The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem 311 (R).
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Hungarian Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog is the first foreign dignitary
to fall victim to the five-month-old Foreign Ministry work sanctions, announcing
the postponement of his trip because of the work dispute.
ministry is responsible for the healthcare system, education and cultural
issues, was scheduled to arrive on Sunday for a three-day trip.
Balog canceled, however, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will arrive
as planned on Monday for a two-day visit.
He will not, though, be
accompanied by Israel’s envoy to Georgia, Yuval Fuchs, who is unable to
accompany Ivanishvili because of the work dispute.
The workers are
engaged in a prolonged labor dispute for better salary and work
They have increasingly ratcheted up sanctions, and last week
declared they would no longer deal with the visits of foreign
On Sunday they also announced they would no longer be
providing any consular services abroad to either Israelis or non-Israelis,
including the issuing of visas, work permits, or emergency
Balog was scheduled to meet with Education Minister Shai Piron
and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, and to sign an action plan on
A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry’s
worker’s committee said there would likely be “many mix-ups” for any official
delegations visiting the country without Foreign Ministry assistance.
statement called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is also the foreign
minister, to act immediately “to save Israelis’ foreign service.”
January 2011, then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev was also forced to cancel a
trip to Israel because of another Foreign Ministry work sanction at that time.