Sunday, September 20, 2015

Maybe He Just Likes a Challenge

Whatever one can say about his policy preferences (and I have nothing good to say about them), it's hard to argue that Bibi Netanyahu's foreign policy instincts are anything short of disastrous. Put aside entirely his catastrophic handling of the Iran nuclear deal debate (where he watched an international consensus against a nuclear Iran emerge and promptly enraged every single member of it). Let's just take the latest report out of South America, where Brazil is less than thrilled about who Bibi selected as their new Ambassador:
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has expressed discomfort with the appointment of a former settler leader as Israel’s ambassador to her country.

Rousseff sent a backchannel message to Israel with her concerns that accepting Dani Dayan will signal “support for the settlement enterprise,” the Hebrew-language news website Ynet reported Sunday.

An official Brazilian refusal to accept the appointment could spark a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, according to Ynet. The rejection of an ambassador is rare.
What on earth was he thinking? "Hey, South America is an important area of engagement for Israel as it seeks to solidify its international standing. But it's clear that South American countries are sharply anti-occupation -- Brazil, for example, recognized Palestine in 2010. Who is best suited to manage this critical yet delicate situation? I know -- a high-profile leader of a settlement enterprise loathed by the people he's reaching out to!"

It's almost as if, with Avigdor Lieberman no longer in charge of the foreign ministry Bibi decided that someone had to jump in the role of completely unaware self-sabatoeur.

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