In a landmark test case for Israel, the appointment of its next ambassador to Brazil is suddenly in trouble due to his ties to the West Bank settlement movement. Brazil has reportedly expressed objections to the appointment of Dani Dayan, raising questions about when or even if he will take up the post. On the surface, the controversy has little to do with Dayan’s qualifications. A successful businessman, Dayan is affable and eloquent, and being an immigrant from Argentina, familiar with Latin American issues. But Dayan is also perhaps the world’s best-known West Bank settler, serving for many years as the chairman and chief spokesman for the movement. The Israeli news site Ynet reported this week that Brazil has expressed misgivings over the appointment because of his ties to the settlements. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s office declined comment, as did the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Netanyahu’s office. Dayan also refused to comment. But a Brazilian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the government isn’t speaking publicly about the issue, confirmed the report.
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