The Foreign Ministry had also put forward other candidates; Bismuth wasn’t among them.
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The position is meant to mediate “behind the scenes with a low profile” between Israel and the countries that will take in infiltrators from Israel. One of the position's privileges is receiving a large commission of hundreds of thousands of shekels for infiltrators who are sent out of the country, the document showed.
According to the contract that Globes published, in which Bismuth is tasked with finding countries that will agree to take in infiltrators who made it to Israel, Bismuth was expected to resign as analyst and news editor of the free Israel Hayom newspaper, and in return receive a monthly salary of NIS 30,000, not including VAT, and full coverage for his flights and room and board outside of Israel. He would also receive other concessions and bonuses, which are not given to those in the public sector.
The document revealed that the Prime Minister’s Office reached an agreement that in order to return the infiltrators to Africa, the diplomatic channel of the Foreign Ministry wasn’t effective, and therefore it needed to hire someone with connections who would operate “under the radar.”
“The use of conventional tools, including the Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic channels, are not affective because the infiltration and refugee phenomenon is a global phenomenon, and the world hasn’t expressed its willingness to take in infiltrators,” the document read.
“The conclusion from this insight is that there is a need to appoint a special external project manager, with rich diplomatic experience, who is familiar with the continent of Africa and is able to make connections with senior representatives from the continent’s countries, who will act with determination while keeping a low profile, and be efficient working behind the scenes on behalf of the inter-ministerial team to find third-party countries that are willing to take in infiltrators who are currently residing in Israel, and this is to be done by using personal connections, creativity, and thinking outside the box.”
Prime minister's preference
Hillel Freeman, who was the assistant of the then-CEO of the Prime Minister’s Office, Eyal Gabay, said about the document that there were several candidates interviewed for the job, candidates that the Foreign Ministry proposed. Netanyahu, however, preferred Bismuth.
“After a preliminary examination, the prime minister asks to contact Bismuth, former ambassador to Mauritania, with a Master’s degree in African Studies and International Relations, fluent in English and French,” he said. “
“He has the required skills in order to undertake the role. In the initial conversation that we had, Bismuth said he was willing to perform the task, and as necessary, to leave his current job immediately. The prime minister and Bismuth have complete faith in each other. The necessary process of making contact with him was exempt from sending out tenders, the prime minister chose.”
According to Globes, due to the good relationship the two have, Bismuth would have received exceptional conditions. According to the document, the Prime Minister’s Office reached a “business model,” with the approval of the accountant-general and the budget department, which would have given Bismuth a six-month contract with another half-year option.
The contract was never signed due to unknown circumstances, and neither side is willing to comment.
The Prime Minister’s Office explained in the document that the exceptional bonuses that were created were made “in order to give incentives to the manager in his work.” According to the agreement, upon the first accord that Bismuth made with a third-party country that was willing to accept infiltrators he would receive a NIS 100,000 bonus – if the country took in 500 or more.
If he would be able to send out 2,500 infiltrators in his first agreement: NIS 200,000 bonus. For an additional accord he would receive half of those same bonuses, and the third agreement would give him 30% of the bonuses. After the third accord, Bismuth would only receive 10% of the initial bonuses.
The incentives, however, didn’t end there. Any agreement that signed during the first three months after entering the position would entail an additional 15% bonus of the total figure received. Agreements signed during the fourth to sixth month of his contract would only give him an additional 5%.
According to the contract, if he signed on for another six months, Bismuth would have received an 85% bonus of the total sum for any agreement made during the seventh to ninth months, and agreements after that would give him one percent of the sum he received for each agreement.
In consideration of the amounts that were set out, and that could have embarrassed the Prime Minister’s Office, it was spelled out on the back of the contract that “considering the sensitivity of the matter, and because it is dealing with delicate and sensitive international issues, we ask that the details of the contract remain confidential and not be made public.”
The Prime Minister’s Office didn’t respond to questions.
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