Among the businesses run by the Ofer group are the Tzim shipping company, the Mizrachi Tefachot bank, and various chemical plants. Ofer also owned the Zodiak shipping company and the Tanker Pacific shipping company.
The latter company was at the center of a political and media storm in the past week due to accusations that ships owned by Tanker Pacific had docked in Iran. The United States slapped sanctions on the Ofer Brothers Group over suspicions that it had violated sanctions against trade with Iran. Allegations surfaced according to which Zodiak ships had docked in Iran as well.
The Knesset's Finance Committee held a session to discuss the affair on Tuesday, but the meeting was suddenly stopped by chairman MK Carmel Shama (Likud) after Shama received a note, the contents of which he refused to divulge.
On Wednesday, former Mossad head Meir Dagan stood up for the Ofer Brothers Group, saying, “There is no law saying you cannot dock in Iran.” On Sunday the Ministerial Committee on Legislation will consider a proposal by Shama to penalize companies that have ties with Iran.
In addition to his life as a businessman, Ofer was a member of the Haganah pre-state defense group and fought in World War II and in the War of Independence. He gave to many causes, and established a foundation for those in need of life-saving medicine.
Ofer is survived by his wife Aviva, his sons Eyal and Idan, and eight grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A family spokesman said Friday, “Sammy loved life. He had a great sense of humor and was full of laughter, despite always taking business seriously... He was truly a remarkable man.”
Ofer's businesses will continue to be run as usual, the spokesman added.
|Sammy Ofer awarded honorary KBE by Queen Elizabeth|
|Nov 17, 2008|
The British Embassy in Israel said in a statement last Wednesday that Israeli shipping magnet Samuel Ofer had been awarded an honorary KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth, in recognition of his services to UK maritime heritage.
British Culture Secretary Andy Burnham issued a statement last Wednesday: "Sammy Ofer’s contribution to the preservation and celebration of our maritime heritage has been enormous. Thanks to his incredible generosity this heritage will continue to educate, delight and fire the imaginations of many generations to come.”
In 2008 Ofer contributed towards projects connected with the UK’s maritime heritage at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich.
Ofer made an additional major contribution towards the extensive conservation work on the iconic sailing ship Cutty Sark, following the fire in 2007.
The KBE awards are conferred by the Queen, on the advice of the foreign and commonwealth secretary, on those who have made an important contribution to British interests.
Queen Elizabeth II is also expected to bestow an unusual honor on President Shimon Peres and name him a knight in her order.
President Peres is to be awarded the title, regarded as the United Kingdom's highest honor, for his contribution to world peace and the relationship between Israel and the UK. Peres is expected to leave for an official presidential visit in Britain on November 18.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has meanwhile asserted: "Israel's policy on Iran is very clear - any and all contact with it is forbidden."