MK Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) and ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had a close and well-known friendship for many years. Today, Ben-Eliezer denies Egyptian media reports that he was paid $25,000 a month from the presidential budget as an advisor on Israeli and Jewish affairs.
The Egyptian media cited information leaked from the memoir that Mubarak is writing. The reports claim that the arrangement with Ben-Eliezer was known to Mubarak's chief of staff Zakaria Azmi. Mubarak said that the payments to Ben-Eliezer were accepted practice, and that there was no special arrangement with him.
Mubarak cited the example of the late Moroccan King Hassan II, who hired André Azoulay as an advisor on Jewish affairs. Azoulai kept his job under Hassan II's son and successor, King Mohammad VI.
Ben-Eliezer is a former chairman of the Labor Party and held senior government portfolios, including defense minister. He told Channel 2 News, "This is utter rubbish and nonsense."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 14, 2012
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