Netanyahu calls in the army to bust strike in Foreign Ministry

Foreign Ministry employees, who are protesting their salary conditions, are angry at the Prime Minister’s Bureau for turning to IDF military attache to help arrange cabinet ministers’ trip to Poland. According to “Haaretz”, with Foreign Ministry employees on strike, senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Bureau asked a military attache to arrange an upcoming visit to the Polish capital by Prime Minister.

Last week, Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett wanted to send the army into the ports in the event of a strike; now he wants to “exterminate” them, but wraps this in the form of a pun. In the latest post on his Facebook, he wrote, “That’s it. The ants are impossible. I came home and realized that something had to be done. They’re in the kitchen, the living room, the guest room. The whole house is filled with ants. I called in the exterminator.”

A Foreign Ministry employees general assembly in Jerusalem, 2011 (Photo: Foreign Ministry employees Union)

In Hebrew, the word for “ants” and “ports” is the same – nemalim. The reference to workers at Israel’s seaports and their unions is unmistakable. Within 13 hours, Bennett’s post had 11,000 likes and 700 shares, and the numbers are steadily climbing.  Ultra neo-liberal Bennett targeted the ports during the election campaign, when he called for a fight against powerful unions. Bennett said that he had drawn up a plan, “Code 1981”, which featured sending the IDF into the ports in the event of a wildcat strike over the government’s plans to build a new private-owned port. The plan’s name was inspired by US President Ronald Reagan, who broke the air traffic controllers strike that year.

Economy minister Naftali Bennetts facebook post equating port workers with ants