MK Shelly Yechimovich (Zionist Union) on Monday blasted a group of leftist former ambassadors who had lobbied Brazil to reject the appointment of Dani Dayan as Israel’s ambassador to Brazil.
Using unusually harsh language in a post on her Facebook page denouncing the former ambassadors, Yechimovich said she finds it “annoying and infuriating when members of my political camp behave in harmful, obscene, and, pardon my words, idiotic manner.”
“What the heck were these ‘three former ambassadors’ thinking as they turned to the Brazilian government asking them not to agree to the appointment of the former head of the Yesha Council, my friend (yes! My friend!) Dani Dayan, as our ambassador in Brazil, because he lives in a settlement?!” she continued.
“First of all, why did you immediately run to the Brazilian government? Do you have a problem with the fact that he is from the right? That he lives in a settlement? So make noise and make a campaign here in Israel. Make arguments. Why do you run to a foreign government asking it to undermine a decision of the Israeli government?” wrote Yechimovich.
She admitted that there is a “deep ideological gap between me and him” but added that Dayan “is incredibly worthy [of being an ambassador]. A Spanish speaker, served as an officer in the IDF, a talented high-tech entrepreneur, an economist, an elected official, a highly skilled, intelligent and tolerant public figure, an exemplary of the intelligent dialogue between right and left, and a person who does not spare even his own camp from criticism when necessary.”
“And I have something else to tell you, and it will be painful: There is a right-wing government in Israel. It was democratically elected by the citizens of Israel. And it appoints ambassadors, some from the diplomatic corps and some who reflect its world view – just as previous Israeli governments have done,” said Yechimovich.
“Up until a few seconds ago we had a foreign minister from a settlement, Nokdim, [Avigdor] Liberman. And if memory serves me correctly, you never ruled him out as a partner in a possible center-left coalition. And Dani Dayan, on the other hand, has never been accused of corruption,” she continued.
“When it came to Danny Danon, who causes firestorms and challenges Netanyahu from the right and was appointed ambassador to the United Nations, no one said anything. So, is this selective and capricious purism? What’s going on with you? What are you thinking to yourself? Surely [Dayan] is deserving, whatever side you look at it from,” wrote Yechimovich.
She concluded by saying, “I only have one problem with the fact that he is going to Brasilia. That he will be missed here so much, as someone who contributes to the sane dialogue of mutual respect between left and right.”
Three former ambassadors – ambassador to South Africa Ilan Baruch, former ambassador to France Élie Barnavi, and former Foreign Ministry director-general Alon Liel, have spearheaded the campaign against Dayan's appointment, as well as other leftist activists.
Liel told Arutz Sheva Monday that he and other members of the group are not directing their effort at Dayan personally.
"Dayan is a symbol, because Brazil very consistently opposes the idea of a binational state, it opposes the settlements. And the Israeli government's move is intended to put it to the test on this matter,” he explained.