Foreign Ministry workers plan political postings boycott

Move could hurt Gilad, possible pick for Ankara posting.

Amos Gilad 311 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC) by Hanay)
Amos Gilad 311
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC) by Hanay)
Foreign Ministry diplomatic workers stepped up their work sanctions Sunday, declaring they will boycott any new political appointments, a move that could complicate the possible posting of Amos Gilad as ambassador to Turkey.
The diplomatic workers sent out a directive calling on all employees both here and abroad to stop the process of absorbing any new political appointments, and halt the process of extending the tenure of political appointees abroad already serving as ambassadors or heads of mission.
According to a statement put out by the workers committee, Gilad – currently the head of the Defense Ministry’s diplomatic-security bureau – would be the first to be harmed by these measures.
Gilad’s name has been raised as a possible candidate to be Israel’s envoy to Turkey when ties with Ankara are normalized.
The statement said that one central reason for the labor dispute is the political appointments, which are “another layer in the privatization of the Foreign Ministry, which has been manifest recently in the appointment of [Yuval] Steinitz as international relations minister.”
The statement added that the time has come for the government to understand it is impossible to have a foreign service without Foreign Ministry workers, who are trained professionals. Foreign Ministry officials are increasingly frustrated by what they see as the subcontracting of traditional ministry duties to others.
The statement said that the measures against the political appointments come in the wake of former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman’s tenure, when the number of 11 political appointments allowed by law was reached. His predecessor, Tzipi Livni, did away almost completely with political appointments.
This step is the latest in the work sanctions for better conditions for Foreign Ministry employees, which has included not sending internal cables and not issuing diplomatic passports to the new MKs.