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The Cross of Bethlehem

The Cross of Bethlehem II

Protecting Oligarchy

On Israeli conflict of interests with its own citizens

 

 

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On February 21, 2012, Israel’s Economic Concentration Committee delivered its decisions. Composed by PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, and committee chairman Haim Shani, the committee needed to decide which individuals and companies were too large for the Israeli market. These would need to choose between their finance or non-finance businesses in order to avoid conflict of interests. If one person owns both, then his finance companies could lend to the real ones while undeservedly offering comfortable interests; the State of Israel decided to deny such an opportunity. The committee’s decisions included a list of names and industries. Some were spared, others not. Unsurprisingly, its criteria seem to be more political and Mossad-oriented than financial.

Sammy Ofer

Sammy Ofer - Zim

 

 

Netanyahu Surprises

 

The committee’s final recommendations were stricter than the interim report delivered some months ago. Some of the names included were related to military and strategic industries in Israel and thus provided a good insight on their specific status. Is the military strengthening in comparison to Mossad? Netanyahu surprised here. In various occasions (most recently in Israel Bluffs Iran) I mentioned that Israel seems to have suffered a South American-style coup d’état by Sayeret Matkal (Battalion 262, the IDF General Headquarters Commando Unit, mainly related to intelligence gathering operations), especially by those of its members who participated in Operation Entebbe. Thus, one expected to see military industries being favored by the committee.

The key to the political manipulation performed by the committee was the criteria choice. On personal matters, it decided that directors sitting on boards of finance companies may not serve as directors of non-finance companies as well; this means over forty people would need to renounce their position as directors from at least one company. On the corporate front, it decided that a “significant non-finance” company is one turning over NIS 8 billion a year (roughly $2bn), or with a balance sheet bigger than NIS 20 billion. A finance asset was defined as any company managing more than NIS 50 billion worth of the citizens’ assets (savings, pension funds, provident funds). The committee defined a company of less than $2bn turnover as insignificant; this is just below 1% of Israel’s GDP. “That makes perfect sense,” many would say at this moment. Eventually, one may have been forced to agree to such sagacious decisions, if it wasn’t due to the odd fact that the threshold was chosen so that industries managed by people related to the Mossad were spared. Netanyahu’s Battalion 262 chose Mossad.

The draft singled out three persons (Nochi Dankner, Yitzhak Tshuva and Zadik Bino) as having to choose finance or non-finance; they were related mainly to the energy sector. The latter is passing through a redesign following the discovery of vast amounts of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, thus this decision was expected. In such a way, the state may be hoping to gain additional shares in the energy market. It would be very difficult to classify this as an honest decision, though under the Israeli system it is a legal one.

The difference between the draft and final reports was the addition of Apax Partners fund and the Ofer family to the list. Apax is an international investment fund that owns Tnuva (see Cheesy Israel), Israel biggest food manufacturer, and Psagot, Israel’s biggest investment house. Apax being a foreign company, it doesn’t surprise anyone that they were victims of the committee. The Ofer Brothers (Sammy in the picture above, Yuli died a few years ago) were a different story.

 

The Ofer Brothers Corporation

 

Sammi and Yuli Ofer began their shipping business in Haifa during the British Mandate, and transformed it into an empire. In 2004, they bought Zim and solidified their maritime monopoly within the Israeli market. 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 with Bank Hapoalim (see next section), the Israeli 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 in 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 on 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. 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. Two corporations do the processing: Makhteshim-Agan for the agrochemical products (recently sold to China) and ICL (Israel Chemical) for the bromine industry. Then, there are the Haifa Oil Refineries, which is related to the production of illegitimate weapons (see On Israel, Iran, and Rich Jews). This cooperation between state and private enterprises is typical. The private sector can achieve silently what the governmental one would never be able to do. 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. 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 that the Ofer Brothers were aware of the final destination; accordingly, the USA government imposed sanctions on the corporation. The Israeli government keeps quiet in this affair; this is strange since according to Israeli law any contact with the Iranian government is considered a criminal act.

Despite this close relationship with the state and its military, the Ofer empire is being dismantled, or at least reshaped against its will. The military-industrial complex is losing force.

 

Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild

Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild | Israel’s 500 Shekel Banknote (ceased being legal tender in 1986)

 

 

Sparing Mossad

 

In sharp contrast, business groups owned by Shari Arison and Mozi Wertheim were spared, because of their falling short of the committee’s criteria. Shari Arison, born in New York, is the daughter of Ted Arison’s. She inherited from him the shares of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank. These were practically given to her father for free by the State of Israel (see The Cross of Bethlehem) in the 1980s. That didn’t happen because of Ted’s pretty smile, but because of a lifetime collaboration with the Mossad. The other spared star, Mozi Wertheim, is best known for owning the Coca Cola agency in Israel. It was given to him to express gratitude for his long service in the Mossad (How can that be given? Isn’t Coca Cola an American corporation? Simply, the state must grant an operation license. The same holds true for the Dow Chemical’s Agency in Israel). Bottom line, Mossad is gaining strength.

 

The Rothschild Class

 

A few days ago, a club of friends met and decided to help some of their other friends while rejecting others. The State of Israel leadership took personal decisions based on personal affiliations while ignoring the voice of its people. I am neither defending the Ofer Brothers nor attacking Shari Arison. I am pointing out the fact that Israel is not a proper country. It is illegitimate due to its disregard of the founding conditions imposed on it, and the lack of a valid social contract with its citizens (see Is Israel Sovereign?). It is criminally violent to the extent of having been declared “terror inflicting” by the UN (see UN: Israel is Terror). Neither law nor justice, the State of Israel provides its citizens the daily horror of a tyranny of self-appointed committees promoting the economic and financial interests of its privileged members, the Rothschild Class.

My mentioning of Rothschild here is not casual. Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild began to buy land in Palestine in 1882. He became a leading force in the Zionist movement, promoting industrialization and economic development. In 1924, he established the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA), which acquired more land and set up business ventures. To a large extent, he shaped the corporation culture of the future State of Israel (which resembles a corporation more than a state), basing it on protectionism and nepotism (referred to as “Vitamin P”—for ‘protection’—in Israel, see for example the kibbutz life described in The Cross of Bethlehem). Accordingly, he got to be buried with a nineteen-gun salute for having been instrumental in the exploitation and manipulation of the masses, while simple citizens became just cannon fodder of the Zionist state. His faithful followers continue implementing these policies, having successfully created a legal and administrative system which is completely unrelated to justice. Mozi Wertheim, open oligarch and secret elder, let me salute you for your recent success with your company slogan: Coca Cola Enjoy!

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All texts and background photo © Roi Tov 2004—2014 tovroy@aol.com

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