Updated 07:40 AM EST, Sun, Feb 28, 2021

Former Head of Jewish Settlement Movement Appointed as Ambassador of Brazil, Israel Not Happy

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Four months ago, Argentina-born Dani Dayan was appointed by Israel as its ambassador in Brazil, but the nomination has not been approved by the South American nation.

Instead, Brazil remained stoic on Israel's deputy foreign minister's threats of leaving diplomatic relations "at secondary level," if Mr Dayan is not confirmed for the post. Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, "The State of Israel will leave the level of diplomatic relations with Brazil at the secondary level if the appointment of Dani Dayan is not confirmed," adding that Dayan will remain as the sole nominee.

Mr Dayan, according to The Guardian, is a former head of the Jewish Settlement movement, and this does not go well with Brazil's left-leaning government, which has supported Palestine in recent years. Like many world powers, Brazil also notes the Jewish settlements as illegal, and may be the reason they are refusing Dayan's appointment.

As of the moment, Brazilian government officials are refusing to comment regarding the nomination and whether or not current president, Dilma Roussef, will accept the nomination, but one senior Foreign Ministry official said that he does not see it happening.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Israel should choose a different envoy because pushing for Dayan's appointment has worsened relations that already turned sour in 2010, when Brazil decided to recognize Palestinian statehood.

According to the BBC, "The conflict between the two countries soured even further last year, when Brazil recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest of what it called disproportionate use of force in a summer offensive in Gaza. In response, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesman called Brazil a "democratic dwarf."

Spokesman Yigal Plamor said, "the moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions."

Meanwile, Dayan himself went on the offensive to defend his nomination, pointing out that the government was not doing enough to get Brazil to accept his nomination. He added that not doing so could create a precedent that could bar settlers from representing Israel abroad in the future.

Despite all the conflicts between the two countries, it has been noted that Brazil remains Israel's largest trading partner in South America.

Israel, on the other hand, has a significant role in providing avionic technology for Brazil's defense industry. However, a former Brazilian foreign and defense minister, Celso Amorim, said that the diplomatic dispute over Dayan's appointment may be the cause for the countries to finally cut their dependency on Israel as far as defense is concerned, saying that "it is time the Brazilian armed forces reduced their dependence on Israel."

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