Strike causes rift in Israeli diplomat-spy relations

Mossad seal

Mossad seal

Members of Israel’s striking diplomatic community say they will refuse cooperation with Israeli spies, after the latter stepped in to take over some of the striking diplomats’ tasks. The ongoing strike by the Diplomatic Association of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to eliminate the notable income disparity between Israeli diplomats and civil servants in the country’s Ministry of Defense, who make almost double than their diplomatic colleagues. The impact of the strike on Israel’s worldwide diplomatic activity has been substantial, and has included cancellations of some state-level visits. One such visit is a trip by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Greece, which the Israeli leader is keen on undertaking, despite the strike. He therefore requested that Israeli intelligence agency Mossad take over the functions of striking Foreign Affairs employees during his visit to Athens. But Hanan Goder, who chairs the striking Diplomatic Association, warned the Mossad that its strikebreaking action meant its operatives would receive “no aid” by Israeli diplomats around the world, barring instances of “life or death”. Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has been the site of fierce bureaucratic battles ever since the appointment of hardline politician Avigdor Lieberman at its helm. At the same time, the rift between the Ministry and the Mossad, which routinely operates out of Israeli embassies around the world, has been widening in recent years.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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