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Israeli diplomats call for global strike over budget cuts

Citing “erosion of the Foreign Ministry’s standing, aggressive budget cuts,” some 100 Israeli ambassadors, consuls and diplomats sign a petition calling for all overseas diplomatic missions to go on strike.

The Foreign Ministry building in Jerusalem on March 24, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
The Foreign Ministry building in Jerusalem on March 24, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Dozens of Israel’s representatives around the world have threatened to close the country’s diplomatic missions due to a severe budget crisis at the Foreign Ministry.

In a petition to the ministry’s workers committee, disseminated to Israeli ambassadors on Friday, the diplomats write: “It is with great pain that we propose the workers committee order Israel’s missions around the world go on strike.”

In an unprecedented move, some 100 ambassadors, consuls and diplomats have signed the petition, which reads: “We, the signatories to this petition, the heads of Israeli missions and centers around the world, announce that the erosion of the Foreign Ministry’s standing, the aggressive budget cuts to the activities of Israeli missions around the world, and the severe infringement on the rights of Israel’s diplomatic representatives do not allow the state’s emissaries, entrusted with national security, to carry out their role with professionalism and integrity.”

The diplomats claim that “through its conduct, the State of Israel is destroying the professional diplomatic system and is about to turn Israel into the only country that does not conduct foreign relations in an organized manner. This must not be accepted on a national or professional level.”

They demand the Foreign Ministry workers committee enter into immediate negotiations with the government while calling for a general strike by all diplomatic missions, without exception.

“We demand the committee not exclude anything, including consul services and assistance to Israelis abroad, diplomatic campaigns in various U.N. arenas, Israeli work visas, defense export approvals, the promotion of economic deals, the struggle against the Iranian nuclear program, the struggle against BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement] and the bolstering of Israel’s image around the world.”

A similar petition was issued by former Israeli ambassadors on Saturday.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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