Brazilian lawmaker Carlos Marun, who is at the forefront of the campaign against the appointment of Dani Dayan's as Israel's ambassador to Brasilia, has compared the settler leader to a Nazi commander.
"To send a settler leader to represent Israel in Brazil is an insult to our country. We can't accept such provocation," Marun said. "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."
As first reported by Yedioth Ahronoth, Brazil also sent Israel messages through diplomatic channels that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was uncomfortable with Dayan's appointment because of his ties to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and because he lives in a settlement.
In a video of his remarks, Marun says: "I have nothing against the existence of the State of Israel, whose borders are already recognized and take up 85 percent of Palestine. 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."
Marun went on to say that "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."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of Dayan, the former head of the Yesha Council, as ambassador to Brazil on August 5, with the appointment being approved by the government on September 6.
The Israeli government is now supposed to wait for the Brazilian government to approve the appointment, but this approval has yet to arrive. Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said Brazil will likely not officially reject the appointment, but rather continue stalling on the confirmation until the Israeli government "takes the hint."
The rejection of the appointment could create a serious diplomatic crisis between Israel and Brazil, as Brasilia has never rejected an appointment of any foreign ambassador, and such an unusual step could have ramifications on the ties between the two countries, as well as retaliatory steps from Israel.
Modi Ephraim, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry's Division for Central and South America, recently visited Brasilia and discussed the issue with senior officials in the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, who told him not to worry about it. Dayan's situation is further complicated by the fact President Rousseff is currently battling an effort to impeach her, and Jerusalem is worried that as she is fighting for her political life, the last thing Rousseff will want to deal with is approving the appointment of Israel's ambassador.
But Jerusalem has not lost hope yet, however, and the Foreign Ministry is hoping the appointment will be confirmed by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.