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Brazil Rejects Deplorable Israeli Envoy Choice


By Stephen Lendman

Last August, Netanyahu announced former settler leader Dani Dayan as new Israeli ambassador to Brazil, without consulting its Foreign Ministry, a simple courtesy.

Dayan is a hardline racist, former settler Yesha Council leader, ideologically over-the-top, committed to ethnic cleansing for exclusive Jewish development - earlier calling the B’Tselem human rights group “an anti-Zionist tool for the destruction of Israel,” his likely view about all groups supporting Palestinian rights.

The New York Times one-sidedly supports Israel, earlier calling Dayan “worldly and pragmatic,” claiming “by living in the West Bank rather than yielding it to become a Palestinian state,” he’s protecting it as a “shield…and the survival of Israel itself” - ignoring settlement illegality under international law.

On December 30, a Brazil press statement said its government “objected to Israel’s appointment of Israeli Ambassador Dani Dayan because of his former role as the head of an Israeli settler movement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, and his continued residence in an Israeli settlement.”

“Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law.”

“In response, Israel has threatened Brazil that it will downgrade diplomatic relations unless it accepts Dayan, an Israeli settler, as its ambassador.”

“Relations between the two countries have been tense since 2010. They soured further last year when Brazil withdrew its ambassador from Israel in diplomatic protest against what it called the ‘disproportionate use of force’ by Israel in its attacks on the Palestinian Gaza Strip” - committing major war crimes unaccountably.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly rejects Dayan over concerns of it “be(ing) understood as support for Israeli settlements.”

She remains angry about Netanyahu’s choice. He shows no signs of backing down, Dayan saying it would set a precedent, unwilling to step aside responsibly and end the current controversy.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Dayan won’t be replaced. She claims an “action plan” to pressure Brazil to accept an envoy it rejects - hardly proper diplomatic protocol, commonplace Israeli practice, demanding its way without compromise.

According to Haaretz, she’ll summon “the Brazilian ambassador in Israel immediately after the first of the year, when he would be told that the failure to grant consent to Dayan’s appointment would result in a severe crisis between the two countries.”

“At the same time, the Israeli embassy in Brasilia (will) initiate activity vis-a-vis the Jewish community and friends of Israel in Brazil to enlist their support for Dayan’s appointment.”

“The embassy (will) also work with Brazilian members of parliament, urging them to publicly support Dayan as ambassador.”

“One of the messages that will be conveyed to the Brazilians is that Dayan’s nomination has support from across the political spectrum in Israel, Hotovely noted.”

“The Foreign Ministry will use all the tools at its disposal to have Dani Dayan’s appointment go through. The state of Israel will not accept the phenomenon of disqualifying an ambassador over (his) ideological background, and we will act through diplomatic means to make that known in the clearest fashion.”

So far, neither side is yielding. More than disrupted diplomacy is at stake. Brazil is Israel’s second largest South American trading partner. Business ties are up for grabs perhaps if Netanyahu stays hardline.

After Brazil recalled its ambassador during the height of Israeli summer 2014 naked aggression, Israel called its government an “irrelevant diplomatic partner…a diplomatic dwarf.”

Israel needs Brazil much more than the other way around - its products and technology easily gotten elsewhere, high time Rousseff called Netanyahu’s bluff and moved on, leaving him the diplomatic squabble loser, another black mark on his rap sheet.

If she holds firm, Israel will be represented by its current second in command to its present ambassador Raed Mansour, back home since last week, not planning to return.

Dayan told Israeli television viewers the issue reflects BDS activism, adding there’s “an optical illusion here” on whether any Judea and Samaria resident can become an Israeli envoy - failing to explain he lives on stolen Palestinian land, earlier representing all Israeli settlers grievously violating international law.

He urged “the government (and) state to take a (hardline) stand on this issue.” It’s Rousseff’s responsibility to stay firm. Principles matter. So does the rule of law.

Slapping Israel down hard and much more makes it easier for other nations to do the same thing - the way great victories are won, one successful battle at a time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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