Israeli diplomats allowed to fundraise for Independence Day events abroad

Contributions cannot come from corporate donors and donors cannot get anything in return for chipping in for the event.

‘WAS THERE ever a better Israel than this one?’: Israel Air Force F-161s fly over the beaches of Tel Aviv on a recent Independence Day. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
‘WAS THERE ever a better Israel than this one?’: Israel Air Force F-161s fly over the beaches of Tel Aviv on a recent Independence Day.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Diplomats abroad will be able to raise funds rather than rely only on Foreign Ministry funding to hold Independence Day and other events hosted by their missions abroad, the cabinet decided on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz’s decision, authorized in a cabinet vote, states that the government will “allow Israeli missions abroad, via the country’s official emissaries abroad, to raise and accept donations for holding events for Israeli Independence Day and events marking important events in the foreign relations between Israel and countries or international organizations.”
The Foreign Ministry will form a committee to examine all donations and determine whether to authorize them based on donors’ identities and their relation to the mission and the ministry.
Contributions cannot come from corporate donors and donors cannot get anything in return for chipping in for an event.
One donation cannot make up more than 25% of an event’s budget, and one donor may not give more than NIS 100,000 per year.
The Foreign Ministry will not be able to take in donations of over NIS 25m. annually.
The Foreign Ministry Workers Union, which has gone on strike in recent months to protest budget cuts, tweeted its opposition to the move.
“Will we also have to fundraise for the Remembrance Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies? Shame! We call again for the prime minister’s urgent intervention in the budgetary failure created by Treasury officials,” the union’s tweet read.
The union accused the government of shirking its responsibility and giving more work to the diplomats, while their pay and benefits are being cut.
“The government needs to decide what international status it wants. We oppose this decision and see it as morally bankrupt,” it said.
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Athens last week, the Israeli Embassy to Greece put a post on its Facebook page saying it is operating without enough funds.
“Where are we heading, and how will it be possible to carry on much longer, when... we are no longer able to continue to perform even the most basic diplomatic functions, those essential to promote the foreign agenda of the Government of Israel vis-a-vis its international counterparts?” the post read.
Among the union’s current demands is that reimbursement for their vital expenses abroad not be taxed in Israel.