A blog dedicated to investigating events as they occur in Judea and Samaria, in Israel and in the world, and as they relate to global powers and/or to the Israeli government, public figures, etc. It is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the headlines; and in so doing, it strives to do its part in saving Judea and Samaria, and by extension, Israel and the Jewish People, from utter destruction at the hands of its many external and internal enemies.

Friday, June 3, 2011

... Just in case you were wondering who is running Israel... hmmm, let's think: old guard Haganah member, the Knesset stops its deliberations on a secret note, then he dies..... any questions, folks??

    Israeli Businessman Sammy Ofer dies at 89

    by Maayana Miskin, June 3, 2011
    ( Sammy Ofer, one of Israel's most successful businessmen, was found dead in his home on Friday morning at the age of 89. He had been suffering a serious illness.

    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.
    "...This prompted speculation that the Ofer brothers might have been helping the Israeli security services spy on Iran.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has meanwhile asserted: "Israel's policy on Iran is very clear - any and all contact with it is forbidden."


    Anonymous said: " How convenient!"

    Folks, let's try to understand this together. The official line, the 'permitted' speculation, as presented by BBC, above, is as follows:

    "This prompted speculation that the Ofer brothers might have been helping the Israeli security services spy on Iran."

    OK, it is possible that this is the explanation; however, I can see a few other reasons for the sudden hush-hush of the Knesset. For instance:

    A. A note that the old man Sammy Ofer is dying, to please drop the issue for the sake of this important and extremely wealthy family - unlikely.

    B. An order from ' above', i.e. the Supreme Court or the Shabak, to leave this important honcho, this elite family, alone - a possibility; after all in Israel there is justice, and then there is "justice". Such people, the plutocracy, are above the law, particularly when they belong to the old left.

    C. An order from the royal family of England to keep Israeli hands and mouths off their precious Knight of the British Empire - a possibility.

    D. ... And see who else is a Knight of the British Empire: who else but good old Shimon Peres; after all, buddies of the Knighthood have to protect each other, wouldn't you think? So, how about a hand-written note by none other than our treasonous president, Shimon Peres, (who habitually passes hand-written notes), ordering the Knesset to lay their dirty fingers off his precious comrade-in-arms, literally? I vote for that one. Meanwhile, I add the 'speculation' ( of course, it is only speculation)  that Shimon makes sure his old buddy and contemporary is dead and buried before he gets a chance to tell his own version of the Iran saga, spilling ALL the beans, including WHO ELSE could be a partner in the business - of course, Shimon Peres would have no financial interest whatsoever in the Iran dealings, of course, of course....

    E. A note from the Shabak to the effect that the issue would be dealt with promptly in their now habitual manner, and the embarrassment to the state of Israel would be buried very soon - after all, remember all the 'accidented' people -  Possible? Who knows? Would they do it to one of their own? Would they openly announce their evil plan to the Knesset? I would doubt it, but then you never know, after all murder is addictive, or so they say....

    F. Or, how about a combination of D and E? First we hush-hush the affair for the sake of the family's good name, and then the old man conveniently dies, sparing the president, the state, and last, the family, some very, very embarrassing questions to answer...?

    So, which one is it? What do you think? 

    Either way, it is clear that the famous so-called ruling body of Israel, the Israeli Knesset, is not ruling at all: the people who pull the strings are manipulating behind the scenes, things are done in secret, and nobody knows who or what does what. So much for Israeli ' democracy'.

    Therefore, I ask you, for what on earth are we voting them in at all?

    Shabbat Shalom


    Here is another, totally different outlook on the saga. Carolyn Glick is smart. Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to make sense of it all. 

    June 6, 2011

    By Caroline Glick

    One of the dirty secrets about Western trade with enemy states like Iran is that the Western companies trading with them may also wittingly or unwittingly serve as espionage assets for their home country or for other Western countries.

    Consider the Stuxnet computer virus which reportedly caused great harm to at least one and perhaps multiple nuclear installations in Iran. The virus penetrated the Iranian systems through Siemens industrial control systems. In recent years, Siemens was subject to widespread criticism from US policy makers for its massive trade with Iran. And this criticism was justified. But it is important to admit that if Siemens hadn't been trading with Iran, whomever developed the Stuxnet virus would have had to find another, probably less accessible platform to penetrate Iran's computer systems.

    The Stuxnet story shows the problematic flipside of trade embargos against rogue states like Iran. The less access you have to enemy markets, the less ability you have to gather information about enemy targets and the less capacity you have to sabotage enemy targets. The more access you have, the more capacity you can build to infiltrate, gather information and sabotage enemy targets.

    The boycott drive against states like Iran uses a legalistic framework to deal with complex military challenges. And since the nail doesn't exactly fit the hole, it stands to reason that the damage sanctions can do to military or intelligence operations may in certain circumstances outweigh the benefit they bring to diplomatic operations.

    Since last week's announcement by the State Department that it was sanctioning the Israeli firm Ofer Brothers' Shipping for reportedly violating US law by trading with Iran, there has been a deluge of news reports alleging that the Ofer Brother's ships were used by the Mossad and perhaps the IDF to infiltrate and exfiltrate agents into and out of Iran.

    There are number of troubling aspects to the story. First, it strikes me as odd that the announcement about the sanctions was made by the State Department. If I am not mistaken, these decisions and announcements are usually made by the Treasury Department. Why would the State Department have taken the unusual step of announcing the sanctions and take the step against an Israeli shipping company? 

    Second, it strikes me as odd that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan felt compelled to issue an impassioned defense of the Ofer Brothers Shipping company. Dagan is in the midst of an unprecedented, arguably illegal and certainly unseemly campaign to delegitimize Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu. It seems strage that in the midst of this offensive Dagan would divert his attention to the Ofer Brothers Shipping woes. He must have been deeply shocked by the US move to do so.

    (And yes, eventually I will probably address Dagan's unacceptable abuse of his position to weaken Israel's political leadership and limit its policy options against Iran.)

    The third reason this is so shocking is that the timing of the annoucement cannot be viewed as coincidental. The rare State Department announcement came just after Netanyahu wiped the floor with Obama in the Congress and as the Republicans are wisely using Obama's hatred of Israel and his love for anti-American political forces in the region as a campaign issue for 2012.  It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the announcement was deliberately released at this juncture to weaken US public support for Israel.

    If my hunch is right, and the Obama administration decided to use the sanctions as a means to humilitate Israel, then this represents a stunning blow to the US's credibility as an ally. It is impossible to believe that if the Ofer Brothers subsidiary ships were used for intelligence operations in Iran that the US did not know about it. So if the ships were used by Israeli security agencies then the US knew that exposing the Israeli identity of the ships would make it impossible for Israel to continue using them. And if this is the case, then the US also knew that by exposing the information, it was liable to leave  Israeli agents currently in Iran stranded there.

    Since Obama came into office, both he and his advisors and Israeli politicians and security service commanders have repeatedly mentioned that intelligence and military cooperation between the two countries has grown steadily. If my sense of what happened with the Ofer Brothers Shipping firm is even partially correct, then Israel should immediately reconsider its willingness to maintain that cooperation. If Obama may use information shared in joint intelligence meetings to harm Israel for political purposes or, for that matter for any purpose, then Israel can no longer share information with the US.


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