Israel must reconsider its choice of UK ambassador

Tzipi Hotovely

Ordinarily, I would be cheering from the rooftops that the United Kingdom is to get its first female ambassador in the Israeli embassy. It’s way overdue and there are many talented women in the Israeli foreign service who would be wonderful representatives of the state of Israel.

But, try as I might, I cannot view the announcement of this latest appointment with anything but despair.

Benjamin Netanyahu, in putting together his newest, minister-heavy government, has put the icing on the cake by saying he is sending Tzipi Hotovely to London, to succeed Mark Regev.

Where to start in the many, many ways this is depressing news? Let’s leave aside the fact that she is not a career diplomat, which would be reason enough not to cheer. Or the fact that she is not arriving in London for several months: first, she is going to serve in the government as leader of the newly created Settlements Ministry, to be replaced by Tzahi Hanegbi when she leaves for Britain.

The daughter of Georgian Jewish immigrants to Israel, Hotovely, 41, is a self-described “religious right-winger”.

She entered the Knesset as its youngest member in 2009 and, since then, her career arc, on even the most cursory examination, has consisted of hitting the headlines whenever possible – and not in a good way.

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