Following Brazil’s rejection last year of the former Yesha Council leader Dani Dayan’s nomination as the Israeli ambassador, and the diplomatic debacle which ensued, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering sending another candidate to Brasilia who could also raise a few eyebrows.
Yossi Sheli, a former businessman who was previously barred from public office for three years after admitting that he had not declared his political affiliation despite being a Likud member at a time when he acted as chairman of the Israel Postal Company’s board of directors and director general of the Beer Sheva Municipality.
He came under the scrutiny of Jerusalem’s local attorney’s office in 2008, which issued an indictment alleging that he had presented false affidavits to the the Public Services Authority. He was found guilty in June of perjury and fraud.
In 2012, Sheli signed a plea bargain in which he admitted to the charge of breach of statutory duty without permission. According to the deal, he was forbidden from serving the state until June 2015. Sheli declined to answer questions put forth by Yedioth Ahronoth, Ynet's sister publication.
Netanyahu’s choice will raise further questions that could give rise to yet another political storm given that he has no diplomatic experience or state advocacy credentials.
Despite Sheli’s entanglement in these political misdemeanours and the paucity of relevant qualifications on his resume, Netanyahu is considering nominating him and has already informed the Foreign Ministry of his intention to appoint an ambassador. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s Office has already approached the Committee for Appointments in the Foreign Service seeking its approval for Sheli’s nomination.