Protesting against the Israeli Ambassador

Union to host Israeli Ambassador despite previous visit controversy

The Oxford Union has announced its intention to hold an event featuring the Israeli Ambassador to the UK for the second time within a year. The event, which will take the form of a panel involving the Ambassadors to the UK of Israel, The UAE and Bahrain, will discuss the Abraham Accords this Thursday at 8pm.

The event is likely to prove controversial. The Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, is known for her extreme views on Palestinians and Israel’s claim to the West Bank. Furthermore, this is the second time within the past year that Hotovely has been invited to the Union, after she gave a speech in Trinity 2022.

Last time she was invited, dozens protested the event. There was significant controversy after one student from the Oxford Students’ Palestinian Society was forcibly removed from in front of a gate by police. 

Furthermore, the Oxford Student received testimony that suggested Israeli security intimated and endangered student protestors. Israeli security were also seen arguing with Union security and the President in order to try and keep out Members who they’d seen at the protest. At the time, students expressed concerns that they were racially profiled. One student noted, “it’s no surprise that we were [all] brown students.”

The event was not included in the termcard and has only been announced two days before it is due to take place. This raises similarities to last Trinity, when the event was only announced the day before as well. The Union commented that “an operationally complex event such as this is challenging to schedule”. 

The Union stressed that for this event, “the ultimate decision on admission lies with the President”. However, there will still be additional security measures in place. The Union’s buildings will close at 4pm, and there will be search protocols alongside membership card checks.

The decision to host Hotovely again was presented to the Standing Committee on Monday. However, the Union told The Oxford Student “No concerns were raised in the meeting or since by members of Standing Committee.” Hotovely is an intensely controversial character, as she asserts that the entirety of the West Bank belongs to Israel and has directed racial insults at Arab members of the Knesset.

It is expected that there will be protests at the event, although the scale is not yet known.


Certain parts of the image have been blurred to protect the identity of protesters.