Foreign Ministry slashes budgets for Israeli embassies worldwide

Some diplomatic missions will have to operate on a mere $50 per day, but ministry claims data inaccurate, 2023 budget one of the largest in recent years; 'Someone decided to bring the Israeli foreign service to a crisis,' diplomat says

The Foreign Ministry has made a surprising decision to significantly cut budgets for activities at Israeli embassies worldwide.
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Most of the diplomatic missions are left with a meager budget of $5,000 per quarter, which translates to just $50 per day for their operations. This information comes from a dispatch distributed by the Foreign Ministry headquarters to embassies around the globe.
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שר החוץ אלי כהן פגישה עם שר החוץ של יוון יורגוס יראפטריטיס באתונה
שר החוץ אלי כהן פגישה עם שר החוץ של יוון יורגוס יראפטריטיס באתונה
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen
(Photo: EPA/Orestis Panagiotou)
This move comes amid strained relations with the United States and a reduced allocation from the European Union. The sudden decision has raised concerns about the potential crisis facing the Israeli foreign service.
"This is happening at a time when relations with the U.S. are tense, and the European Union is turning its back on us," a senior Israeli diplomat said. "Someone has suddenly decided to bring the Israeli foreign service to a crisis."
"We received an absurd budget that initially seemed like a terrible joke," according to another diplomat. "We are not given any explanations. We cannot operate with just $50 a day. No one can explain the source of this ridiculous situation, especially during these critical days for foreign relations. It's simply disgraceful."
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משרד החוץ בירושלים
משרד החוץ בירושלים
The Foreign Ministry building in Jerusalem
(Photo: Shlomi Cohen)
Under normal circumstances, the operational budget for smaller and medium-sized diplomatic missions stands at approximately $50,000 per month or around $150,000 per quarter. Larger missions, such as the embassy in Washington, receive up to several hundred thousand dollars per year. Reducing the budget to a mere $5,000 per quarter means a drastic cut of several percentage points compared to the funding that regular missions have previously received to cover activities and hosting delegations from Israel.
The Foreign Ministry did not deny the data but responded that "the information presented in the report does not accurately reflect the current situation. The budget for the Foreign Ministry in 2023 is one of the largest the ministry has had in recent years. The budget is allocated among the ministry's departments according to the minister's and director-general's guidelines, in a manner that aligns with the ministry's objectives and goals."
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