President Reuven Rivlin has apologized to his Brazilian counterpart for a remark by a foreign ministry spokesman calling the Latin American powerhouse a “diplomatic dwarf.”
The comment in July was made by spokesman Yigal Palmor after Brazil criticized 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 criticized Palmor’s remarks, saying “Words, including the spokesman’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.”