Tzipi Hotovely

Tzipi Hotovely
Hotovely in January 2017
Date of birth (1978-12-02) 2 December 1978
Place of birth Rehovot, Israel
Knessets 18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
2009– Likud

Tzipi Hotovely (Hebrew: ציפי חוטובלי, born 2 December 1978) is an Israeli politician, who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Likud, and as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2015.

Hotovely is a doctorate student at the Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv University. Hotovely practises Orthodox Judaism, and is a self-described "religious right-winger".[1] In 2009, she was the 18th Knesset's youngest member. She is described as the "ideological voice" of the Likud Party.[2] She chaired the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women in the 18th Knesset, before joining the government at the beginning of the 19th Knesset in 2013.[3]


Hotovely was born and raised in Rehovot, Israel. Her parents, Gabriel and Roziko Hotovely, were Georgian-Jewish immigrants. Her political career has been a source of pride in Israel's Georgian community.[4] She graduated from the Bnei Akiva ulpanit (a national-religious high school for girls) in Tel Aviv and subsequently served two years of Sherut Leumi, an alternative form of national service to military service available to religious women, as a tour guide in Beit HaRav Kook museum in Jerusalem and as a Jewish Agency representative in Atlanta.

She completed her bachelor's and master's degrees in law at Bar-Ilan University, graduating with honors. Upon completion of her academic studies she interned in the law office of Ram Caspi in Tel Aviv, specializing in corporate law, and became a certified lawyer in 2003. Between 2003 and 2005 she served as the editor of Bar-Ilan's Journal of Law, and later began her studies for a doctorate at Tel Aviv University. During her studies she was active in the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS), and represented the organization at a student conference in South Africa. She was also the representative of the World Bnei Akiva movement in Paris. She also studied at the Bruria Seminary in Jerusalem, and the Girl's Seminary at Bar-Ilan University.

Media career

In 2006, Hotovely joined the panel of the political discussion program Moetzet HaHahamim (Council of the Wise) on Channel 10, hosted by Dan Margalit. Among the panel's members were journalists Amnon Dankner, the late Tommy Lapid, Ari Shavit, and Gideon Levy. Hotovely represented the right wing on the panel, and was among the critics of the Olmert government following the 2006 Lebanon War. She supported the reserve soldiers' demonstrations and called on the country's leadership to resign.

Also in 2006, she started writing opinion pieces for Maariv concerning current political issues, and since 2007, she has written a regular column in the Judaism section of nrg concerning links between topics in Judaism and current events. She took part in several television programs on Channel 2: Osim Seder (Putting in Order) with Ben Caspit, Talking of Current Events with Dalia Neumann, and Medinat Halakha with Uri Orbach and Sarah Blau. She also participated as a guest host in the program HaBayit HaYehudi (The Jewish Home) on Channel 1.

Political career

On 11 November 2008, Hotovely announced that she was joining Likud, and would compete in the party's primaries for the 2009 Knesset elections. She won 18th place on the party's list, and became a member of the Knesset when Likud won 27 seats.[5] While a member of the Knesset's Committee on the State of Women and Gender Equality in 2011, she invited representatives from Lehava (Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land), a group whose primary objective is to oppose assimilation of Jews and which objects to any personal or business relationships between Jews and non-Jews,[6][7] to a discussion of the tactics used by the organization to prevent romantic relationships between Jews and Arabs. Hotovely defended her decision at the time, saying, "it is important to me to check systems to prevent mixed marriages, and Lehava are the most suitable for this."[8]

In March 2011, she wrote that Israeli author Amos Oz was naive, after he sent a Hamas leader a copy of his auto-biography, writing that Oz would lack even the instinct to distinguish between Mordechai and Haman.[9]

In July 2011, Hotovely met with Glenn Beck. She told him that "this [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict isn't territorial...This is a religious battle led by Islam. We can't ignore this basic truth."[10]

In December 2011, as part of the Haredi-secular conflict in Israel in winter of 2011-2012, Hotovely gained media attention by sitting at the front of a Mehadrin public bus used by the Haredi public, where women are asked to sit at the back of the bus.[11]

She was re-elected in the 2013 elections, after winning fifteenth place on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list, and was appointed Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety in the new government. She was also appointed Deputy Minister of Minister of Science and Technology in December 2014, after Yaakov Peri quit as the minister. Following the 2015 elections, in which she was re-elected in twentieth place on the Likud list, she was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new government.

In July 2017, following the declaration of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site by UNESCO[12] Hotovely addressed the Arab members of Knesset in a speech, holding up the Tanakh in one hand and A History of the Palestinian People in the other saying "I recommend to UNESCO and to the Arab Knesset members to read these two books, the Bible which tells the story of the Jewish people, and Assaf Voll's new bestseller, A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era. It will captivate you because it is empty. Because the Palestinians don't have kings and they don't have heritage sites".[13][14]

Views and opinions

Hotovely rejects Palestinian statehood aspirations, supporting a Greater Israel spanning over the entire land of current Israel along with the Palestinian territories.[15] She later reiterated her position in a speech to Israeli diplomats on 22 May 2015, rejecting criticism from the international community regarding the West Bank settlement policies and saying that Israel has tried too hard to appease the world and must stand up for itself. She said, "We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country." She added, "This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that." She has also stated that she will make every effort to achieve global recognition for West Bank settlements, as well as asserting that Israel owes no apologies for its policies in the Holy Land towards the Palestinians. She justified her position as she referenced religious texts to back her belief that Judea and Samaria belongs to the Jewish people.[16]

In October 2015, in an interview with the Knesset Channel, Hotovely said: "It's my dream to see the Israeli flag flying on the Temple Mount." She added: "I think it's the center of Israeli sovereignty, the capital of Israel, the holiest place for the Jewish people," despite the government's insistence that it has no intention of changing the status quo at the site.[17][18]

Alongside fellow politician Avraham Michaeli, she is one of the most prominent Jewish Georgians in Israel, and takes part in events to celebrate the Georgian-Jewish community.[19] In the Knesset, she sponsored a national authority bill to preserve and recognise the heritage of Georgian Jews.[20]

In a 22 November 2017 interview with Israel's I24news, she said most American Jews "don't understand the complexities of the region" [the Middle East] because they "never send their children to fight for their country. Most of the Jews don't have children serving as soldiers."[21]

Personal life

On 27 May 2013, Hotovely married Or Alon, a lawyer[22] in a wedding that had 2,500 guests.[23] She gave birth to her first daughter in 2014, and to her second in 2016.[24][25]


  1. Lehmann, Sara (1 July 2009). "Likud's Rising Star - Single, Female And Religious". The Jewish Press. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  2. Young Israelis of the year: MK Tzipi Hotovely, 30: Trying to change the world, Jpost, Magazine, 09/17/2009 14:49
  3. "ציפי חוטובלי, למישהו אכפת מזכויותיה של אשה?" Chairperson of the Committee on the Status of Women, Press Releases, 03/08/2011,
  4. Shalom Koboshvili : Georgia’s Jewish Heritage by Milad Doroudian, May 12, 2014 | 9:08 am
  5. Ilan, Shahar. "The freshman". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  6. Lehava 'Hotline' to Help Prevent Intermarriage, Assimilation Israel National News, 9 Sept 2013
  7. Meet Lehava, the Israeli Fascists Mounting a Vicious Crusade to Keep their Women Away from Arabs International Business Times, 22 Sept 2014
  8. Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely tells world: Don't be afraid of me YNET, 16 May 2015.
  9. Book of Esther: Jewish fate ever since, Tzipi Hotovely, Israel Today, 17 March 2011
  10. LAHAV HARKOV. Beck’s love for Israel not ‘right’ enough for some MKs. Jerusalem Post.
  11. Female MK to sit at front of 'mehadrin' bus The Jerusalem Post
  12. "Israelis outraged by UNESCO decision on Hebron holy site". Associated Press. ABC News. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  13. Hotovely to Arab MKs: You are thieves of history, Arutz7, 13 July 2017
  14. ‘You are thieves of history!’ Hotovely tells Palestinians, waving books at them, Mondoweiss, Jonathan Ofir, July 16, 2017
  15. "Hotovely laments Likud 'schizophrenia' on two states". The Jerusalem Post. 28 August 2013.
  16. "Israel's new deputy foreign minister: 'This land is ours". The Guardian. 22 May 2015.
  17. "Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister: I Dream of Israeli Flag on Temple Mount". The Times of Israel. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  18. Lis, Jonathan; Ravid, Barak (26 October 2015). "Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister: I Dream of Israeli Flag on Temple Mount". Haaretz. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  19. A gala evening in Tel Aviv 23-12-2012
  20. הצעת חוק הרשות הלאומית למורשת יהדות גיאורגיה (גרוזיה), התשס"ט
  21. . Her statement came as she was addressing increased tensions between Israel and U.S. Jewry.
  22. Likud-MK-Tzipi-Hotovely-gets-engaged Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely gets engaged By LAHAV HARKOV, 02/02/2013 20:48
  23. הערב המרגש של חוטובלי, וכמעט של כולם
  24. Tzipi Hotovely's Firstborn Daughter Named Ma'ayan Arutz Sheva, 3/24/2014
  25. Deputy Foreign Minister gives birth to daughter: Second daughter born to Tzipi Hotovely; Eliraz to join sister Maayan and father Or Elon. Arutz Sheva, April 24, 2016.

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