Forty former Brazilian diplomats speak against appointed Israeli ambassador

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A group of 40 retired Brazilian diplomats signed a statement against Israel’s controversial appointment of former settler leader Dani Dayan as ambassador in Brasila.

The career diplomats believe that protocol was bypassed since it was not preceded by any communication with the Brazilian Foreign Ministry or any presentation of Dayan’s credentials for an agreement on the appointment.

“We consider it unacceptable. The rupture of the diplomatic practice seems to have been on purpose,” the retired diplomats wrote in the statement dated Friday. “We support the Brazilian Government’s position on this issue and wish that the current episode is quickly overcome, so we can, together, strengthen the bonds between the two countries.”

The diplomats oppose remarks by Senator Marcelo Crivella, who declared last week that rejecting Dayan would convey a pro-boycott message and “the fact that he defends settlements in the West Bank is a weak motive for such discourtesy and so much political inability.”

Israel is expected to withdraw the name of Dani Dayan to be its ambassador to Brazil, ending a five-month diplomatic row. The Brazilian government has remained silent on the choice of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to signal an official rejection of Dayan, who may assume the Israeli consulate general position in Los Angeles or New York.

The 40 diplomats opened their statement by remembering the memory of Ambassador Luis Martins de Sousa Dantas, one of Brazil’s two Righteous Among the Nations recognized by Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum for saving hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust, and Oswaldo Aranha, the Brazilian diplomat who presided over the United Nations session that created the State of Israel in 1947.

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