Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has sent a letter the Israel expressing her discomfort with the appointment of Dani Dayan, former head of the Yesha Council, as the entity’s ambassador to Brazil because of Dayan’s ties to West Bank settlements, according to an article in the Israeli Ynet news website.
A government’s refusal to accept an ambassador is very rare, and is usually done so to avoid any diplomatic incidents.
Left wing activists see the appointment as legitimizing the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.
Netanyahu sees relations with Brazil as an important strategic goal for Israel. Brazil is the largest country in South America, with a population of 200 million, and it has the seventh largest economy in the world.
Just days ago, Brazil surprised many by abstaining on a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference to impose monitoring of the Israeli nuclear sites.
Joining Brazil in abstaining was India, another country with which the occupation entity has been working on building closer ties following the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister in 2014.