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Israel-Palestine war: The longstanding anti-Palestine views of Israel's envoy to the UK

The Israeli ambassador has long campaigned against a Palestinian state, the 7 October Hamas assault isn't the turning point she claims it is
Israel's UK ambassador Tzipi Hotovely has long held views denying the possibility of a Palestinian state(AFP)

Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Tzipi Hotovely, this week explicitly rejected the idea of a Palestinian state in an interview on British television.

Hotovely on Wednesday said "absolutely no" to a future Palestinian state, citing Hamas’ surprise attack on 7 October as a turning point that ruled out Palestinian aspirations for their own state.

The Israeli ambassador, however, has long held views denying the possibility of a Palestinian state and even wrote a policy paper on the steps Israel should take to prevent one.

Na'amod, a UK-based Jewish organisation that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, has translated Tzipi Hotovely’s essay "The five-stage plan for the Greater Land of Israel", written in 2013 when she was a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

In the essay, Hotovely writes, "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."

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'Israel only from the river to the sea'

Hotovely laid out five steps of what Israel should do to annex the occupied West Bank.

The diplomat wrote that Israel needed to encourage at least two million Jews from its nine-million-strong diaspora to move to Israel in order to ensure a Jewish majority even as it absorbs more Palestinians from newly annexed parts of the occupied West Bank.

In a bid to deprive as many Palestinians of their citizenship in the newly occupied territories, Hotovely proposed legislating a “Citizenship Law” that would condition full Israeli citizenship on joining the Israeli army.

Few Palestinians, if any, would likely be willing to join an Israeli army occupying their land, therefore the legislation would ensure that Palestinians remain stateless within Israel.

Hotovely also proposed applying sovereignty over the areas of Jewish settlement currently defined as Area C, which forms a contiguous territory of over 61 percent of the West Bank, and is administered solely by Israel, and giving the Palestinians full Israeli citizenship.

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This would entail giving around 100,000 Palestinian citizenship, she wrote, however, the UN estimates that there are around 300,000 Palestinians living in Area C alongside 470,000 Jewish settlers.

These figures exclude occupied East Jerusalem.

Hotovely, who is also an ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also proposed adopting as a Basic Law the principle that the State of Israel was a Jewish nation-state, in which only Jews had self-determination, something that was fulfilled by the Nation-State Bill of 2018, enshrining Jewish supremacy over the country.

Lastly, turning her attention to Area A and B, which are nominally under Palestinian control, Hotovely proposed absorbing these areas into Israel as Jewish migration to the country increases to ensure a "solid Jewish majority".

In 2010, Hotovely, then the youngest Likud Knesset member, argued that a "bi-national danger" is preferable to a Palestinian state.

"In the bi-national process we have a degree of control, but the moment you abandon the area to the Palestinian entity, what control do you have over what will happen there?" she said.

"I want it to be clear that I do not recognise the national rights of Palestinians in the Land of Israel. I recognise their human rights and their individual rights, and also their individual political rights - but between the sea and Jordan there is room for one state, a Jewish state."

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