Hotovely: Israel’s Trade Has Doubled in Last Seven Years; We Are Courted by World Leaders

“A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli, commenting on UK PM David Cameron’s anti-settlement statement last week, which was complemented by hundreds of illegal BDS ads in London’s tubes in honor of “Apartheid Week,” told a Channel 10 News panel Saturday night that Israel’s standing in the world is great.

“Our relationship with Britain is very good, [the UK is] an ally of Israel,” Hotoveli told the panel. “Cameron’s statement reflects his view regarding the settlements and the status of eastern Jerusalem is controversial. Israel’s elected government’s view is that we will remain in the eastern part of the city, and that a united Jerusalem is the only thing that protects Arabs and Jews alike.”

“As someone who truly believes that Jerusalem is our eternal capital [I say], we must understand one thing — when [Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2007] offered one tiny possibility of dividing the city, we got shooting at [the Jewish neighborhood of] Gilo in return, our citizens couldn’t live in peace. We cannot afford terrorist enclaves near the Western Wall.”

While other panelists, such as former Israeli ambassador to the US, MK Michael Oren [Kulanu], MK Omer Bar-Lev (Zionist Camp), and leftwing journalist Gideon Levi pointed out that Israel is turning into an international pariah, being under attack in the West, and now in America as well, Hotoveli insisted things have never been better for Israel abroad.

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“In the past seven years, what happened in terms of Israel’s status in the world is that more and more European leaders are acting against the boycotts,” Hotoveli said. Cameron has legislated against the BDS and Angela Merkel is saying this is not the right time for the two-state solution. There’s a European disillusionment. There’s no need to get excited over an ad that was put up in Britain for a minute and a half, and see it as representing the whole. We must view things in terms of economics, and in terms of bolstering our relations with Arab states who see Iran as the real threat.”

I’ve met with more than 40 leaders during my service at the foreign ministry,” Hotoveli, who became Deputy Minister this term, said. “They want to be close to Israel. Our foreign trade was doubled over the past seven years. Not only are we not isolated in the world, we’re being courted by many countries in the West, in East Asia, in Africa. The president of Kenya arrives to sign a regional pact. The CEO of Microsoft wants to build a development center here. There’s the problem of the Palestinian propaganda — they lost in the battlefield and in economic boycotts, so they’re going with propaganda.”

According to Hotoveli, peace with the Palestinians will look nothing like the Camp David agreement between Sadat and Begin. The only realistic path Israel must follow is “to act from below, through social infrastructures, against incitement and propaganda,” she said.