Israeli Ambassador's dismissal of two-state solution 'disappointing'

Foreign Secretary David Cameron slaps down Israeli Ambassador’s ‘disappointing’ dismissal of calls for two-state solution in Palestine

  • Tzipi Hotovely had a furious outburst during a heated interview with Sky News

Foreign Secretary David Cameron today described an interview in which the Israeli Ambassador to Britain voiced opposition to a two-state solution in the Middle East as ‘disappointing’. 

Lord Cameron said he believes such an outcome remains possible but ‘very, very difficult’ as he suggested the remarks should not have ‘too much weight’ attached to them. 

Tzipi Hotovely had a furious outburst during a heated interview with Sky News about the bombing of Gaza – before warning that it could take months to wipe out Hamas.  She said: ‘I think it’s about time for the world to realise that the Oslo paradigm failed on October 7 and we need to build a new one.’

Appearing before the Lords European Affairs Committee on Thursday for the first lengthy episode of parliamentary scrutiny he has faced since returning to Government, the former prime minister said: ‘I think it is still possible but I think the pathway from where we are today to getting there is very, very difficult.’

Asked about what should be done following Ms Hotovely’s comments, the minister said: ‘I don’t know is the answer.’

He continued: ‘I read the transcript and it is disappointing, but ultimately true security and stability for Israel, which is something I care deeply about – I believe in Israel as a homeland for Jewish people, I believe in its right to exist, to thrive, to defend itself and all the rest of it – long-term security I think requires there to be a state for Palestine as well.

‘So I don’t think we should put too much weight on one interview. We have to get on and think about how to help make this happen.’

Tzipi Hotovely, 45, said in the interview: ‘I think it’s about time for the world to realise that the Oslo paradigm failed on October 7 and we need to build a new one’

Foreign Secretary David Cameron has condemned the Israeli Ambassador’s ‘disappointing’ dismissal of calls for a two-state solution in Palestine

Palestinians salvage their belongings after an Israeli strike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on December 13, 2023

He said the process would involve achieving a ‘sustainable’ ceasefire, ‘ie Hamas not capable of doing what they did’, ensuring security and stability for Gaza and revitalising the Palestinian Authority.

It comes as Lord Cameron today ramped up the pressure on Israel by announcing ‘extremist settlers’ responsible for violence against Palestinians will be banned from Britain.

As he announced the move, the Foreign Secretary said Israel ‘must take stronger action to stop settler violence and hold the perpetrators accountable’.

Ms Hotovely said: ‘I think the biggest question is: ‘What type of Palestinians are at the other side?”

She continued: ‘The answer is absolutely no and I’ll tell you why. Israel knows today and the world should know now, the reason the Oslo accord failed is because the Palestinians never wanted to have a state next to Israel. They want to have a state from the river to the sea.’

When it was put to her that the two-state solution might be dead, she said: ‘Why are you so obsessed with a formula that never worked, that created this radical people in the other side? Why are you obsessed with that?’ 

Ms Hotovely, 45, also complained about the fact that the Palestinian Authority had refused to condemn the 7 October attack.

A view of demolished buildings after Israeli attacks in Gaza City, Gaza, on December 13, 2023

Smoke rising in Shuja’iyya neighbourhood of Gaza is seen from Israel as it continues to deploy soldiers, tanks, military aircraft and armoured vehicles on Gaza Strip in Nahal Oz, Israel, on December 13, 2023

Speaking of events last night, she was asked about UN demands for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

She replied: ‘Ceasefire? No. It just basically means we would like to welcome another attack [like that seen on] 7 October.’

She also pushed back on US President Joe Biden’s comments on Tuesday suggesting that Gaza was being bombed ‘indiscriminately’.

She said: ‘Do you remember any country in the world creating a humanitarian corridor to the enemy? I don’t remember you helping Nazi Germany during the war, and I don’t remember America helping the Japanese during the Second World War.’ 

Last month, Ms Hotovely appeared on Andrew Marr’s LBC programme when she was asked about the idea of a ‘two-state solution’, in which Israel would co-exist alongside an independent Palestine state.

Mr Marr asked about a two-state solution, saying: ‘You don’t think that after what happened on October 7 a two-state solution is any longer possible?’

Ms Hotovely replied: ‘It’s not possible because as we speak, the leader in the politic of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, refuses to condemn those horrific crimes that Hamas committed, so he doesn’t even try to look like a different leader than the leaders that are in Gaza.’

The October 7 massacres have been described as Israel’s 9/11. Around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered by Hamas terrorists.

In retaliation, Israel has launched an offensive on Gaza City which has caused thousands of civilian casualties.

Israeli authorities insist they do not want to occupy Gaza permanently at the end of the war and that its troops are trying to root out Hamas and the remaining hostages taken by the terrorists in a bid to guarantee Israel’s own security.

Ms Hotovely pointed out that Israel ended its occupation of the strip 18 years ago.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was slammed by the ambassador for ‘refusing to condemn’ the October 7 attack

Palestinian members of the Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas burn military armored vehicle belonging to Israeli forces near Gaza Strip, Gaza on October 7

Ms Hotovely added: ‘In 2005, we left Gaza, so we had no interest in controlling the people of Gaza.

‘But the problem that created the seventh of October was the fact that Israel had zero security control on all the ammunition in Gaza.

‘So the prime minister said that in order to demilitarise the Gaza Strip, Israel must have military abilities in the Gaza Strip, like we have in many other places in the region in order to protect our people.

‘And I’m afraid no other country will volunteer to demilitarise the Gaza Strip.’

Ms Hotovely has been described as a hardliner, and while serving under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as his settlements minister she made a speech in which she said Israel had tried too hard to appease the world.

Her appointment as the ambassador to the UK caused controversy, with critics saying she was a supporter of the annexation of Palestinian land.

The ambassador has hit out at the UK on occasion since the war started and claimed that London feels less safe for Jews than Israel.

Writing for the Daily Mail on October 12, Ms Hotovely said: ‘In the UK, anti-Semitism is on the rise – a 324 per cent rise from this period last year – and as a mother here, it truly pains me to read that pupils of Jewish schools in this country have been told not to wear their blazers on the way to school.’

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph on November 2, she said that the Jewish community felt fear due to ‘jihad ideology’ witnessed during pro-Palestinian protests in the capital city over the past month.

Ms Hotovely, who has previously been called ‘Zionist scum’ and harassed by angry mobs on Britain’s streets, said that even in a democracy, freedom of speech needed to be limited to prevent people spouting hatred.

Ms Hotovely pointed out that Israel ended its occupation of the strip 18 years ago

She told the outlet: ‘Since those demonstrations started, I keep getting WhatsApp messages from friends in Israel. They ask me: ‘Do you feel safe there? Do Jews feel safe?’

‘They feel like London is less safe during this war than Israel. They see the same jihadi ideology on the streets of London as in Gaza and they wonder what is going on.’

Ms Hotovely, who was the first woman ever appointed to her position, has herself has been subjected to vile anti-semitic abuse whilst speaking across Britain.

Last year, she was branded ‘Zionist scum’ by protesters who tried to block her car as she attended a Cambridge Union debate.

The protesters were heard chanting Hamas slogans and set off flares as they demonstrated.

In 2021, she branded hard-Left activists ‘shameful’ after they tried to intimidate her following a lecture at the London School of Economics.

The diplomat was harassed by an angry mob after delivering a lecture to the LSE’s student union debating society.

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