Gov't won't intervene in Ofer affair

A diplomatic source says there can be no approach to Washington.

The Israeli government will not intervene in the affair of the Ofer family's commercial involvement with Iran, Voice of Israel Radio reported this morning. A senior diplomatic source told Voice of Israel radio that the government could not make an approach to Washington on the matter since it was leading the campaign to exert pressure on Iran and was demanding of the US that it should maintain strict economic sanctions.

While government ministers are remaining silent and not commenting on the Ofer affair, tomorrow, the Knesset Economics Committee will discuss the matter.

"This affair does not smell good, and the bad smell gets worse from day to day," the committee's chairman MK Carmel Shama said on the Voice of Israel's "This Morning" program. "It's true that the Ofer brothers have a great deal to their credit, but we can't have a situation in which one hand contributes to the country while the other causes it damage," he added. Shama also said that the silence of the government and of the parties involved in the affair "raises difficult questions."

MK Arieh Eldad, who leads the anti-corruption lobby in the Knesset, told Galei Tzahal (Israel Army Radio) this morning that the Ofer brothers affair "makes Israel an object of mockery and ridicule," and called for an investigation to determine whether the Ofer brothers were "heroes or villains."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 30, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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