The Lebanese Christian Billionaire Building Israel's Fleet

Monday, December 05, 2016 |  Israel Today Staff

Last week it was reported that Iran holds nearly 5 percent of shares in the German conglomerate supplying Israel’s submarines.

Perhaps more surprising is that the conglomerate in question, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, works hand-in-hand with Abu Dhabi MAR to provide naval surface vessels to various nations, including Israel.

Abu Dhabi MAR is partly owned and is fully managed by Iskandar Safa (pictured), a French-Lebanese billionaire from a Maronite Christian family in northern Lebanon.

Safa today spends most of his time in Paris and London, having been personally wounded during the bloody civil wars that ravaged his homeland. But his company, Privinvest, which owns 30 percent of Abu Dhabi MAR, still has offices in Beirut.

An expose published in Israel’s Yediot Ahronot suggested that Safa, who sees himself as a “citizen of the world,” has had ties to Israel for decades.

Years ago, an anonymous source told a French newspaper that Safa had “ties in all communities in the Middle East, including Israel and the Mossad.”

Former Mossad agent Uri Lubrani confirmed to Yediot that he met with Safa in the 1980s as part of efforts to secure the release Ron Arad, an Israel Air Force navigator downed and captured during the First Lebanon War.

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