Israeli envoy to UK: ‘Absolutely no’ chance of a Palestinian state

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely is interviewed by Sky News on December 13, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely is interviewed by Sky News on December 13, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Tzipi Hotovely explicitly rejects the idea of a Palestinian state, doubling down on messaging from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who in recent weeks has butted heads with the Biden administration by ruling out the idea of the Palestinian Authority returning to govern Gaza after the war.

In an interview with Sky News, Hotovely is repeatedly asked whether a peace scenario with Israel can include a Palestinian state.

“The answer is absolutely no,” says Hotovely, who was a longtime member of Netanyahu’s Likud party before he tapped her as ambassador.

“I think it’s about time for the world to realize that the Oslo paradigm failed on the 7th of October and we need to build a new one,” the ambassador says, using the same rhetoric employed by Netanyahu days earlier.

“The reason the Oslo Accords 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,” she says.

When the interviewer pushes Hotovely again on why she won’t support a two-state solution, the ambassador shoots back, “Why are you obsessed with a formula that never worked, that created these radical people on the other side?”

The Israeli envoy goes on to argue that Gazans need to be “re-educated,” likening what she thinks needs to happen in the Strip to Germany and Japan after World War II.

“Those two societies turned out to be good Western countries,” Hotovely explains.

“At the moment, under the UN name, the UNRWA schools are becoming terror schools. If you have the UN involvement, forget about refugee camps. Why should they be refugees after 70 years of having an independent life? They could’ve built their own life, but they didn’t,” she continues.

The interviewer asks her whether she’s trying to replicate what China has done with the Uyghurs whom it has put into what it calls “re-education camps.”

“Absolutely not!” replies Hotovely. “This is what you did in Nazi Germany.”

“Obviously, we’re not interested in governing the Palestinians, but we are interested in making sure that Gaza won’t become another terror hub,” she says.

“We will demilitarize Gaza… and we believe that together with our allies and with the moderate Arab countries we can build a better future,” Hotovely claims.

Just yesterday though, the UAE announced that it would not support efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the war unless the initiative was part of a broader two-state solution initiative — a framework that Hotovely and Netanyahu flatly reject.

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