As of Tuesday, 4th March 2014, Israel's
diplomats will no longer issue visas or
provide any consular services, engage with foreign representatives, take care of
official visits of any kind, either in Israel or overseas. This is just part of
an extended list of organizational measures which will take effect immediately.
corps was left with no other choice but to ratchet up its year-long labor
dispute with the Ministry of Finance, after the latter caused the failure of a
seven-month mediation process led by the former Chief Justice of the Labor
were willing to give a real chance to the mediation process and find pragmatic
solutions to all outstanding issues; however, the finance bureaucrats lacked
sincerity and did not reciprocate with the same approach.
The bold measures
mentioned above will hopefully raise awareness, both domestically and
internationally, of the dire situation of Israel's hard working diplomats.
Why have the Israeli
diplomats decided to take these measures?
It may seem unusual
for the diplomatic service of a country to become engaged in such a difficult
labor dispute. This is especially true in relation to Israel's diplomats, who
are well known around the globe for their commitment and their excellent
ability to represent Israel with the many different challenges it faces.
Precisely because of
their deep commitment to Israel's international standing and national security,
Israel's diplomats insist that their reasonable demands be met. Among them are
a long-overdue adjustment of the salary to the rise in the cost of living, an
end to a discriminatory tax policy, consideration of the dear price paid by
"trailing" spouses and children in terms of loss of income, career
and pension, and a decent compensation for extra hours.
It is unfortunate that the same dedicated
civil servants, who receive praise wherever they are stationed in the world as
representatives of Israel, are met with nothing but scorn by the Finance
Ministry bureaucrats, who know little about the importance of diplomacy to
national security. This is true always, but more so in a country like Israel,
which is faced with an unparalleled range of challenges in the international