Last year Brazil refused to accept Israel’s bid for settler leader Dani Dayan to become the country’s next Israeli ambassador. According to a statement from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office today, Dayan will now take a post in U.S. as the newest Consul General in New York instead.
Dayan will replace Ido Aharoni who worked in Israel’s foreign ministry for more than two decades.
The announcement this morning puts an end to months of disagreement between Israel and Brazil that began last year after Israel made public its intent for Dayan to become the Israeli ambassador to Brazil. Breaking diplomatic protocol Israel made the statement before disclosing their appointment to Brazil.
Dayan himself is a settler, living in Ma’ale Shomron in the northern West Bank. He immigrated to Israel from Argentina as a teenager, and made his professional start as the founder of an IT company.
Dayan is best known as the most successful advocate for Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories. He worked for the settler public relations firm, the Yesha Council, for 13 years years, of which the last five he severed as the group’s chairman before stepping down to begin a term as a foreign media advisor to Netanyahu.
Under Dayan’s tenure the Yesha Council was coined the “foreign ministry” for Israel’s settler movement, hosting international delegations in a role similar to Israel’s official ministry of foreign affairs.
Like most countries, Brazil considers Israeli settlements illegal and therefore his employment background was said to be a contradiction to their official foreign policy. Brazil backs a negotiated two-state agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Dayan does not.
For Brazil, Dayan was not only a political issue but a procedural one. Last January, 40 Brazilian officials signed a letter in opposition to his nomination explaining Israel’s announcement on Dayan, which preceded consulting Brazil, constituted a “rupture with a diplomatic practice.”
As a result, the position of Israel’s next ambassador to Brazil was left vacant for months.
Dayan will now serve as the first diplomat who is also resides in a settlement. According to U.S. state department policy, America also views Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territory illegal under international law.