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Hardliner’s Aide Hopes to Soften Rules on Immigrants

A public relations expert who was paid by the Shas party to serve as a consultant to Interior Minister Eli Yishai stands to earn hundreds of thousands of shekels from another client if he convinces the Interior Ministry to liberalize restrictions on the use of migrant labor in the construction industry.

The PR consultant, Ronen Tzur, advised Yishai on dealing with the public outcry over the 2010 Carmel Fire disaster, which focused on Yishai because his ministry oversees the fire services. Tzur has advised the Shas chairman on other issues connected with his ministry as well.

But Tzur also represents a nonprofit organization that promotes the interests of manpower agencies that seek to place foreign workers in the construction industry. And he stands to earn a major fee if he gets the interior minister to loosen restrictions on employing foreign construction workers.

When asked to comment for this article, Tzur said he has no business relationship with the Interior Ministry or its Population and Immigration Authority, “and in any event, the interior minister does not and never did have any connection or involvement with, or information about, my contract [with the nonprofit], and it will remain that way in the future.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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