despite them hosting another sit down tomorrow night with the UK Ambassador to Palestine Husam Zomlot.

The toxic scenes were this morning blasted by government ministers who warned of the ‘aggressive and threatening behaviour’.

The UK’s new Education Secretary Mr Zahawi posted on Twitter: ‘This is deeply disturbing, I am so sorry Ambassador Hotovely.’

Minister for Middle East and North Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Mr Cleverly added: ‘We value open debate and peaceful protest.

‘The aggressive and threatening behaviour directed at Israeli Ambassador @TzipiHotovely last night was unacceptable.’

Efrat Hochstetler, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, posted: ‘The Israeli Ambassador to the UK, @TzipiHotovely, had to be escorted out of an event under heavy security due to a violent protest by ‘pro-Palestinians’, so-called human rights defenders.

‘These people are not ‘PRO’ anything, if the very rights they presume to defend are negotiable. Amb. Hotovely was *trying* to engage with the public, that is part of her mission as an Israeli diplomat. Anyone who prevents her from doing so is a BULLY and a HYPOCRITE.’

StandWithUs, a non-profit firm fighting anti-Semitism, put: ‘Very disturbing scenes! On the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht – when mobs attacked Jews in Nazi Germany – a violent mob stifled free speech & harassed Jews – forcing the representative of #Israel in the UK, Ambassador Hotovely, to be taken off campus under heavy security.

‘These are not protesters – they are antisemitic and anti-free speech. And this is not Nazi Germany but the UK in 2021.

‘We condemn this act of hate at the London School of Economics (LSE) and urge the university to take action against those behind this and to commit to the security of Jewish students and the platform for Israel’s ambassador to speak freely on campus.’

Ms Hotovely was a controversial choice as Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, having been appointed by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu and a member of his Likud party.

She took up the role in London last year – provoking uproar among left-wing British Jews after serving as settlements minister back home.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tried to oust her from the position when Mr Netanyahu fell earlier this year, but she refused due to her three-year contract.

A petition was set up last year to ban her from becoming ambassador, which read: ‘Hotovely has an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behavior from throughout her political career.

‘As British Jews we are clear: Tzipi Hotovely’s values and politics have no place in the UK. It is crucial that the UK government sends a message that her views are unacceptable, and rejects her nomination as ambassador.’

Ms Hotovely was also deputy foreign minister from 2015 to 2020, a move panned by some for her views on Israel’s settlement movement and rejection of the two-state solution.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told MailOnline: ‘Police were in attendance for a protest in Houghton Street, WC2 on Tuesday, 9 November. There were no arrests.’ LSE has been approached for comment.





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