British Jews have criticised the appointment of Israel’s next ambassador to Britain as a settler extremist who denies the existence of the Palestinian people.
Last week the Israeli government confirmed the appointment of the pro-annexation Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely to replace Mark Regev this summer.
Ms Hotovely has served as a Knesset member in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party since 2009.
Throughout her political career the minister has campaigned for the annexation of the entire West Bank, claiming it belongs to Jews alone.
In the past she has also claimed that she doesn’t see Israelis as occupiers and that “there are no Palestinian people recognised in the world.”
Ms Hotovely has also supported the work of alt-right group Lehava, which aims to stop intermarriages between Jews and Palestinians.
The appointment has sparked a backlash from some British Jewish groups, including “liberal zionist” organisations.
Responding to her appointment, a spokesperson for Yachad said: “We look forward to conveying to Mrs Hotovely the high level of concern in this community about a potential unilateral annexation of West Bank territory.”
Other groups have gone further by demanding the Foreign Office reject her nomination. A petition by Naamod, a group of young British Jews, has gained over 500 signatories.
“Hotovely shares responsibility for upholding Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank — which she has called ‘a myth’ — and she is a leading advocate for annexation,” the petition reads.
However, Electronic Intifada columnist Asa Winstanley said that Ms Hotovely, as an open advocate for zionist settler colonialism, “will be a true representative of the state of Israel in the UK.”