By Nick Clark
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2792

Cambridge students drown out speech by racist Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely

The protest came after a landmark Amnesty International report slammed Israel as an apartheid state
Issue 2792
Part of the Palestine solidarity protest in Cambridge, a person in the foreground holds a sign reading stop hosting hotovely

Students protest against Israeli apartheid in Cambridge (Picture: Rob Ferguson)

Students at Cambridge University disrupted a talk by Israel’s racist ambassador Tzipi Hotovely on Tuesday.

More than 100 protesters drowned out Hotovely as she spoke, chanting and banging drums outside the venue. They then sat down to block the road as she tried to leave.

Students from Cambridge Palestine Society called the protest after Hotovely was invited to speak at the Cambridge Union. It came after Tory and Labour politicians attacked students at the LSE university in London for protesting against Hotovely in November last year. They implied the protest was antisemitic, and supported calls for police action against the LSE students.

But students at Cambridge pushed ahead with the protest. They began the demonstration outside the front of the venue, where a handful of Cambridge Union members queued to get in. They then marched to the back of the venue, close to the room where Hotovely was speaking.

Protesters were told that people inside complained they couldn’t hear Hotovely over the noise from outside. As Hotovely tried to leave, protesters sat in the road, blocking the entrance to the car park as police tried to clear the way.

The protest came a week after a landmark Amnesty International report accused the Israeli state of apartheid and anti-Palestinian racism.

Mairead Healy works for Amnesty International UK. She told the protest, “Whether they live in Gaza, east Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group. Amnesty has found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amounts to apartheid.”  

In an open letter—signed by more than 1,200 people—Cambridge Palestine Society linked Hotovely’s own racism to Israel’s apartheid system. “Hotovely has repeatedly endeavoured to erase the history and existence of Palestinians,” it said. 

“While ambassador to the UK she has denied the Nakba—the premeditated ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in (and since) 1948—as an ‘Arab lie’ and a ‘made up story’. We call on everyone to oppose the hosting of this racist representative of a racist regime.”

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