(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said if Brazil won’t approve former settler leader Dani Dayan as its ambassador, Israel won’t offer another diplomat.
Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Netanyahu’s comments Wednesday.
According to i24news, Israel not having an ambassador in Brazil would represent a “de facto downgrade in relations” between the two countries.
Netanyahu’s apparent decision to stand by Dayan comes a week after various reports that Israel would withdraw Dayan’s name and instead give him the Israeli consulate general position in Los Angeles or New York.
Earlier this week, a group of 40 retired Brazilian diplomats signed a statement against the appointment of Dayan, complaining that Israel had bypassed protocol because there was no prior communication with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry or any presentation of his credentials for an agreement.
Netanyahu tapped the former head of the settlers’ Yesha Council four months ago to serve as envoy to Latin America’s largest nation, but the Brazilian government remained silent on the choice to signal an official rejection of Dayan’s credentials because of his settler past.
A native of Argentina, Dayan, 59, currently lives in the West Bank settlement of Maale Shomron.