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Brazilian president reportedly unhappy with appointment of settler leader as envoy

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef reportedly has told Israel she is unhappy with Israel’s selection for ambassador to her country, former settler leader Dani Dayan.

Ynet reported this week that Roussef, under pressure from Palestinian groups and figures in her country to reject Dayan, has privately expressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government her unhappiness with the selection.

Governments rarely outright reject ambassadors, which can precipitate a crisis in relations. Dayan, who lives in a West Bank settlement, is a former chairman of the Settlers Council.

Israelis have not directly commented, although Moshe Yaalon, the defense minister, on Monday tweeted in Hebrew that the bid to get Brazil to reject Dayan is “embarrassing, dangerous and ugly.”

Tzipi Hotoveli, the deputy Israeli foreign minister, in a statement to media did not address the report directly, but said that Dayan’s “public trajectory and ideology ought to be an advantage, and not a disadvantage in representing the position of the current government, which supports our right to settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

Dayan is a member of the Jewish Home Party, which is currently part of the governing coalition.

The current government, elected in March, is the first since the Oslo accords not to include a party that accepts the two-state solution.

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