Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided that should Brazil reject Dani Dayan’s appointment as Israel’s ambassador, the position would remain unfilled, Udi Segal, diplomatic correspondent for Channel 2 News tweeted Wednesday night. This would effectively downgrade the relationship between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Impeachment procedures against Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff are under way, and according to media sources, with each passing week, more and more people are becoming convinced that the president has completely lost the ability and judgment needed to overcome the obstacles that hamper her administration — political and economic. Opinions polls show 65% of Brazilians support impeachment, and 62% would prefer the president resign.
Rousseff is accused of illegally increasing public spending without Congressional approval; failing to report the enormous public debt; illegally borrowing from state-owned banks; and postponing constitutionally mandated financial transfers to states and municipalities. The legal remedy for such misdeeds in Brazil is impeachment.
This could mean that Netanyahu’s gamble is not so outlandish. Instead of giving in to Rousseff — who was swayed against the appointment by Israel’s left, including three former ambassadors, 13 Arab MKs and one Tzipi Livni — Netanyahu only has to bide his time until after the Carnival, when the summer vacation in Brazil will be over and political life will resume. Even if Rousseff does not lose her job, she would be weaker in a couple of months, and possibly more open for a deal.
Also, by honoring his commitment to former Yosh Counsil Chairman Dani Dayan, Netanyahu secures at least four Knesset seats he would risk losing by cowering before the Brazilians.
According to the Financial Times, during Rousseff’s administration, Brazilians have seen the promise of a fair and prosperous nation postponed once again, due to the president’s utter inability to manage the country. Unemployment and inflation are on the rise, economic growth first stalled and then contracted (analysts now talk of a depression) and corruption scandals have proliferated, involving high-ranking officials.
Brazil’s trade with Israel is in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, with Israeli companies providing much of Brazil’s needs in military and police products (including a $350 million drone deal with Brazilian police).