Israel Spends Only 8% of Foreign Ministry Budget on Diplomacy

Officials Present Wasteful Spending as Need for Bigger Budget

Debate in Israel’s Knesset today on the Foreign Ministry revealed that the budget is overwhelmingly wasted on “administrative needs,” and that only around 8% is spent on actual diplomacy, with the bulk of that spent in the US and Europe.

Reports didn’t fully break down where the money went, but it was 8% diplomacy and 14% security. Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren said the small amount of spending on actual diplomacy “defies logic.”

But instead of shifting their spending priorities toward diplomacy, ministry officials suggested that the solution would be to dramatically increase their budget so they could still throw all that other money at administration and logistics.

Much of the debate, then, centered on spending the increased money they expect to get on more diplomacy in Africa, with officials suggesting they could get a nation like Rwanda to vote their way at the UN Security Council for relatively little money.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of