Israel's Nuclear Bid on Seaports
manus manum lavat
one hand washes the other
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The official article doesn't mention how the mineral arrived to Israel. This operation included two strategic assets of Israel: Zim* and the Port of Haifa.
One hand washes the other
Foreign idioms abound in Hebrew; even Acadian ones can be found.** Yet, one must be careful, their meanings often get awry; cultural boundaries can be granite-solid. "One hand washes the other" entered Hebrew, but it is used to denote a corruption ring, more often than not businesses agreeing on illegitimate practices for their mutual profit.
"I want to tell my friends in the Histadrut – it's over, no more. It cannot be that 2,000 people will paralyze the State. We're bringing more traffic and we'll not stop. I say that the age of seaport monopoly is over," Netanyahu added, not bothering to explain why his words were just demagogy.
It is true that he is destroying the workers union monopoly, but he is replacing it with a tightly controlled oligopoly. Bids in Israel tend to be "sewn-bids," bids that are designed to meet the offer of the favored winner. The Minister of Transport—also present at the event—said that the first stage of the bid is open to all while only seven companies would advance to the final stage. Each port would be built by a different one.
Unsurprisingly, the Hebrew media already reported that the expected winners are American and Chinese corporations. "One hand washes the other" is the principle working here. Zim, the Israeli shipping company, has agreements around the world with ports' operators, including with the expected winners. The bid is not free, but an expansion of current businesses.
A related player is Spain, which a few months ago signed a multi-billion agreement with Israel on the development of transport infrastructure (see Spain Joins Israel's Gas Alliance). Together with China, and France Spain would compete for the creation of a $4 billion high-speed railway between the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, which will ran parallel to the Trans-Israel Pipeline.+
"Is this an article?"
The subtitle of this final section reflects what many readers may be thinking at this stage. Which ports have Zim agreements with? What is the trade volume? These and similar questions are legitimate, yet difficult to answer. Israel loves to hide strategic assets.
One of the strangest events in Zim history was the sinking of its Mineral Dampier ship in the China Sea in 1995 after a collision with Hanjin Madras, another cargo ship. If in Israel at the time, one could not ignore the event. For over a month, the attempt to retrieve the sailors' bodies was on the headlines.
Yet, if one tries to find reports about an Israeli ship accident in the China Sea, the results would be disappointing. Zim operated the Mineral Dampier under Liberian flag. The best information on the accident appears in the COURT OF APPEAL, ENGLAND & WALES, filed under The Hanjin Madras - vs - The Mineral Dampier. Can one guess that?
The rescue attempts were public, but little else was published. Persistent rumors at the time claimed that Israel was attempting also to rescue a "highly sensitive" cargo. Was it uranium oxide? Who was the intended recipient? Which country next to the China Sea needs "yellowcake?"
Yes, this is an article. In this Orwellian world, where democracies spy on their citizens while hiding their actions this is what free people can find: lies, manipulations and sewn-bids.
* Zim (pronounced Tsim) is a strategic shipping company. More than that, 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 on with every strategic product imaginable; secret cargo destined for special industries is Zim’s norm. For example, Dow Chemical's Syltherm 800—described in The Cross of Bethlehem—for the nuclear plant in Dimona is brought from Senegal by this company. Zim is strategically placed for this role, with a fleet of about a hundred vessels, 13 of them state-of-the-art high-TEU ships. They serve 180 ports of call around the world, with agents in 145 countries.
** The phrase "overstepped threshold" ("askupa nidreset") is a mix of Acadian and Hebrew, it denotes somebody being exploited.
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