Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Israel Employs Untrained Local Staff in Diplomatic Roles Abroad, Harming Its Foreign Relations

Barak Ravid, haaretz.com

Image from article, with caption: A supporter of Netanyahu holds a flag opposite Downing Street ahead of his visit, in London, February 6, 2017.

Israel's comptroller finds missions are hiring locals to take on tasks normally reserved for envoys, despite Foreign Ministry claims to the contrary, with damaging results

The employment of nonprofessional employees in diplomatic roles in Israeli missions abroad could cause major damage to Israel's image and its foreign relations, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira warned in a report his office issued on Tuesday. ...
“The findings show that [staffing] in core fields in which the missions work – diplomacy, international law, public advocacy, economics and trade – have been in continual crisis and that the mission have relied for some time on filling these positions with local employees,” the report states. “The operational crisis in which the Foreign Ministry finds itself is liable to harm its ability to properly represent the State of Israel’s diplomatic, public relations, economic and consular interests at its missions abroad.” ...
The comptroller’s report also disclosed similar cases of local employees at major embassies in other capitals, including Paris, Brussels and Washington, as well as at the United Nations, who carried out the work of professional diplomats. “A local Israeli employee was hired at the Paris embassy as Israel’s cultural attaché,” the controller noted. “At the Brussels embassy three foreign local employees independently performed core representation jobs without any direct instruction from the envoys – a public diplomacy employee briefing reporters, a public diplomacy employee delivering public speeches to various target audiences without oversight, and a culture employee in lieu of a cultural attaché, an envoy’s job.” ...

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