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Sharon Rescinds Resignation As Head of Ministerial Panel on Absorption

March 14, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Housing Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday withdrew his resignation as chairman of the committee on immigrant absorption, saying the reasons that motivated him to quit no longer applied.

Sharon, who announced his resignation Sunday, had blasted the Industry and Trade Ministry for failing to provide sufficient jobs for immigrants from the Soviet Union and had accused Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of lukewarm backing for his policies.

Sources close to the Prime Minister’s Office said Sharon withdrew his resignation when he learned that Shamir planned to appoint Industry and Trade Minister Moshe Nissim, the very man he criticized, to replace him as chairman of the absorption committee.

His return to the panel also followed Finance Minister Yitzhak Moda’i’s decision Tuesday to restore recent cuts in the subsidies new immigrants receive during their first year in the country.

The move brought the stipend back to its previous level of 17,000 shekels in cash and services for a family of three. That is equivalent to about $7,750 under the new exchange rate set after the shekel’s devaluation Sunday.

Sharon claimed Wednesday that it was he who had convinced the finance minister to act. He also said Shamir had promised him more support and additional powers and that he was assured the government would act vigorously to relieve unemployment among new olim.

Despite the acute housing shortage, lack of jobs is said to be the main cause of dissatisfaction among immigrants.

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