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Israel closes embassies all over the world as diplomats go on indefinite strike

Published time: March 23, 2014 20:06
The entrance gate to the commercial building where the Israeli embassy in Caracas is located (AFP Photo / Juan Barreto)

The entrance gate to the commercial building where the Israeli embassy in Caracas is located (AFP Photo / Juan Barreto)

Employees of Israel's Foreign Ministry went on an all-out strike Sunday for the first time in the country’s history over a dispute surrounding workers' salaries and conditions.

The dispute has been going on for nearly two years. Seven months of negotiations ended on March 4, when workers rejected a proposal by the Finance Ministry.

Israeli ambassadors abroad will not go to work, no consular services will be available, and Israel will not be represented at any international gatherings during the strike. Even the Foreign Ministry’s political leadership and management will be locked out.

The strike is indefinite and will affect everyone, including employers bringing foreign workers to Israel for work, immigrants, and anyone who wants to travel to Israel – including foreign dignitaries.

“Today, for the first time in Israel’s history, the foreign ministry will be closed and no work will be done in any sphere under the ministry’s authority,” a statement by the ministry's workers' committee reads.

It added that the strike would be “open ended” because of the “employment conditions for Israeli diplomats and because of the draconian decision by the Treasury to cut workers’ salaries.”

A number of visits have already been canceled or put on hold, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned trip to Mexico, Panama, and Colombia next month, as well as Pope Francis’ planned visit to Israel in May.

Avigdor Lieberman said the worker’s committee has “lost its head” in what was a “miserable decision.”

“This move has no benefit, and will only cause more damage to the ministry’s workers. I’m sorry that these irresponsible steps will come at the expense of the country’s citizens,” he said.

The diplomats are demanding an increase in their monthly salaries and want compensation for their spouses who have to quit jobs because of foreign postings. They say that one-third of Israeli diplomats have already quit over the past 10 years because of low salaries.

“The Treasury is determined to destroy the foreign ministry and Israeli diplomacy,” said Yacov Livne, a spokesman for the Israeli diplomats' union.

Yair Frommer, the head of the worker's committee, implied that the Treasury does not value the crucial work that diplomats do.

He said the Treasury will not be able to “prevent boycotts of Israel, will not foster business transactions that yield huge economic benefits and will not raise our voices at the UN Security Council.”

Comments (149)


Gabriel Bays 07.04.2014 21:05

We are Native American Indian people, and it is good for you to hear their voice, even of just one. If you think that you can trust Israel. Hitler was handed a list of stockholders by the bankers of Cologne, You eliminate our stock holders and we will finance, your party, and your war. After the war from the profits of the dead stock holders Israel was funded. If they will sacrifice their own people to form a nation. What will they do to yours? Why else were whole Jewish communities bypassed in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust? No stockholders in those communities. But what of the Native American Indian Genocide?


Gabriel Bays 07.04.2014 20:53

I am a member of the Native American Indian Community, in the U.S. We have been watching with an educated eye.This is what we see here today. There is going to be a big event happening soon. I say this I am not antisemitic . But we know who it was that robbed us of our continent. We view The United States as a house of Genocide, a house of murder and theft. We know it to be the Jews that promoted the Genocide of our peoples. The Native American Indian Peoples. Custer didn't own any banks or houses of finance upon Wall Street. It was the Jews. How do you think we feel about Hitler... Was he hunting the Devil ?


2ndSamuel710 27.03.2014 17:20

One hour film "The Other Israel" by Ted Pike is where I started learning about Judaism about 30 years ago. Back then it was VHS, but now on the net for free. It remains one of the best on the subject. He remains very active on the net at "Truth Tellers"

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