Foreign Ministry Employees’ Union Threatens to Disrupt Trump Visit

The Foreign Ministry Employees’ Union has threatened to disrupt US President Donald Trump’s planned visit to Israel later this month. Union officials claim that the Ministry of Finance has not implemented the agreements reached with workers two years ago.

"Sanctions here!", the Israeli embassy in Oslo

“Sanctions here!”, the Israeli embassy in Oslo (Photo: Foreign Ministry Employees’ Union)

“On the backdrop of the deliberate stalling of treasury officials, the workers have no choice but to disrupt the planned visit of US President Donald Trump,” said Hanan Godder, chairman of the Foreign Ministry’s Employees’ Union. More than two years have passed since the signing of a collective agreement, but the Ministry of Finance has yet to implement its share of the wages of workers abroad.

The US president is set to arrive on May 22 and he will leave the next day. He will have begun his first overseas trip as president in Saudi Arabia, and will later travel to the Vatican. Israel’s Channel 2 said the administration has also expressed interest in a possible Israel-Jordan-Saudi Arabia train route, and in pushing a much-discussed Red Sea-Dead Sea canal project. Channel 2 reported on Thursday, May 4, that Trump wanted to deliver the main speech of his visit to Israel at the iconic desert fortress of Masada, but that has not been confirmed. During the trip, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The US president is not expected in Ramallah but may visit Bethlehem.

A White House statement on Thursday said the visit to Israel was aimed at “further strengthening the United States-Israel partnership.” “The leaders will discuss a range of regional issues, including the need to counter the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist groups. They will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement read.

“My first foreign trip as president of the United States will be to Saudi Arabia, then Israel, and then to a place that my cardinals love very much, Rome,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. Trump will add the three stops to an already announced visit to NATO and G7 summits in Brussels and Sicily later this month. The timing of Trump’s visit to Israel — coinciding with Jerusalem Day, when Israel will celebrate 50 years since the occupation of the Palestinian sector of the city after the 1967 Six Day War — has sparked speculation that he might use the trip make a “major announcement regarding the city.”