(JTA) – Israel is denying reports that it plans to withdraw a former settler leader as its proposed ambassador to Brazil.
For six months, Brazil has refused to accept the appointment of the ambassador, Dani Dayan. Dayan, who lives in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, is a past leader of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
On Friday, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said, “The official Israeli position is Dayan is the person appointed, and we expect the Brazilian authorities to agree to the appointment,” according to the Times of Israel.
Nahshon’s statement came a day after Brazil approved Israel’s new consul general, and five days after Tzachi Hanegbi, the chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, suggested the Israeli government was retreating from its insistence on Dayan being the envoy.
Brazil has said it objects to Dayan’s appointment in part because his name initially was made public on social media rather than though diplomatic channels. The government has also expressed discomfort with Dayan’s ties to the Yesha Council.
A native of Argentina, Dayan immigrated to Israel as a teenager.