Al Quds, 17 Rabi’ul Awwal 1437/28 December 2015 (MINA) – Brazil’s reluctance to accept an Israeli ambassador who is a West Bank colonist has set off a diplomatic crisis and led to concerns in the Israeli government that the clash could encourage pro-Palestinian activism against it.
The appointment four months ago of Dani Dayan, a former head of the Jewish colony movement, did not go down well with Brazil’s left-leaning government, which has supported Palestinian statehood in recent years.
Most world powers deem the Jews-only colonies on Palestinian land as illegal, Palestinian News Network quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The regime’s previous ambassador, Reda Mansour, left Brasilia last week and the Israeli government said on Sunday that Brazil risked degrading bilateral relations if Dayan was not allowed to succeed him.
“Israel will leave the level of diplomatic relations with Brazil at the secondary level if the appointment of Dani Dayan is not confirmed,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel’s Channel 10 TV, saying Dayan would remain the sole nominee.
She said Israel would lobby Brasilia through the Brazilian Jewish community, confidants of President Dilma Rousseff and direct appeals from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Brazilian government officials declined to comment on whether Rousseff will accept the nomination of the Argentine-born Dayan.
But one senior Foreign Ministry official said: “I do not see that happening.”
The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said Israel would have to choose a different envoy because the choice of Dayan has further worsened relations that turned sour in 2010 when Brazil decided to recognise Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in a 1967 war and colonised.
Israel quit Gaza in 2005 but claims occupied Jerusalem as its “indivisible capital” and wants to keep swathes of West Bank colonies under any eventual peace deal with the Palestinians.
Rousseff’s predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, angered Israel by drawing Brazil closer to Iran.
Tensions rose last year when an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman called Brazil a “diplomatic dwarf” after Brasilia recalled its ambassador from Israel to protest a military offensive in Gaza.(T/P008/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)