The Labour Muslim Network has written to leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer outlining an expectation “that no further engagements be made or platforms shared by Labour Party representatives with the current Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely”.
Hotovely: an extremist and an Islamophobe
Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom Hotovely made clear in a Sky News interview last week that Israel will never accept a Palestinian state. When pressed on the question of an independent Palestinian state in the future, Hotovely answered without equivocation “the answer is absolutely no.” A two-state solution has been the policy of the Labour Party, the UK, and has had international consensus, for decades.
Moreover, Hotovely is considered to be far-right politically by many people. She has repeatedly denied Israel is causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Hotovely also repeated the lie that Hamas had beheaded 40 babies on 7 October. Moreover, as Middle East Eye wrote:
Hotovely’s comments are not new. In 2013, when she was a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Hotovely previously wrote a policy paper titled “The five-stage plan for the Greater Land of Israel“, outlining the steps Israel should take to prevent a Palestinian state.
“The long years of propaganda for the vision of ‘two states for two peoples’ have obstructed the most basic desire harboured by a majority of Israeli citizens – not to give up territory that was conquered through blood,” Hotovely wrote in the essay translated by Na’amod, a UK-based Jewish organisation that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
Labour Muslim Network said in a statement:
It is clear for all to see, the ambassador is no partner in peace.
The right of self determination for Palestinians and an independent Palestinian state has been a long standing position for the Labour Party, for the United Kingdom and for the international community. To deny the right of Palestine to exist as an independent state is not only Islamophobic, but also completely contrary to international consensus.
It is difficult to read this report and reach any other conclusion than there being institutional Islamophobia within the Labour Party.
Any Labour representatives that shares engagements and/or platforms with Ms Hotovely would not only be legitimising her extreme positions, but could also be violating our Islamophobia code of conduct.
So far, it appears neither Starmer nor the party has responded.
You can sign a petition calling on the UK government to expel Hotovely here.
Featured image via UK government – Flickr