“14 MKs labored indefatigably against my appointment in Brazil: 13 Joint Arab List members and one Tzipi Livni,” Dani Dayan tweeted Monday in obvious bitterness. Dayan was appointed four months ago by Prime Minister Netanyahu to serve as Israel’s next ambassador to Brazil, but the Brazilian government, in an unprecedented show of chutzpah, said it would not accept his credentials because he resides in the disputed territories.
Dayan is not just a resident of the “territories” but served as head of Yesha Council from 2007 to 2013. He is a close associate of Prime Minister Netanyahu and is credited with the high turnout of Yesha Likud voters last March. For Netanyahu to give in at this point would be a stinging betrayal of an ally and an asset, and would further sour an already degrading relationship with the settlers of Judea and Samaria. Hence the international crisis between Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff—who faces impeachment by her own Congress—and the Israeli government.
Dayan should have been an asset in improving Israel’s diplomatic relations in South America. He is a native of Buenos Aires, and knows the region well. Brazil and Israel have been in a fighting mode ever since the former recognized the Palestinian State. Israel was sideswiped by that one, especially considering the fact that Brazil is one of the largest world economies — Israel needs to sell them the technology they’re hungry for, drones, Elbit helmets — not fight them.
MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) met with the Brazilian ambassador in Israel and delivered a personal message to President Rousseff: “I told the ambassador we represent about one fifth of the citizens of the state who object to the appointment,” he told Ma’ariv.
The PA former minister Saeb Erekat told a Brazilian paper that accepting Dayan would mean Brazil cooperates with apartheid and colonizing. Erekat said “Dayan is an illegal settler, whose job is to justify the criminal colonizing of Palestine by Israel.”
But, judging by today’s tweet, Dani Dayan does not begrudge Erekat or the Arab MKs their objection, although it should raise eyebrows when the loyal opposition is advocating with a foreign power to obstruct the government’s foreign policy. Dani Dayan is bitter and hurting over what he knows to be the working behind the scenes of one MK Tzipi Livni, who at this point may be at the tail end of her political career (although she has shown in the past more recuperative powers than some mystical firebirds).
Speaking a week ago at a forum of the Lobby for Strengthening Israel’s Foreign Origination, Livni all but justified Brazil’s rejection of Dayan, saying it wasn’t personal but an expression of the Brazilians’ rejection of Israel’s settlements policy. Is it possible that this MK, who was renowned for defying the instructions of her boss Netanyahu when she was in charge of peace negotiations with the PA, went out of her way to convince the Brazilians to stand firm in their humiliating rejection of an official foreign dignitary?
If you go by Dayan’s tweet — absolutely.