Israel apologises for calling Brazil 'diplomatic dwarf'

Braslia - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin apologised on Monday to his Brazilian counterpart for a remark by a foreign ministry spokesperson calling the Latin American powerhouse a "diplomatic dwarf".

The comment in July was made by spokesperson Yigal Palmor after Brazil criticised Israel's military campaign in Gaza as excessive and recalled its envoy in Tel Aviv.

In a phone call Monday, Rivlin assured Brazil President Dilma Rousseff that Palmor's comments "do not correspond to the sentiments of the population" of Israel, Rousseff's office said in a statement.

Rousseff had criticised Palmor's remarks, saying "Words, including the spokesperson's, sometimes create a very bad climate. In this case, we have to be very careful."

In the phone call, her office said, Rousseff "condemned the attacks on Israel" by Hamas, and "reiterated Brazil's historic position ... defending the co-existence between Israel and Palestine as sovereign, economically viable and, above all, safe states."

Israel and Hamas Monday started a new 72-hour ceasefire, as negotiators in Egypt worked to seek a permanent end to hostilities.

Rousseff "expressed hope for the continuation of the ceasefire and the current negotiations," the statement said.

More than a month of bloody fighting in and around Gaza has killed at least 1 940 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers.

Kolobe Kolobenyana 2014/08/12 06:47:35 AM
brazil should sanction the Israeli terrorists
Painted Canvas 2014/08/12 07:49:57 AM
Typically arrogant Israelis
All Nasir 2014/08/12 08:09:29 AM
Brazil may or may not be a diplomatic dwarf but Israel is a moral pigmy in the league of nations.
Thomas Freeman 2014/08/12 08:09:57 AM
South Africa is also a diplomatic dwarf, no one cares what they have to say. The world carries on regardless. SA who? Brazil who?
Imraan Matwadia 2014/08/12 09:19:15 AM
yes martin, agreed. remove terrorists from both sides than there might be a solution.martin, does Israel believe and want a two state solution?
Will Homeby 2014/08/12 09:28:36 AM
Martin, you are delusional as usual, in believing that the majority of South Africans support israel. The majority of this country can identify with the struggles of the Palestinians against occupation and the economic blockade, hence their support.
Dan De Lange 2014/08/12 10:29:55 AM
And Jacob, sit, jy maak jou naam ook gat
Ricky Singh 2014/08/12 02:29:41 PM
The nation does'nt fail to amaze me with its appalling rhetoric,the pariah nation that is "the giant when its coming to killing women and children."