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

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

November 10, 2021

Ministers condemn jeering hard-left crowd who intimidated Israel’s UK ambassador at LSE and threatened to ‘smash her car windows’ – forcing security guards to bundle her away amid clashes with police

  • Tzipi Hotovely, 42, was bundled into a diplomatic Jaguar by her bodyguards and raced away from protesters 
  • The diplomat, who was part of a debate at the union, carried flowers while thugs yelled ‘aren’t you ashamed’
  • An Instagram handle called LSE Class War called for students to ‘smash her car window’ and ‘storm building’
  • Ms Hotovely said that she ‘will not be intimidated’ by a demonstration, adding the event itself was ‘excellent’
  • Priti Patel, Nadhim Zahawi and James Cleverly condemned the ‘aggressive and threatening behaviour’ today

Ministers have condemned a jeering crowd of hard-Left students who intimidated Israel’s UK ambassador as she left a debate at London School of Economics.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi blasted the ‘aggressive and threatening behaviour’ towards Tzipi Hotovely last night.

The diplomat herself rounded on the activists this morning, saying she ‘will not be intimidated’ and adding the talk itself was ‘excellent’.

Footage showed her being rushed into her Jaguar by her bodyguards and raced away after protesters screamed and tried to grab her.

The 42-year-old carried flowers while thugs yelled ‘aren’t you ashamed’ and branded her country a ‘terrorist state’ 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’.

Pro-Palestine left-wing activists also staged a protest outside the university and called for the ambassador to be barred from speaking.  

Tzipi Hotovely was bundled into her diplomatic Jaguar by her bodyguards and raced away after protesters screamed and tried to grab her. She is pictured leaving the university after the debate inside while police clash with hard left activists

The  pro-Palestinian activists rushed towards the ambassador’s car, forcing police and her security to bundle her inside. The mob set upon her security’s car while yelling ‘aren’t you ashamed’ as the delegation sped away 

At one point a member of the ambassador’s security detail was forced to restrain a protester who made is through the police line while the ambassador was bundled into her car  

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 


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’

Ms Hotovely is pictured during the debate at London School of Economics – which the Embassy described as peaceful – ahead of the chaos when she left 

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy told MailOnline: ‘Ambassador Hotovely was invited to speak with students at The LSE titled the ”New Era in the Middle East”. It was a successful, open and fruitful discussion that went ahead as planned. Outside the venue, there was a demonstration organised by Palestinian and Islamic societies across London universities.’ Pictured: The diplomat at the event last night 

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

Tzipi Hotovley is the Israeli Ambassador to the UK. 

She is on the right wing of Israeli politics and supports expanding 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. 

Pro-Palestinians and left-wing Israelis fiercely oppose her support for the expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, rejection of a two-state Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and support for a ‘greater Israel’.  

She has said before: ‘This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.’ 

Her family have roots in what was the ex-Soviet republic 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.

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

 In 2008 she joined Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and became a member of the Knesset. 

Critics on the left opposed Ms Hotovely’s appointment  as Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, after she was first appointed as settlements minister by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu and a member of his Likud party.  

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. 

The toxic scenes were this morning blasted by the government ministers, other MPs as well as the Israeli Embassy and Jewish groups.

Home Secretary Ms Patel tweeted: ‘Disgusted by the treatment of the Israeli Ambassador at LSE last night. Antisemitism has no place in our universities or our country.

‘I will continue to do everything possible to keep the Jewish community safe from intimidation, harassment & abuse.

‘I have been in touch with @TzipiHotovely and the police have my full backing in investigating this appalling incident.’

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

Foreign Secretary Ms Truss said: ‘We in Britain believe in freedom of speech. The treatment of Israeli Ambassador @TzipiHotovely last night and the attempt to silence her was unacceptable.’

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

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

Ms Hotovely tweeted: ‘I’m thankful for all the support I have received from the British government, many friends and partners.

‘I had an excellent event at #LSE and I will not be intimidated. I will continue to share the Israeli story and hold open dialogue with all parts of British society.’

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy told MailOnline: ‘Ambassador Hotovely was invited to speak with students at The LSE titled the ”New Era in the Middle East”.

‘It was a successful, open and fruitful discussion that went ahead as planned. Outside the venue, there was a demonstration organised by Palestinian and Islamic societies across London universities.

‘British police maintained order at the scene. The violence we witnessed when the ambassador left the premises after the talk will not deter Israeli diplomats from engaging in meaningful dialogue with all parts of the British society.’

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, who shared a video of the protests outside the event on Twitter, added: ‘This is absolutely shocking. At a London university.’

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.’

LSUSU Debate Society, which hosted Ms Hotovely, added: ‘The LSE SU Debate Society aims to make diverse voices available in order to promote discourse on topical issues.

‘As such, we have invited both the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors to discuss issues that have amassed global attention.

‘We invite ambassadors not in their personal capacity, but as policymakers who have the authority to represent and be challenged on the views of their respective governments.

‘We consulted relevant stakeholders before and during our event in order to assess any concerns they may have and subsequently incorporated their feedback into our safety and equity policies.

‘To echo our aim of promoting discourse, we respect and affirm the right of people to protest at our events but condemn all forms of threats and aggression.

‘Our events have thus far proceeded as planned, and we invite members of the public to follow our public pages to participate in our future events.’

How LSE became hotbed for Left-wing activism: From its founding fathers to current students, the London university always had ties with radicalism

London School of Economics has been tied to left-wing radicalism since it was founded in 1895.

One of its founding fathers, George Bernard Shaw, wrote What Socialism Is in 1890, delving into the issues of private property, labour, poverty, education, and the dominance of the rich, upper classes in government.

He wrote: ‘Poverty and riches together mean the perversion of our capital and industry to the production of frippery and luxury whilst the nation is rotting for want of good food, thorough instruction, and wholesome clothes and dwellings for the masses.

‘Socialism means equal rights and opportunities for all’, and sets out the Fabian vision for nationalisation (i.e. government control and ownership) of ‘land and machinery’ – or, in other words, property, including housing and industry, such as the railways.’

In later years, the university was attended by the sociologist Ralph Miliband, father of the politicians Ed and David.

The Marxist writer gave a series of public lectures at the institution in what has been described by some there as the ‘golden age’ of LSE.

London School of Economics has been tied to left-wing radicalism since it was founded in 1895

Miliband went on to teach at the school for 20 years, publishing books including: The state in capitalist society, Marxism and Politics, Class War Conservatism and Socialism for a Sceptical Age.

In more recent years, LSE has attracted left wing students who appear set on ‘no platforming’ academics, speakers and societies which do not hold their views.

In July a group of activists released a radical manifesto calling for the university to ban all private school students. LSE Class War demanded the institution becomes ‘gradually’ free from anyone educated at an independent school.

They said bosses must eradicate a student society to the free market economist Friedrich Hayek because it is ‘oppressive to the working class’.

LSE Class War backed no platforming speakers it claims ‘are harmful to marginalised students’. And it said the university has to bring in minority quotas for staff, saying there is only one full time black professor there.

Footage from last night showed Ms Hotovely holding flowers as she fled the students’ union after the peaceful debate between 6pm and 7.30pm 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 broke 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.

Furious demonstrators chanting ‘shame on you’ after her later appeared to clash with Met officers guarding the protest. 

One student protester told Iran state-affiliated media Press TV: ‘The students at this university are deeply ashamed. This university has failed the recognise and represent the student body. If Palestinians are not recognised 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 was the first to share the video of Ms Hotovely 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 a lecture hall next to the host while youngsters sat on either side and listened on.

She said: ‘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. 

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


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’

Hadi Nasrallah was the first to share the video of Ms Hotovely being bundled into her car by bodyguards on Twitter

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.’ 

But Pro-Palestine groups and others blasted the society 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 are understood to have received death threats for hosting the event.

This is despite them hosting another sit down tomorrow night with Husam Zomlot, Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK.

LSESU Debate Society got panned on Instagram for announcing it would host Israel’s Ambassador to the UK in London last night

This was despite the fact it is planning on having the Palestine Ambassador to the UK speak as part of the same series of events tomorrow

Cambridge Union draws up ‘Stalinist’ blacklist of speakers it has BANNED from addressing students

The Cambridge Union drew up a ‘Stalinist’ blacklist of banned speakers, reports said yesterday.

President Keir Bradwell fired an email out to members infoming them who would be blocked from future events, although the list has not been made public.

It is said to include an art historian who was blasted by students for doing an impression of Adolf Hitler during a speech last week 

Andrew Graham-Dixon was slammed for mimicking Adolf Hitler and using racial slurs during a debate on free speech to ‘show how offensive the dictator was’.

Soviet spy biographer Andrew Lownie – who was a previous president of the Cambridge Union – branded the blacklist ‘Stalinist’.

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.

Anti-Jewish sentiment has erupted across Britain this year, with huge marches condemning the nation and promoting Palestinian views.

Some have turned ugly as protesters clashes in London, while others burned the flag of Israel and on one occasion a group drove a convoy through a Jewish neighbourhood shouting for their girls to be raped.

The demonstrations stemmed from renewed violence between Israel and Gaza earlier this year, which saw rockets fired into both territories.

There were fears of all-out war in the Middle East as military figures on both sides were killed and threats of escalation flung at each other.

But tensions died down and a ceasefire was eventually agreed by Israel and Hama on May 20, with few reports of fighting since then.

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 said: ‘On Tuesday 9 November, the LSESU Debate Society hosted the Israeli Ambassador to the UK for an event on the LSE campus.

‘The event, which attracted some protest outside, lasted approximately 90 minutes, with the Ambassador speaking, taking questions from the audience and leaving on schedule.

‘Free speech and freedom of expression underpins everything we do at LSE. Students, staff and visitors are strongly encouraged to discuss and debate the most pressing issues around the world, but this must be in a mutually respectful manner. Intimidation or threats of violence are completely unacceptable.

‘We are aware of some threats of violence made on social media around this event. Any LSE students identified as being involved in making such threats will face disciplinary action.

‘We will be reviewing the processes around this event to inform future planning.’ 

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