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Tzipi Hotovely

(1978 - )

Tzipi Hotovely is an Israeli politician. She is a member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2009. On 18 March 2013 she joined the previous government of Israel as Deputy Minister of Transportation. As of 23 December 2014, she served Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Space. She was appointed as the Deputy Foreign Minister in the newest Israeli government, with no Foreign Minister officially appointed she is answerable directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hotovely is a doctorate student at the Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv University. Hotovely practises Orthodox Judaism and is a self-described "religious rightwinger". 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 is from a Georgian Jewish family. Her parents immigrated from Georgia, then part of the former Soviet Union, to Israel. Her political career has been described as 'sparking pride' in Israel's Georgian community. She was born and grew up in Rehovot and graduated from the 'Bnei Akiva' ulpanit (a national-religious high school for girls) in Tel Aviv. She subsequently served two years of national 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 has a higher education in Judaism, having 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 Orbakh 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, she announced that she was joining Likud, and would compete in the party's primaries for the 18th Knesset.

She made the 18th slot on the party's list for the 2009 elections, and became a member of the Knesset. 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 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."

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 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.

Hotovely rejects Palestinian statehood aspirations — she's for Eretz Israel, or a Greater Israel spanning over the entire land of current Israel along with the Palestinian territories.

In the Knesset, she sponsored a national authority bill to preserve and recognise the heritage of Georgian Jews.

She married Or Alon, a lawyer, on 27 May 2013, in a wedding that had 2500 guests. She gave birth to a daughter in 2014. Alongside fellow politician Avraham Michaeli, she is one of the most prominent Georgians in Israel, and takes part in events to celebrate the Georgian community.

Sources:Azulay, Moran. “Alaluf Committee head urges Netanyahu to appoint interim welfare minister,” Ynet News (December 23, 2014);
Lehmann, Sara. "Likud's Rising Star - Single, Female And Religious". The Jewish Press. (July 1. 2009);
“Young Israelis of the year: MK Tzipi Hotovely, 30: Trying to change the world,” Jpost, Magazine (September 17, 2009);
Doroudian, Milad. “Shalom Koboshvili : Georgia’s Jewish Heritage” ( May 12, 2014);
Ilan, Shahar. "The freshman". Haaretz (February 21, 2009);
Hotovely, Tzipi. “Book of Esther: Jewish fate ever since,” Israel Today (March 17, 2011);
Harkov, Lahav. “Beck's love for Israel not 'right' enough for some MK's,” Jerusalem Post (July 11, 2011);
Eichner, Itamar. “Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely tells world: Don't be afraid of me,” Ynet News, (May 15, 2015);
Lev, David. “Lehava 'hotline' to prevent intermarriage, assimilation,” Israel National News (September 9, 2013);
Kaye, Yasmin. “Meet Lehava, the Israeli fascists mounting a vicious crusade to keep their women away from Arabs,” International Business Times (September 22, 2014);
Harkov, Lahav. “Female MK to sit at front of 'mehadrin' bus,”Jerusalem Post (December 28, 2011);
Harkov, Lahav. “Hotovely laments Likud 'schizophrenia' on two states,” Jerusalem Post (August 28, 2013);
“Tzipi Hotovely's Firstborn Daughter Named Ma'ayan” Arutz Sheva (March 24, 2014)


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