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Cambridge students stage sit-in, disrupt zionist ‘israeli’ ambassador’s speech

A speech by zionist ambassador to the United Kingdom Tzipi Hotovely has been disrupted at the Cambridge University after students staged a sit-in to protest against the envoy's presence.

More than 100 students gathered outside the Cambridge Union building, where Hotovely was due to deliver a speech on Tuesday, as they held Palestinian flags and chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine,”  “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” and “Shame on you,” Middle East Eye reported.

The event was hosted by the union despite criticism from an array of student groups. As the Israeli envoy spoke, the protesters carrying drums and placards moved to the back of the building where the ambassador’s convoy was parked, and started shouting slogans via a sound speaker.

They then staged a sit-in and blocked the entrance to the car park, as police armed with tasers attempted to clear the protest.

Sources inside the union who attended the talks told MEE that the Israeli ambassador’s speech was cut short due to the noise from the protests.

The students broke their sit-in after being told that the protest successfully disrupted Hotovely’s speech.

The Israeli envoy was later shielded by an umbrella and bundled into her car as protesters remained outside chanting slogans against her.

A Cambridge University Palestine Society spokesperson, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the protest had been organized in opposition to the “system” Hotovely represents. 

“Hotovely represents and upholds a state apparatus which multiple organizations have named as committing crimes against humanity and apartheid,” the spokesperson told MEE, adding that no one who represents an entity “engaging in illegal practices and abuse of human rights” should be given a platform in our city and university.

“This protest is not only about condemning Hotovely as an individual and what she has said but rejecting the practices she engages in and represent, such as rallying settlers to be violent to Palestinians and engage in illegal practices and abuse of human right.”

In November last year, hundreds of furious students also gathered outside the London School of Economics to condemn the university after its debate society invited Hotovely to deliver a lecture on the Israel-Palestine conflict at an evening event.

Hotovely made national headlines when footage of her being rushed into her car as student activists protested against her presence on campus was posted online.

The ambassador accused the students of anti-Semitism, but students hit back and said their protest was not discriminatory.

Appointed in 2020, Hotovely has been condemned over comments she made targeting Arabs and Islam. She once reportedly denied Palestine’s existence and notoriously said the Nakba was “a great Arab lie.” She has also opposed any Palestinian claim to the occupied West Bank, Gaza, or East al-Quds, while supporting the expansion of Israeli settlements.  

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital.

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