Foreign Ministry workers won't help import, export goods

Diplomatic workers escalate sanctions after near shut down of ministry services to visiting officials, politicians abroad, and citizens needing visas.

Diplomats at Foreign Ministry 311 (do not publish again) (photo credit: Flash 90)
Diplomats at Foreign Ministry 311 (do not publish again)
(photo credit: Flash 90)
The Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic workers stiffened their work sanctions Monday and went after the checkbook – announcing that from now on they would not assist Israeli companies abroad, or sign off on papers needed for security-related exports.
Monday’s measures were the latest in a long line of gradually escalating sanctions, which already have led to a near shut down of Foreign Ministry services to visiting dignitaries, Israeli politicians traveling abroad, and Israeli citizens in need of consular services here or abroad.
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The diplomatic worker’s committee sent out a cable to all ministry representatives abroad saying that since the Finance Ministry refused to return to negotiations, the ministry would now stop giving assistance to Israeli companies, such as giving assistance in opening markets abroad, and representation at foreign trade fairs.
Likewise, the ministry will cease contact with all manufacturing and import and export organizations and institutions in Israel and all government bodies connected to trade. The ministry will also not sign off on any security-related deals, and all representatives abroad have been told to stop dealing with the various projects in the works.
A statement put out by the worker’s committee said that Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and the Treasury are “mistaken in thinking that the Israeli economy can grow without the assistance and support of the Foreign Ministry workers.”
The statement said the Treasury, in its treatment of the ministry workers, was “harming the chances for Israeli economic growth.”
The Ministry’s workers have been involved in a work dispute for nearly a year, trying to equalize their salaries with those of Defense Ministry and Mossad employees.