In Brazil, we oppose Israeli occupation of Palestine and of diplomacy

Brazil has again taken a clear stand on the Palestinian question, refusing the appointment of Dani Dayan, former leader of the Yesha Council representing the illegal settlements in Palestine, as Israeli Ambassador to Brazil. The Zionist leadership reacts to the ever bunter international pressure against the occupation of Palestine trying to reinforce it at the global arena.

By Moara Crivelente | Column at Portal Vermelho

Publicly appointed by Netanyahu as the new Israeli Ambassador to Brazil, Dani Dayan led the Yesha Council for the illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. Photo: EFE*

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps his pressure for the world to accept colonization by appointing controversial names for the Israeli diplomatic representations in different countries and organizations – such as the UN itself. However, Brazilian social movements have joined against Dayan’s appointment in a manifesto, denouncing his role in the settler movement and his stances on the Palestinian question.

President Dilma Rousseff is also said to have sent a message expressing her discontent with Dayan’s appointment, since he still lives in an illegal settlement, Ma’ale Shomron, located North in the West Bank, which Brazil and over 140 other countries recognize as part of the occupied State of Palestine. Furthermore, his appointment should still be conceded – or not – an agrément, a diplomatic protocol in which leaders of the country receiving the new diplomat can agree or disagree with the appointment. Contacted short after the mediatized announcement in Israel, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it did not receive any communications regarding it.

When quoted by the Israeli MFA and newspapers announcing Dayan’s appointment, PM Netanyahu said “Latin America is one of Israel’s central targets in efforts to develop new markets, which will contribute to our economic growth.” The PM confronts the solid trend in the region in support for the Palestinian cause against the violence of the occupation, with the growing actions of solidarity movements and the recognition of the State of Palestine by almost all Latin American countries.

The rejection of a diplomatic appointment is possible, but rare. Brazil is entitled to transmit its clear political stand opposing the occupation of Palestine, as it already does in statements, support to peace initiatives based on the two-state solution, and the promotion of the Palestinian State’s, besides the clauses on the commercial agreement between Israel and MERCOSUL – in which the settlements are deemed illegal and, therefore, excluded – among other stands. MERCOSUL, by the way, also has a commercial agreement with Palestine since 2011.

In the manifest signed by various social movements and noticed by the Israeli media, the entities expose Dayan’s history not only in the promotion of settlements, but of the occupation as a whole endeavour, based on an oppressive military regime and on brutal violations of Palestinian human rights.

Relations between Israel and many countries – even with its ally and sponsor, the US – are exposed to the embarrassment brought by the occupation, ever more rejected. The brutal cycle of violence in the occupied territories, either provoked by the soldiers, the settlers or the confrontation among Palestinians and the representatives of the occupation, have put in evidence how unsustainable status quo is and the need for change in the innocuous “peace process”, with the possibility of Brazil’s involvement in mediation. After all, over 20 years in which the US has been playing this role show that its participation is contributing to deepen occupation.

Besides the social movements’ manifest, a group of over 70 members of Parliament delivered the current Israeli Ambassador to Brazil, Reda Mansour, a request for the Israeli leaders to reconsider the appointment of his successor. The group includes Federal Representative Jô Morais, chair of the Commission of Foreign Affairs and National Defence, who considered Netanyahu’s attitude a provocation.

The representatives, from different political parties, demanded the appointment of a diplomat who resides in internationally-recognized Israeli territory, and not on the illegally-occupied Palestinian territories. Also, in an unprecedented move, three former Israel Ambassadors also asked Brazil not to agree with Dayan’s appointment.

There are over 120 illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories – thus classified by many international organizations, UN resolutions, the EU and even the US. In these settlements reside around 500,000 Israelis, in lands expropriated from the Palestinians through various regulatory mechanisms arbitrarily imposed by the Israeli regime of occupation.

In the current context, any Israeli Ambassador to Brazil will inevitably represent the political Zionism that occupied Palestine and keeps imposing on the Palestinians an apartheid regime. However, the appointment of a settler openly favourable to occupation is certainly an affront to the Brazilian stand, strengthened in recent years, of resolute support to the Palestinian right to a free and sovereign State. The Brazilian social movements have also strengthened this demand and reaffirmed their determined rejection for the occupation.

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