Dear Senator Clinton,
We are the owner of the largest Israeli shipping line in the world, Zim. In light of the concerns and misinformation about DP World in the US media, we want to put on record our support for the company.
For the past many years we have been pleased to have DP World as our business partner, supporting our operations by providing services at key marine terminals around the world, including in the UAE.
As an Israeli company, security is of the utmost importance to us and we require rigorous security measures from terminal operators in every country in which we operate, but especially in Arab countries, and we are very comfortable calling at DP WorldÂs Dubai ports. During our long association with DP World, we have not experienced a single security issue in those ports or in any of the terminals operated by DP World and have received exemplary service that enhances our efficiency and the smooth running of our operations.
DP World has been an industry leader with regard to security and works closely with us on an on-going basis to maintain the highest security standards in all its terminals around the world.
We are proud to be associated with DP World and look forward to working with them into the future.
Idan Ofer, Chairman of the Board
This letter kind of blows a hole in all the "The UAE boycotts Israel" excuse for killing this deal. Are there boycott issues? Sure there are, but in the world of shipping, DP Port World does not maintain any boycott, be it against a client or cargo. There is not much more that this firm would have an opportunity to boycott. Sure they could fire all the Jewish employees that they are inheriting from the current owners, but we all know how unlikely that is. As a terminal operator they load and unload cargo as directed by the shipping lines. Telling a client that they are not going to touch a container because "it's Jewish" is suicide. As is allowing any sort of terrorist to take advantage of your access to secure areas. This letter speaks volumes concerning the security threat issue of this deal. If a terrorist might take advantage of this deal to attack the US, then they would be ten times as likely to do the same against Israel. In fact, there is a distinct lack of any terror actions in ports, other than the famous "Container Boy."
The statement by Zim apparently means nothing to Senator Charles Schumer of NY:
"We have to represent security in America. And so, it really doesn't matter to me what Zim says." - Senator Schumer
Apparently the Senator does not realize that Zim also operates in the US. Between 3 March and April 4 there will be 14 ZIM vessels calling the Port of NY. So at least a good portion of Zim's security concerns are related to US ports. (NY is one of many ports ZIM calls at in the US.)
Congressman Duncan Hunter of California who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee does not like this deal either. So much so that he has stated that he will do everything possible to kill it. That is an interesting position that he is going to have to defend come election time. I suspect that it is easier that actually doing his own job.
A search of the news brings back no articles for Senator Schumer and TWIC. TWIC is the Transportation Worker Identity Card program. The program is far behind schedule with no estimate of when the Government will begin issuing the identity cards totransportt works. If Congress is serious about port security, then they will get off their asses and look into why existing programs to secure ports are so far behind schedule.
(ZIM AMERICA in the Panama Canal)