• Dani Dayan to go to New York as consul-general instead
  • Brazil had objected to Dayan's appointment, left it in limbo

Israel has scrapped its plan to send a West Bank settler leader as ambassador to an unwelcoming Brazil, posting him to New York as consul-general instead.

The prime minister’s office announced Dani Dayan’s appointment to New York just days after an embarrassing debacle over his diplomatic future. On March 17, the Foreign Ministry announced that it was looking for a new candidate for the Brazil job, then almost immediately retracted that announcement as “an unfortunate bureaucratic mistake,” saying Dayan was “still Israel’s appointed ambassador.”

Dayan is a former head of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria. Although Netanyahu announced in August that the Argentine-born Dayan would be Israel’s ambassador, the Brazilian government declined to accept the appointment formally, leaving it in limbo.

Three former Israeli diplomats, including ex-Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Liel, took the unusual step of publicly calling on the Brazilian government to reject Dayan’s assignment. Accepting him as ambassador, the Haaretz newspaper reported Liel as saying, would in effect endorse Israeli settlements, which the United Nations and most countries consider illegal.

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