Brazil has delayed the approval of Dani Dayan as Israel’s ambassador because of his connection with the settlement movement. Dayan was appointed four months ago by Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the Foreign Ministry portfolio. Normally, the host country automatically accepts the appointment of a new ambassador, but the Brazilian government has yet to reject or accept Dayan’s appointment, despite the previous ambassador, Dr. Reda Mansour, returning to Israel earlier in the week.
Dayan, originally from Argentina, served as head of the Council of Judea and Samaria (Yesha Council) from 2007-2013 and has expressed views opposing Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution.
Israeli Knesset Member, Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) sent a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, requesting that her government not approve Dayan’s appointment, citing a 2012 New York Times op-ed he wrote defending Jewish settlements, which Jabareen claimed were illegal. He also objected to a settler serving as ambassador.
“Dayan has consistently acted with blatant disregard for international law and norms, and has been spearheading various initiatives that directly violate the Palestinian people’s basic rights,” Jabareen wrote. “Dayan is a settler who is ideologically committed to the development of the settlements – a policy Brazil recognizes as illegal under international law.”
“Approving his appointment as ambassador would legitimize his criminal ideology and practices, and send a resounding message that Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people has no consequences in the international arena.”
After Dayan’s appointment in September, the left-wing Peace NGO Forum and three former Israeli ambassadors met with the Brazilian ambassadors to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, asking them to reject his appointment.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon slammed their actions.
“These are Israeli citizens who have lost all shame and who belong to the political fringes,” Ya’alon wrote in a post on his Facebook page. “It is because of such behavior that Israel is under attack in the world and subject to attempts to delegitimize it.”
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States and Knesset Member, Michael Oren, also criticized their actions, writing on his Facebook page, “The three ambassadors trying to block his appointment have moved from labeling products to labeling individuals.”
Protocol states that a country wishing to appoint an ambassador must submit an official request for a writ of consent from the host nation. If the host nation does not issue this consent, the appointment cannot go forward.