Israel stands in solidarity with you

EXCLUSIVE The Israeli Ambassador on Israel's action to defend itself and the impact on British Jews

May 19, 2021 14:23

We are going through difficult times in Israel. Israel is under attack by a terrorist organisation with a jihadist ideology, backed by Iran that aspires to replace Israel with an theocratic state. I know that many of you have family and loved ones in Israel who are currently experiencing the distressing realities of conflict.  Children, too young to fully comprehend the difficulty of the situation, fearing for their lives, have elderly relatives who are too fragile to quickly reach bomb shelters. This weekend we saw the same hateful radical ideology that controls the Gaza strip penetrate the streets of London, further highlighting the non-existing distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. We stand united against this extremism, and together we shall prevail.

Since the beginning of the current operation, I have been moved by the support that Israel has received from the Jewish community. People have called and written to the Embassy and sent messages of solidarity to the government and the IDF, who are doing everything possible to protect the lives of our citizens.  It was pleasing to witness the UK government also expressing its support to Israel’s right to defend itself and condemn Hamas for launching rockets on Israel’s civilian population indiscriminately, through Foreign Ministers frequent communication, and in high level conversation I’ve held over the last week – as we would have expected from a like-minded democratic friend.

Unfortunately, over the weekend, we have witnessed the devastating impact of Hamas’ nature even here in the UK. Be it in London, Manchester, smaller communities or online. Some pro-Palestinian activists tore up and stamped on Israeli flags, chanted antisemitic slurs and threw stones at the police. The vaccine-less pandemic of antisemitism and hate speech has spread further on social media platforms and in Jewish neighbourhoods. The fact that over this weekend, on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, we celebrated against the backdrop of calls to kill the Jews and rape their daughters, is alarming. Although the swift condemnation by Prime Minister Johnson, senior members of his cabinet, as well as the leader of the opposition, were reassuring, the prevalence and imminence of these behaviors should be of grave concern to us all. The people who committed these acts share the same radical ideology Hamas and Iran are promoting in our region; an ideology spread via social media to all corners of the world. This ideology is not interested in any form of dialogue or even acknowledging the existence of Israel, irrespective of borders. We should confront them together, not appease them.

Events in Israel have an impact on the entire Jewish people – as a community and as individuals, in your daily lives. Your care and concern goes beyond the safety and security of your loved ones. Indeed, the recent escalation has also challenged the delicate intricacies of Israeli society. It is in such times that we have to remember that although the violent minority is loud, the majority of Israelis, Jews and Arabs, have chosen for decades, day after day, to live together.

I believe that in this challenging period, it is evident that even if at times we may differ in our views, we are still united by our love of Israel and the Jewish people. It is of the utmost importance to me that you know that, as you stand in solidarity with Israel, the people and the State of Israel stands firmly in solidarity with you. 

Tzipi Hotovely is the Israeli Ambassador 




May 19, 2021 14:23

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