The Israeli government’s nomination of Dani Dayan as its next ambassador to Brazil, and Brazil’s delay in approving the appointment, is heightening diplomatic tensions between the two governments.One of the Brazilian government’s main criticisms over the chosen Israeli ambassador is that Benjamin Netanyahu skipped all diplomatic protocols when announcing Dayan’s appointment: it was not preceded by any communication with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry nor any presentation of his credentials for an agreement.

Furthermore, according to the PNN, it does not it does not help that Dayan is the former head of the Yesha Council, a representative body of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, which Brazil considers an impediment to the creation of a future Palestinian state.

Speaking about the issue, Dayan stated in a recent interview:

“This is taking things to a new level. This is the first time a country is labeling people. The E.U. ambassador in Israel told me that while they are against the settlements as a government policy, they are not against the people who live there.”

Despite Israel’s government efforts to maintain Dayan’s appointment, on January 8, a group of 40 retired Brazilian diplomats signed a statement against it, restating discontentment with the way he was announced and with his role in the settlement movement.

“There is an initial surprise with the proposal of this gentleman as ambassador, for what he represents. But this surprise gained another dimension when it was done the way it was done,” said a Brazilian government official with 20 years of diplomatic experience, who spoke to an American news outlet on the condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to discuss the subject publicly.

Below is a translation of the Brazilian diplomats’ statement:

‘We, the retired diplomats undersigned, remembering Ambassador Luís Martins de Sousa Dantas, who saved hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust; pride of the role played;

We, the retired diplomats undersigned, remembering Ambassador Luís Martins’ memory representing Brazil at the United Nations when, with Osvaldo Aranha as the President of the UN General Assembly, the creation of the State of Israel was approved;

We consider it unacceptable that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has publicly announced the name of the person he intended to appoint as his country’s new Ambassador to Brazil before submitting it, in accordance to the norm, to our Government. This rupture with a diplomatic practice seems to have been on purpose, an attempt to establish facts, since the appointed, Dani Dayan, between 2007 and 2013, was the President of the Yesha Council, responsible for the settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal by the international community, and has already declared himself contrary to the creation of the Palestinian State, which counts on the support of the Brazilian Government and was already recognized by over 70% of the UN member States.

Under these conditions, we support the Brazilian Government’s position on this issue and wish that the current episode is quickly overcome, so we can, together, strengthen the bonds between the two countries in a historical moment in which the conciliatory spirit becomes imperative.’

Adhemar Bahadian

Amaury Porto de Oliveira

Armando Victor Boisson Cardoso

Brian Michael Fraser Neele

Carlos Alberto Leite Barbosa

Carlos Eduardo Alves de Souza

Christiano Whitaker

Edgar Telles Ribeiro

Fernando Guimarães Reis

Fernando Silva Alves

Geraldo Holanda Cavalcanti

Heloisa Vilhena de Araujo

Hildebrando Tadeu Valladares

Janine-Monique Bustani

Joaquim A. Whitaker Salles

Jorio Dauster

José Maurício Bustani

José Viegas Filho

Julio Cesar Gomes dos Santos

Luciano Rosa

Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves

Luiz Fachini-Gomes

Luiz Felipe Lampreia

Luiz Orlando Carone Gelio

Marcílio Marques Moreira

Marcio Dias

Maria Celina Azevedo Rodrigues

Oswaldo Portella

Roberto Abdenur

Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg

Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães

Sergio Fernando Guarischi Bath

Sergio A. Florencio Sobrinho

Sergio Henrique Nabuco de Castro

Sergio Serra

Stelio Amarante

Thereza Quintella

Vera Pedrosa

Virgílio Moretzsohn de Andrade

Washington Luis P. Sousa”

Meanwhile, in Brazil, solidarity with the Palestinians against Israel’s illegal occupation and for a free and independent Palestinian State is growing, despite the national media’s simplistic and overall biased coverage.

Recently, a BDS (Boycott, Divestments & Sanctions) campaign was launched to alert two of the main popular singers in Brazil, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who sang in Tel Aviv last year.

They traveled despite the campaigns, but later, Veloso published an article condemning the Israeli occupation, saying he would never go back to Israel, and received heavy criticism from a portion of the Jewish community.

See: Brazil Refuses Israeli Settler as Diplomatic Envoy