Israel denies dropping Dayan as Brazil ambassador

Foreign Ministry dismisses reports Israel to drop Dayan as envoy due to Brazilian opposition; 'we don't have a fallback position.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Dani Dayan
Dani Dayan

Israel on Friday denied claims it was set to withdraw its nomination of former Yesha Council leader Dani Dayan as ambassador to Brazil after a six-month standoff between the two governments.

In a dispute that has soured relations, Brasilia has still not accepted the nomination of Danny Dayan, made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last August.

Brazil's government reportedly opposes Dayan, who as the Yesha Council's head and later foreign envoy represented Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, because of his opposition to a Palestinian state and because Israel failed to consult over its choice.

Last Sunday, the chairman of the Israeli parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, Tzachi Hanegbi, suggested the government had accepted defeat.

"We needn't delude ourselves; Dani Dayan will not be the ambassador to Brazil," Israeli media quoted him as saying.

Then on Thursday, Brazil approved the appointment of a lower level diplomat after a slight delay, sparking rumors of a deal.  

But foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon rubbished suggestions Dayan had been sidelined.

"The official Israeli position is Dayan is the person appointed and we expect the Brazilian authorities to agree to the appointment," Nahshon told AFP.

"We don't have a fallback position," he added, calling the timing of Brazil's approval of a new consul general a coincidence.

Dayan was born in Argentina and moved to Israel in 1971, aged 15.  

He headed the Yesha Council between 2007 and 2013 and is opposed to a Palestinian state.

Brazil recognized the Palestinian Authority as a "state" in 2010.

AFP contributed to this report.