Brazil: Israel made 'mistake' appointing Dayan

Same Brazilian official who accused Israel of 'genocide' in 2014 says appointing a 'settlement' leader was a 'misstep' on Jerusalem's part.

Cynthia Blank,

Dani Dayan
Dani Dayan
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Appointing former Yesha Council chairman Dani Dayan to serve as ambassador to Brazil was a "mistake," a top official in Brasilia asserted Tuesday, in the first official response from Brazil over Jerusalem's choice of candidate. 

In a television interview, President Dilma Rousseff's diplomatic advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia declared Dayan's appointment controversial over Brazil's stance "against the occupation of Palestinian territories."

"Dayan was 'marked' by [his opinion] on two issues important to Brazilian foreign policy - the settlements, which most countries in the United Nations condemn as we do, and the fact he is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state," Garcia explained

Garcia, who accused Israel in 2014 of committing "genocide" in Gaza, said Jerusalem had also violated diplomatic protocol by announcing the nomination before officially informing the Brazilian government. 

"I think it was a misstep by the Israeli government," Garcia blasted. "First of all, breaking a diplomatic rule is not a frivolity."

Garcia noted that Israel's nomination of Dayan came "on the heels" of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and the diplomatic spat that resulted when Brazil offered harsh criticism of Israel's actions in Gaza. 

"At that time there was a disproportionate reaction and a third- or fourth-level official said Brazil was an irrelevant country, a diplomatic dwarf," Garcia said, referring to then Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. "The action was so disastrous that the Israeli president had to call President Dilma to apologize."

Despite accusing Israel of a "severe" breach of protocol, Garcia attempted to downplay the diplomatic tension between the two countries.

"There is no arm wrestling with a friendly country like Israel, with which Brazil's foreign policy had great ties even before the emergence of the State of Israel," he said. 




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