Israeli government’s nomination of Dani Dayan as its next ambassador to Brazil, and Brazil’s delay in approving the appointment, is heightening diplomatic tensions between the two governments.
One of the Brazilian government’s main critics over the chosen Israeli ambassador is that Benjamin Netanyahu skipped all diplomatic protocols when announced Dayan’s appointment: it was not preceded by any communication with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry nor any presentation of his credentials for an agreement.
Furthermore, it also does not see with good eyes the fact that Dayan is the former head of the Yesha Council, a representative body of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, which Brazil considers as illegal and an impediment to the creation of a future Palestinian state.
Speaking about the issue, Dayan stated in a recent interview:
“This is taking things to a new level. This is the first time a country is labeling people. The E.U. ambassador in Israel told me that while they are against the settlements as a government policy, they are not against the people who live there.”
Despite Israel’s government efforts to maintain Dayan’s appointment, on January 8, a group of 40 retired Brazilian diplomats signed a statement against it, re -stating discontentment with the way he was announced and with his role in the settlement movement.
“There is an initial surprise with the proposal of this gentleman as ambassador, for what he represents. But this surprise gained another dimension when it was done the way it was done.”
-said a Brazilian government official with 20 years of diplomatic experience, who spoke to an American news outlet on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the subject publicly.
Below is the translation of the Brazilian diplomats’ statement:
“Forty of the most reputed Brazilian Ambassadors signed the following note on Israel:
We, the retired diplomats undersigned, remembering Ambassador Luís Martins de Sousa Dantas, who saved hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust; pride of the role played;
We, the retired diplomats undersigned, remembering Ambassador Luís Martins’ memory representing Brazil at the United Nations when, with Osvaldo Aranha as the President of the UN General Assembly, the creation of the State of Israel was approved;
We consider it unacceptable that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has publicly announced the name of the person he intended to appoint as his country’s new Ambassador to Brazil before submitting it, in accordance to the norm, to our Government. This rupture with a diplomatic practice seems to have been on purpose, an attempt to establish facts, since the appointed, Dani Dayan, between 2007 and 2013, was the President of the Yesha Council, responsible for the settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal by the international community, and has already declared himself contrary to the creation of the Palestinian State, which counts on the support of the Brazilian Government and was already recognized by over 70% of the UN member States.
Under these conditions, 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 in a historical moment in which the conciliatory spirit becomes imperative.
Amaury Porto de Oliveira
Armando Victor Boisson Cardoso
Brian Michael Fraser Neele
Carlos Alberto Leite Barbosa
Carlos Eduardo Alves de Souza
Edgar Telles Ribeiro
Fernando Guimarães Reis
Fernando Silva Alves
Geraldo Holanda Cavalcanti
Heloisa Vilhena de Araujo
Hildebrando Tadeu Valladares
Joaquim A. Whitaker Salles
José Maurício Bustani
José Viegas Filho
Julio Cesar Gomes dos Santos
Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves
Luiz Felipe Lampreia
Luiz Orlando Carone Gelio
Marcílio Marques Moreira
Maria Celina Azevedo Rodrigues
Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg
Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães
Sergio Fernando Guarischi Bath
Sergio A. Florencio Sobrinho
Sergio Henrique Nabuco de Castro
Virgílio Moretzsohn de Andrade
Washington Luis P. Sousa”
Meanwhile, in Brazil solidarity with the Palestinians against the Israeli illegal occupation and for a free and independent Palestinian State is growing, despite the national media’s simplistic and overall biased coverage.
Recently, a BDS campaign was launched to alert two of the main popular singers in Brazil, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who sang in Tel Aviv last year.
They traveled despite the campaigns, but later, Veloso published an article condemning the Israeli occupation, saying he would never go back to Israel, and received heavy criticism from a fraction of the Jewish community.