Israel Threatens Downgrading Brazil Ties Unless “Settler” Ambassador Accepted

December 29, 2015

2 min read

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli (Likud) condemned Brazil’s government’s refusal to offer diplomatic accreditation to Israel’s next Ambassador because he resides in Judea and Samaria, saying, “There has never been a situation in the history of the State of Israel in which an ambassador was not accepted because of their ideology.” Hotoveli noted that Israel’s former ambassador to Brazil has concluded his term and “for the time being we are not appointing a new ambassador.”

Hotovely was speaking to Israel’s Channel 10 about the appointment of Danny Dayan, an advocate for the Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria who served as Chairman of the Yesha Council from 2007 – 2013, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Chief Foreign Envoy of the Yesha Council, the only official representative of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community, as Israel’s ambassador to Brazil. Brazil, which in 2010 recognized a Palestinian State, rejected Dayan’s appointment because of the above.

“It is clear that the situation in Brazil was caused by the political crisis the country is in,” said Hotoveli when asked whether the appointment had been checked with the Brazilian government before it was announced. She insisted the large evangelical community in Brazil, as well as the local Jewish community, are great friends of Israel.

Brazil has been mired in both a political and an economic crisis for some time, and both have increased greatly since late November, when the lower house began impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff on charges that she broke the budget law; Brazil lost its investment-grade status; and a senator and a billionaire banker were arrested as part of a corruption probe. But none of these pending catastrophes are being mended for the time being because Brazil is below the equator and everyone is home for summer vacation, to be followed by the Carnival. So, nothing will be resolved until March.

A senior Brazilian diplomat told Reuters there’s no way Dayan’s appointment will go into effect, and Israel will have to choose a different ambassador. But Dayan is a personal appointment of the prime minister, and snubbing him is like snubbing Bibi. Hence the Hotoveli unflinching attack, and her willingness to risk an open confrontation and a de facto downgrading of the diplomatic relations with one of the world’s biggest economies.

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