Euroasian Jewish News
Israeli PM Netanyahu to visit Ukraine
The Foreign Ministry’s work sanctions are casting a shadow over a pre-election trip to Japan that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning at the end of the month, with the ministry’s workers committee saying they will not handle the logistics for the visit.
Netanyahu, who because of domestic politics has been grounded in Israel since early April – his longest stretch in the country since elections in 2015 – is planning a number of pre-election visits abroad, which is a good way for him to underline what he always highlights in election campaigns: his diplomatic credentials.
Contacts are also under way for a visit to Ukraine in August and India in early September, before Election Day on the 17. Diplomatic sources told The Post that a discussed trip to South Korea on the back end of his visit to Japan on July 29-30 will not materialize. The idea of that trip raised some eyebrows, given that it would come just two weeks after President Reuven Rivlin’s current visit there.
Foreign Ministry sources said that unless there is a last-minute change, the ministry will not deal with the trips – i.e. prepare all the logistical groundwork – something that will make carrying them off more difficult.
The ministry has embarked on a series of work sanctions over the last few weeks – including not processing visas for visitors from India and China – to protest a worsening of work conditions for diplomats abroad.
As of January, expenses such as rent for apartments, tuition for school and expenses for hosting events are no longer paid outright, but are a part of the monthly salary and taxable at a rate of 40% – something workers say has taken a huge bite out of the salaries abroad.
This will not be the first time that the Foreign Ministry has threatened to not deal with the prime minister’s trips overseas, though in most cases they have backed down at the last minute.
BY HERB KEINON