Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely ​

Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely appeared on London radio station LBC on January 3, 2024 to discuss Israel's onslaught in Gaza.

(Photo: LBC/Twitter)

Demands for Israeli Ambassador to UK's Expulsion After 'Clear Call for Genocide'

"The Israeli ambassador has gone on national British radio and incited genocide," said one columnist. "This is an illegal act under the 1948 Genocide Convention."

A member of British Parliament demanded the foreign secretary "take the strongest possible action against" Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador to the U.K., after she appeared on a radio broadcast of LBC and told host Iain Dale in no uncertain terms that Israel's military must target civilian infrastructure in Gaza—a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Hotovely told Dale that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have found that "every school, every mosque, every second house, has an access to tunnel," referring to the tunnels used by Hamas—which were first built when Gaza was under Israeli control in 1980.

"That's an argument for destroying the whole of Gaza, every single building," Dale said, prompting Hotovely to ask, "Do you have another solution, how to destroy the underground tunnel city?"

Journalist Hamza Ali Shah said the ambassador's statement amounted to "a clear call for genocide."

Hotovely is hardly the first Israeli official to publicly call for genocidal violence in Gaza—even as the government continues to claim it is targeting Hamas and protecting civilian lives and as the U.S., which has provided military aid for Israel's bombardment and vehemently defended the IDF, claims accusations of genocide are "meritless."

But her statement on British national radio underscored how genocidal language has become commonplace among Israel's mainstream political class since the country began its bombardment in retaliation for Hamas' October 7 attack.

British journalist Robert Carter said Hotovely's comments make her "a good pick for Israel's envoy to the U.K."

"She always finds a way to properly sum up how evil Israel's colonialist project is and what Tel Aviv's true ambitions are—the total genocide and land theft of all Palestine," he said.

Mitchell Plitnick cautioned observers against dismissing Hotovely's remarks as the musings of a extremist whose views are outside the mainstream under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

Afzal Khan, a Labour MP, wrote to British Foreign Secretary David Cameron to demand that Hotovely's comments be met with "stern denunciation" from the government.

"The situation is unfathomable, and the words of the Israeli ambassador make clear that it is the intention of the Israeli government to continue with its horrific bombardment and ground fighting until there is nothing and no one left in Gaza," wrote Khan.

Others, including Guardian columnist Owen Jones and research analyst Naks Bilal, said Hotovely should be expelled from her role.

"The Israeli ambassador has gone on national British radio and incited genocide," said Jones. "This is an illegal act under the 1948 Genocide Convention. As such, the U.K. must expel Tzipi Hotovely immediately."

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