A Brazilian lawmaker went beyond his country’s rejection of Israel’s envoy Dani Dayan, a supporter of Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria, by likening him to Nazi guards and apartheid South Africa torturers.
Brazil has indicated its rejection of businessman and politician Dani Dayan, an advocate for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as Israel’s ambassador to the South American country.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his choice of Dayan in August, which was endorsed by the Israeli cabinet the following month. Brazil has remained silent.
Protocol dictates that rather than outright refusing a diplomatic placement, a country would simply not acknowledge the appointment, thus communicating its disapproval. The rejection is generally understood if there has been no agreement within about three weeks. In this case, it has been more than three months since the Israeli cabinet’s approval on September 6.
Indeed, already in September, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff conveyed her disapproval due to Dayan’s connection with Judea and Samaria. Dayan, a resident of Samaria, served for seven years (2007-2013) as chairman of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of municipal councils of Judea and Samaria.
Judea and Samaria, the biblical heartland of the Land of Israel, was liberated during the 1967 Six Day War, when the existence of the Jewish state was threatened by the surrounding Arab nations. Since 1948, Judea and Samaria, as well as the Old City of Jerusalem, were occupied by Jordan.
Opposition to Dayan’s appointment was voiced immediately from the Israeli left as well, some of whom allegedly appealed to Brazilian lawmakers to ensure that Dayan would be rejected, claiming that such an appointment would give international legitimacy to the Jewish cities and towns in Judea in Samaria.
Marun had initiated the opposition in Brazil to Dayan’s appointment, Times of Israel reported, quoting comments that he made, which were caught on video in August and publicized Sunday on the Hebrew-language Ynet website.
“To send a settler leader to represent Israel in Brazil is an insult to our country,” Marun said. “We can’t accept such provocation. It would be like Germany sending to Brazil as an ambassador a former concentration camp guard, like Chile sending as an ambassador to Brazil a prison guard from the dictatorship, or South Africa sending a prison torturer from the apartheid period.”
“I have nothing against the existence of the State of Israel, whose borders are already recognized and take up 85 percent of Palestine,” Marun claimed. “These settlers are agents of Zionism that the world can’t accept. They are thieves of others’ land. In what is an insult to Brazil, an insult to the government, and an insult to millions of Brazilians whose origins, like mine, are from the Arab world — Israel chooses to send the leader of these settlers to represent it in our land.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, then minister of the economy, warned over a year ago, during Operation Protective Edge, that relinquishing Israeli control of Judea and Samaria would expose Israel’s home front to underground tunnels leading into the heartland of Israel, similar to those that were built by Hamas in Gaza and subsequently discovered by the IDF. The terror tunnels were to be used to infiltrate the Jewish state in order to kidnap and murder hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Minister Hotovely: ‘Appointment Will Pass’
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Arutz Sheva last week that “every system is working so that Dani’s appointment is quickly approved.”
Acknowledging the difficulties, she said that Brazil “very cynically does everything it can to appease its Muslim minority. With regards to this, it is delaying the appointment, and we have seen Brazil do this to other countries, not just us.”
According to Hotovely’s assessment, “at the end of the day, Israel and Brazil have many shared interests, and so the appointment will pass.”