The labor dispute in the Foreign Ministry has escalated, with workers holding a rare demonstration outside the headquarters of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, accusing the agency of strikebreaking activities, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The protest marked six months of an increasingly bitter fight for better wages and working conditions.
Yair Frommer, head of the ministry’s workers’ committee, alleged that the government is using the Shin Bet to handle the visits of foreign dignitaries, which the workers have stopped doing.
Among the signs held up at the protest were “Shin Bet Instead of Diplomacy = Danger!!!” and “Shin Bet Collaborator.”
In protest, Foreign Ministry workers severed communications with the agency several weeks ago.
The effect of job sanctions has been felt in various aspects of ministry operations, including suspension of logistical support for ministerial trips abroad and consular services to Israelis and new immigrants abroad.
The refusal of ministry workers to handle the visits of Israeli diplomats and ministers abroad will affect a ceremony scheduled for July 18 to commemorate a year since terrorists in Bulgaria killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver. It means that the government will not be sending a representative to Bulgaria to participate.
Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch was invited, but he will be unable to attend because of the sanctions.