Israel, Brazil near to diplomatic standoff

By Shira Rubin, January 25, 2016
Danny Dayan

Danny Dayan

Israel and Brazil remain at loggerheads five months after Brazil refused to recognise Israel's appointment of a right-wing settler as its next envoy to the South American country.

If Brazil formally rejects the appointment, as is expected, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not send a replacement envoy. Such a move would be a "de-facto degradation in relations" between the two countries, according to a Channel 2 report last week.

The tapped diplomat, Danny Dayan, is an immigrant from Argentina and a former head of the Yesha Council, the representative organisation of the West Bank Jewish settler community.

The appointment prompted condemnation from the Brazilian government, which has advocated for an independent Palestinian state and hit out at West Bank settlements.

"Settlers are Zionist agents that the world cannot accept, they steal others' land, they are an insult to Brazil, to the government, and to millions of Brazilians with roots in the Arab world," said Brazilian MP Carlos Maron.

Last month, 40 former Brazilian diplomats signed a petition saying that Israel had failed to heed protocol. Rather than first checking its appointment with Brasilia, Mr Dayan's appointment had been announced on Twitter.

Last updated: 4:36pm, January 25 2016