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Barbara 02-28-2006 11:29 AM

Iraq War Brings Windfall Profits to Israel
Iraq War Brings Windfall Profits to Israel
News; Posted on: 2004-04-30

Jordanian middlemen strip goods of Hebrew inscriptions to fool Iraqi consumers.

The Israeli daily Ma'ariv reported on April 2, 2004 on the wide-scale Israeli business invasion into Iraq. 70-100 Israeli firms have stormed Iraq over the last year. "Most of them do not like to speak about it," writes Ma'ariv.

"[They export] Beer, phones, textiles, electronics, buses, bullet-proof vests, shielded vehicles, everything goes, even fuel. What are the Jordanians doing? - Mediating. The Iraqis? - Buying. The Americans? - Closing their eyes. It is no wonder that in Baghdad rumours circulate that the Israelis have already bought half of Iraq."

The Iraqi businessmen dealing with the Israelis are aware that their counterparts are Jews, but of course not the Iraqi public, which hates Israel. In one case, 1,500 air conditioners arrived in Iraq with Hebrew inscriptions. The whole shipment had to be withdrawn causing heavy losses for the Jew investors and the cancellation of another project. Now goods are sent to Jordan where they are stripped of anything that might identify them as coming from Israel. The scheme couldn't work without the cooperation of Jordanian firms, who collect the goods at the border and then repack them in order to erase any Israeli traces.

On July 21, 2003 Israeli finance minister Benyamin Netanyahu signed an authorization enabling Israel to trade with Iraq. This step caused concern among neo-cons in Washington, concerned that it corroborated the view that Israel and its US lobby pushed America towards the Iraq war.

Five months later the US published the name of the states allowed to tender a bid for the reconstruction of Iraq. Israel was missing from the list so as not to annoy and embarrass Arab countries and especially the Iraqis. Notwithstanding the impression that Washington tries to create, Israelis are allowed to participate as sub-contractors in the reconstruction work.

Ma'ariv estimates that some 15 Israel companies succeeded in getting fat Iraqi contracts. The companies who succeed are those who possess excellent US connections.

A list of Israeli companies active in Iraq:

The bus company Dan (used buses)
Rabintex (bullet-proof vests)
Shirionit Hosem (security doors)
Etz Carmiel (doors and other wood products for border posts)
Tambour (paints)
Tempo (beer and other drinks)
Tami 4 (Water-purifying application)
Trellidor (folding bars)
Tanurgaz (kitchens)
Iridium Israel (mobile satellite communication services)
Sakal (electronic products)
Naan Dan(irrigation equipment)
Sonol (fuel)

Source: Ma'ariv

Israeli business invasion into Iraq

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