Former settler leader Dani Dayan has been appointed Israel’s next ambassador to Brazil, Prime Minister and Acting Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday.
Born in Argentina, Dayan, 59, served as chairman of the Yesha Council - the umbrella organization of Jewish settlement municipal councils in the West Bank – from 2007 to 2013.
Since then, he has been the council’s diplomatic representative, “engaged daily in public relations work in Israel and abroad,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Israel is focused on developing trade ties with international markets in South America, with the emphasis on Brazil,” the statement said. “Brazil also has a blooming population of over 40 million Christian lovers of Israel.”
In announcing Dayan’s appointment, Netanyahu said that “Latin America is one of Israel’s key destinations as part of the efforts to develop new markets that will contribute to increased economic growth in Israel.
“I am convinced that Dani Dayan will bring his vast experience to the position and will deepen the relations between Israel and Brazil.”
Dayan himself said that he had “accepted the challenge that the prime minister set me to improve and deepen the relations between Israel and Brazil. I promised the prime minister that I will make every effort and use all my creativity in carrying out the strategic mission given me.
“I have not promised to bring home a gold medal from Rio in 2016, though we all hope that will be the case.”
Dayan competed for a place on the Habayit HaYehudi list before the 2015 election but was not placed among the top 20 Knesset candidates.