Israel Backs Down in Standoff Over Brazil Envoy, Assigns Dayan to New York
JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he will re-assign Dani Dayan as Israel’s consul general in New York, ending a months-long standoff with Brazil over Dayan’s original appointment to the South American country.
Brazil refused to accept Dayan’s initial appointment due to pressure from Brazilian lawmakers over Dayan’s former leadership of the Israeli settlement movement in Judea and Samaria. One Brazilian lawmaker even likened Dayan to a Nazi concentration camp guard.
“It would be like Germany sending to Brazil a former concentration camp commander as an ambassador, like Chile sending to Brazil an ambassador who is a prison guard from the dictatorship, or South Africa sending a prison torturer from the apartheid regime,” Brazilian MP Carlos Marun said in August.
The Israeli government refused to back down from the Dayan appointment for months, but on Monday, Netanyahu said in a statement that Dayan “will replace Foreign Ministry career official Ido Aharoni, who is completing his term” in New York.
“Those who don’t want me in Brasilia will get me in the capital of the world, and to me that is a victory,” Dayan said Monday about the decision at an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) conference hosted by Yedioth Ahronoth. “I believe I can revolutionize Israeli public relations in the US, whose beating heart is in New York.”