TEL AVIV – Brazilian MP Carlos Marun attacked the appointment of Dani Dayan (pictured) as Israel’s ambassador to Brasilia, comparing the settler leader to a Nazi commander and calling all settlers “thieves.”
Marun, who is spearheading a campaign to prevent the acceptance of the former head of the Yesha Council as ambassador, said, “To send a settler leader to represent Israel in Brazil is an insult to our country. We can’t accept such provocation.”
He continued, “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.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of Dayan in August and the government approved it on September 6.
According to Ynet, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is also unhappy about the appointment because of Dayan’s professional ties to the settlement movement and the fact that he lives in the West Bank.
Marun also claimed that appointing a settler is an affront to his Arab ancestry. “I have nothing against the existence of the State of Israel, whose borders are already recognized and take up 85 percent of Palestine,” he said. “These settlers are agents of Zionism that the world cannot 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 country.”
He went on to say, “We cannot accept this provocation, we cannot accept this. Brazil needs to respond to this. Israel wants to humiliate Brazil in this way, ‘the diplomatic dwarf’ as it’s been called in the past.”
The Israeli government is now awaiting approval of the appointment from the Brazilian government. Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said Brazil is not likely to officially reject the appointment, because such an unprecedented measure could cause a serious diplomatic rift between the two countries.
Despite Brasilia’s delaying tactics, the Foreign Ministry is hoping the appointment will be confirmed by the end of this year or the beginning of 2016.