JNS.org – Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of Settlement Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely as Israel’s next ambassador to the United Kingdom.
If the UK Foreign Office accepts Hotovely’s nomination — a diplomatic formality — she will head to London in the fall.
It is unclear at this time who will replace her as settlement affairs minister, but the most likely candidate is Minister Tzachi Hanegbi.
During his opening address at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Hotovely for her years of work in government and expressed his confidence that she would succeed in her new role.
“Tzipi, I want to thank you for years of dedicated work, both in the Knesset and the cabinet,” said Netanyahu. “You were deputy foreign minister, my deputy, for years. I was impressed by your dedicated work and by your willingness to learn things and to stand up for things. To stand up for our rights here in our land and the justice of the international struggle,” he added.
This, he said, would stand her in good stead in the UK, which posed “complex challenges” as far as Israel was concerned.
“I am certain that these qualities and this experience will find maximum and important expression for the State of Israel in the important place to which you are going, Great Britain. We know that there are complex challenges there and there is major work to do. I am certain that you will succeed,” he said.
Hotovely, an outspoken advocate of the settlement movement, confirmed last month that Netanyahu had offered her the London post. A group of British Jews immediately posted a petition urging the British government to reject her as the new ambassador.
Hotovely has “an appalling record of racist and inflammatory behavior from throughout her political career,” the petition said. “Her values and politics have no place in the UK.”
As of Sunday, 1,864 people had signed the petition.