Rivlin Apologizes to Brazil Over 'Diplomatic Dwarf' Comment
President Reuven Rivlin apologized to his Brazilian counterpart for a remark by a foreign ministry spokesman calling the Latin American powerhouse a "diplomatic dwarf," AFP reported on Tuesday.
The comment in July was made by spokesman Yigal Palmor after Brazil criticized Israel's military campaign in Gaza as excessive and recalled its envoy in Tel Aviv.
According to AFP, in a phone call Monday, Rivlin assured Brazil President Dilma Rousseff that Palmor's comments "do not correspond to the sentiments of the population" of Israel, Rousseff's office said in a statement.
Rousseff had criticized Palmor's remarks, saying, "Words, including the spokesman's, sometimes create a very bad climate. In this case, we have to be very careful."
In the phone call, her office said, Rousseff "condemned the attacks on Israel" by Hamas, and "reiterated Brazil's historic position ... defending the co-existence between Israel and Palestine as sovereign, economically viable and, above all, safe states."
Rousseff "expressed hope for the continuation of the ceasefire and the current negotiations," the statement said.
Brazil was one of five Latin American countries to recall their envoys from Israel over misconceptions regarding Operation Protective Edge, in a move Israel condemned as showing "encouragement for Hamas."
The other countries were Peru, El Salvador, Chile and Ecuador, who’s president last week cancelled his visit to Israel due to “Israeli attacks against the Palestinians”.
Meanwhile, Bolivia renounced a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its offensive in Gaza, and declared it a terrorist state.