RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Days after Israel agreed to withdraw a former settler leader as its ambassador to Brazil, Brasilia approved the appointment of a lower-level Israeli diplomat to Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian government formally approved Dani Goren as Israel’s consul general in Sao Paulo on Thursday. His name was OK’d by Israel’s Cabinet on Jan. 17, but kept secret until Brazil signed off, in strict adherence to diplomatic protocol.
Fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish, Goren served as ambassador to Uruguay and held other diplomatic positions in Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia.
Last Sunday, a top Israeli official declared that Dani Dayan would not be Israel’s ambassador to Brazil after a sometimes-contentious seven-month standoff between the two countries. Brazil said it objected to Dayan’s appointment in part because his name was initially made public on social media rather than though diplomatic channels. The government also expressed discomfort with Dayan’s past leadership of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Goren, 60, is a seasoned diplomat with 30 years of experience. Born in Jerusalem, he served as second secretary at the Israeli embassy in Brasilia from 1987-1988. His master’s thesis was titled “Brazil’s re-democratization process in 1973-1985.”
The embassy in Brasilia and the Sao Paulo consulate have been Israel’s only diplomatic institutions in Brazil since the Rio de Janeiro consulate was closed years ago. Israel has honorary consuls in Rio and Belo Horizonte.
In addition to Goren’s nomination, last month saw the appointment of Israeli ambassadors to the Latin American countries of Argentina, Chile and Ecuador.
Sao Paulo is Brazil’s largest metropolis and one of the world’s largest with over 20 million people. It is home to some 60,000 Jews, or half of Brazil’s Jewish community.