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Hotovely in January 2017
|Date of birth||2 December 1978|
|Place of birth||Rehovot, Israel|
|Knessets||18, 19, 20|
|Faction represented in Knesset|
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". In 2009, she was the 18th Knesset's youngest member. She is described as the "ideological voice" of the Likud Party. She regularly campaigns for improved women's rights, and 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.
Hotovely was born and raised in Rehovot, Israel. Her parents, Gabriel and Roziko Hotovely, were Georgian-Jewish immigrants. Her political career has been described as "sparking pride" in Israel's Georgian community. 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, 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 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 chose to continue her academic career, beginning 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.
In 2006, she 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 a regular column in the Judaism section of nrg, the subject being the link 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.
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 eighteenth place on the party's list, and became a member of the Knesset as Likud won 27 seats. While a member of the Knesset's Committee on the State of Women and Gender Equality in 2011, she invited representatives from the Lehava organization (Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land) to a discussion on their tactics in preventing 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." In 2015 Lehava was recognized in Israel as a terror organization; its primary objective is opposing assimilation of Jews, objecting to any personal or business relationships between Jews and non-Jews.
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.
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.
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 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".
Hotovely rejects Palestinian statehood aspirations, supporting a Greater Israel spanning over the entire land of current Israel along with the Palestinian territories. 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 (a move which is widely opposed by the international community), 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.
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.
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. In the Knesset, she sponsored a national authority bill to preserve and recognise the heritage of Georgian Jews.
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