It’s little surprise that Israel has many political, military, tourism and public relations issues. Among its uniquely talented citizens, are some very qualified public leaders well equipped to manage Israel’s continuous challenges. They are often elected by the public – or expected to follow the rules of Israel’s democratically elected leaders. Apparently, Yair Frommer, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s workers’ union believes that he is more talented and better suited to deal with Israel’s myriad of foreign relations issues single handedly
The 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge famously said while he was governor of Massachusetts in the face of a Boston police strike in 1919, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, at any time,” as he pushed back hard and successfully against the striking police amidst riots and turmoil that ensued as a result.
Once again in 1981, after a stern warning, stating, “Government cannot close down the assembly line. It has to provide without interruption the protective services which are government’s reason for being,” the venerable President Ronald Reagan fired 11,000 air traffic controllers who walked off the job and put the public in jeopardy.
It would seem that Israeli government unions, that have regularly wrecked havoc through the years, are set to make the mistake that American government workers in charge of protecting the safety of the people had made to their own huge loss. Israeli diplomatic relations are at such a sensitive point, and it depends on its foreign status as it tries to maintain public safety and achieve diplomatic relations intact for the benefit of everyone. As such, the Israeli public needs to be quite concerned that the Foreign Ministry workers are currently in a quasi-strike which has affected the ability of the State of Israel to properly function.
The union and Foreign Ministry employees are protesting the fact that Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has held the position of Foreign Minister for himself while Avigdor Liberman’s legal issues are in limbo. And – like it or not – In doing so, he has allocated Foreign Ministry responsibilities to a number of other Ministries to help manage the department. It is within his right to do so.
These actions of Foreign Ministry staff are contrary to the best interests of the State of Israel. Recently, Ministry officials working in the U.S. refused to assist with the Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz’s visit to the United States. The Shin Bet security service which is responsible for security received no cooperation from Israeli consulate employees abroad.
Now, this quasi-strike is about to get worse and become a full blown workers’ strike and Yair Frommer declared “if no acceptable offer is made in the coming days the sanctions will be expanded, so much so as to totally interrupt the government’s ability to manage the country’s foreign relations.”
Upcoming trips abroad to China by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres at the Vatican can be seriously affected. Frommer said Netanyahu “doesn’t dedicate the appropriate attention” to the Foreign Ministry, and “Without this, the State of Israel is damaged every day.”They have already refused Netanyahu’s security team visas to China, refused Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid diplomatic passports, and refused Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger a visa to the United States.
Actions such as this should be met head on with force as American leaders had done in the past, being that these actions can cause harm to Israel’s brand, political relations, and tourism industries.