Just two weeks ago, Idan Ofer was a media star; one of the brave new stars of the reinvigorated Israeli peace camp.
He inaugurated the Israeli Peace Initiative movement along with former Shin Bet security service chief Jacob Perry, the chairman of Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank. The new movement is critical of the present government's policies relating to the peace process - and the movement has proposed alternatives.
Ofer made his way, accompanied by the press and photographers, to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah shortly after the signing of the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. In addition, he starred in an urgent meeting of the Israeli Peace Initiative movement two weeks ago, which was described as a show of panic. Ofer was quoted after the meeting saying that there is real danger of damage to Israeli exports in September after the declaration of a Palestinian state. Port unions around the world are attempting to organize a boycott of Israeli shipping and unloading of goods. As if the unloading of containers from Zim ships is more important than the question of the right of return. Ofer also warned that if the government does not propose a peace plan of its own, Israel will become a second South Africa.
But since the news of the American sanctions against the Ofer brothers' shipping company and its Iranian trade broke last week, Ofer has completely disappeared from the spotlight. The new star of the peace camp turned down - via his spokespeople - all offers for interviews to explain how he was named as someone doing business with Iran, the greatest enemy of Israel and the entire Western world, and one of the greatest enemies of world peace.
Ofer must also have an interest in an investigation of the alleged trade by his companies with Iran. Especially if he is convinced of his innocence and that he will be vindicated - and that will allow him to return to his political activities.
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