40 Brazil diplomats oppose Israeli 'settler' envoy

Career diplomats support their government's position on appointment of ex-Yesha Council leader Dani Dayan.

Gil Ronen,

Dani Dayan
Dani Dayan
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

A group of 40 retired Brazilian diplomats signed a statement against Israel’s appointment of Dani Dayan – former head of the Yesha Council in Judea and Samaria – as ambassador in Brasila, JTA reported Sunday.

The career diplomats sided with their government in the matter and claimed that Israel bypassed diplomatic protocol in appointing Dayan, since the decision was not preceded by any communication with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, and Dayan’s credentials were not presented to Brasilia to obtain its agreement to the appointment.

“We consider it unacceptable," the former diplomats wrote in a statement dated Friday. "The rupture of the diplomatic practice seems to have been on purpose. We support the Brazilian Government’s position on this issue and wish that the current episode is quickly overcome, so we can, together, strengthen the bonds between the two countries.”

The diplomats came out against remarks by Senator Marcelo Crivella, who said last week that rejecting Dayan would convey a message of support for boycotts of Israel, and that “the fact that he defends settlements in the West Bank is a weak motive for such discourtesy and so much political inability.”

JTA noted that Israel is expected to withdraw Dayan's name as proposed ambassador to Brazil, ending a five-month diplomatic row.

The people who ignited the dispute were three Israel ex-diplomats: former Director General of the Foreign Ministry Alon Liel, who also served as Israel's ambassador in South Africa and as head of the Israeli embassy in Turkey, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Ilan Baruch, and former Israeli ambassador to Paris Élie Barnavi.

The 40 Brazilian diplomats opened their statement by remembering Ambassador Luis Martins de Sousa Dantas, one of Righteous Among the Nations from Brazil recognized by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, for saving hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust, and Oswaldo Aranha, the Brazilian diplomat who presided over the United Nations session that created the State of Israel in 1947.