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The Cross of Bethlehem

The Cross of Bethlehem II

Israel, Iran, and a Few Rich Jews


 

 

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Ramat Aviv Mall | Symbols of Power

Ramat Aviv Mall owned by the Ofer Brothers | Symbols of Power

 

Seldom we can see in the open the Machiavellian machinery behind the State of Israel; you see evil events happen but tracking down their source and intentions is difficult. Then, once in a while something so brutal happens that there is no way of hiding it from the media, though even then the perpetrators seldom face justice. Formally – though not legitimately - Israel is a country. That means it signed many international agreements and that it must openly support the rule of law, even that it doesn’t have a constitution. Subsequently, there are things it cannot perform. Over time, several schemes developed most of them are based on the informal interaction between seniors in the public sector or prominent politicians and rich Jews, who sometimes are citizens of Israel and sometimes not. Transferring state property to these chosen people – with the addition of undisclosed terms - allows the state to perform indirectly evil acts. In 2008, this was openly disclosed by a film named The Shakshuka System (“shakshuka” is the name Israelis give to a popular dish made mainly of scrambled eggs and tomatoes; it can be freely translated as “shaken”), where this system with respect to the Ofer Brothers was disclosed. Despite attempts at censorship, it was broadcast by the Hebrew media.

This week, we got a strange reminder of the unusual relationship between the Ofer Brothers and the Israeli government. In the type of deals described in the previous paragraphs it is always understood that the price for the cooperation with the State of Israel hidden intentions is the right to make profits; regardless how and with whom. Recently, the Ofer's subsidiary Tanker Pacific sold a tanker called Raffles to UAE's Crystal Shipping for eight million dollars; the last sold it then to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. All signs show the Ofer Brothers were aware of the final destination; accordingly, the USA government imposed sanctions on the corporation. The Israeli government keeps quiet and that strange, since according to Israeli law any contact with the Iranian government is considered a criminal act. However, the Ofer Brothers are privileged.

Ofer Brothers Corporation

The Sammi and Yuli Ofer brothers began their shipping business in Haifa during the British Mandate era and transformed it into an empire. In 2004, they bought Zim and solidified their maritime monopoly within the Israeli market. They live comfortably in an exclusive neighborhood of Caesarea, not far from where Ezer Weizmann used to live.

Zim’s importance is evident just by reading its history. It was founded in 1945, by the Jewish Agency, the Histadrut (General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel) and the Israel Maritime League. The first two were the civil organizations that laid the base for the future state. Zim’s flag is based on the one designed by Theodor Herzl in 1896 as the future national emblem of the State of Israel. Herzl’s banner included seven six-pointed golden stars in a white field. No other civil organization in Israel can show such a patriotic pedigree and emblems.

In 1953, some of the money from the reparations agreement between Israel and West Germany was allocated to a massive expansion of its fleet (and I thought the damages were intended for the refugees! Silly me…). In 2004 the company was formally privatized – it was bought by the Ofer Brothers Group, but that has little meaning in Israel; the brothers already had a significant ownership of the company. As in other events described in The Cross of Bethlehem, the government sold the company at a fraction of its price to a single bidder chosen by the government. The state still has a “State Share,” which allows it to intervene on the company’s operation.

All these single out Zim as a strategic company. It is Israel’s lifeline. It brings wheat and oil from the US: Israel doesn’t produce enough food to feed its citizens and has no significant amounts of oil. The list goes one with any strategic product imaginable; secret cargo aimed for special industries is Zim’s norm. For example, Dow’s Syltherm 800 – described in The Cross of Bethlehem - for the nuclear plant in Dimona is brought from Senegal by this company. Blocking Zim’s service during a military conflict will strangle Israel to death, especially since it depends on the Haifa Port for its normal functioning.

However, the Ofer empire grew beyond the sea’s limits. The company's holdings include also Israel Chemicals, Haifa Oil Refineries Ltd (BAZAN), Bank Mizrahi, Tower Semiconductor Ltd, the Ramat Aviv Mall and others. Not surprisingly, there is a close relation between several of these and the military.

The bulk of Israel Chemical industries is near Beer Sheva and includes by-products of salts extracted from the Dead Sea by the Dead Sea Works – formerly known as the Palestine Potash Company. The salts are used for the production of agrochemical products and for the bromine related industries, mainly for the production of fire retardants. Most synthetic carpets in the world use fire-retardants produced here. The extraction of the salts is done on the southern side of the Dead Sea, where all the evaporation pools can be seen, but its chemical processing is done in several plants in the outskirts of Beer Sheva. There, two corporations make the processing: Makhteshim-Agan for the agrochemical products and ICL (Israel Chemical) for the bromine industry. Even those knowing very little chemistry know bromine is highly reactive and poisonous; the same goes for fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. That means unusual quantities of pollutants are produced and stored next to the city. Yet, the danger here is unexpectedly large since the Makhteshim plant (Makhteshim and Agan are two different companies in the corporation owned by Koor and each has its own plant) produces methyl isocyanate. This extremely toxic substance is used in the production of pesticides. It became famous during the night of December 3, 1984, when it was spilled in the Bhopal installations of a company now owned by Dow Chemical. Defined as the worst industrial disaster in history, it caused the death of thousands, many more were crippled and the ground is still contaminated there. Dow Chemical learned nothing; it is a major provider of Oil Refineries, Makhteshim, Agan and ICL via the Jacobson Agencies in Hertzeliya Pituach. This industrial complex is one of the bases of Israel’s formally inexistent chemical weapons industry.

Then there are the Haifa Oil Refineries; recently I commented on a small disaster that stopped Israel’s air traffic and is related to the refineries in Barak Hits Dagan: Fueling WMD. This industrial complex uses around 300 metric tons of amines per year. Amines are precursors to chemical weapons, especially one called TEA (tri-ethanol amine, often called as the drink “tea”). Amines (MEA, DEA and TEA) are also used in oil refineries. Nobody can buy TEA without a good justification, like refining oil. Israel buys it often from Dow Chemical, after providing letters of intentions regarding the use; Dow knows the letters are insincere. The main user is the Haifa Oil Refineries; from there part of the amines is silently diverted for the production of illegitimate weapons. Again, the private sector can achieve here silently, what the governmental one would never be able to do (imagine Netanyahu calling the Iranian president and attempting to sell the ship!). Israel bypasses in such a way the rule of its own law within its self-recognized territory; as such it is nothing but a pirate organization.

Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

“That’s just one family, and a few unrelated businesses!” my very few Zionist readers are exclaiming by now with rampant rage. Since I appreciate their opinions very much, I’ll let them explain why Sammy Ofer got in 2008 an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in recognition of his involvement with maritime heritage in the United Kingdom. Moreover, if these Zionists forgot, the State of Israel as the result of the 1983 Israel bank stock crisis stole its own citizens by giving away its largest bank – Bank Hapoalim – to a foreign agent basing the deal upon a loan provided by the second largest Israeli bank . Suddenly, Zuckerberg looks honest.

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