Ill-fated Costa Concordia’s Parent Company Owned by Israeli-American Family
Tel Aviv-born Ted Arison Started Carnival Cruises
You heard me correctly. The Costa Concordia’s parent company, Carnival Cruises, happens to be owned by the Israeli-American Arison family, one of the Jewish state’s richest families.
Surely, Ted Arison would not take kindly to Captain Francesco Schettino’s pleas that he didn’t really abandon his vessel but that he actually “tripped” and fell into a lifeboat while trying to help others with the evacuation, rather, there is, unfortunately, an Israeli connection to this disaster that has taken at least 111 lives, with more than 22 people still missing.
Founded by the patriarch of the family, Tel Aviv-born Ted Arison, who passed away in 1999, the company’s CEO is Ted’s son, Miami-based Micky Arison.
And, oh yeah, Ted’s daughter, Shari Arison is the richest woman in Israel.
Ted served in the Israel Defense Forces and participated in the Israeli War of Independence. After finishing his military service, Ted moved to the U.S. and became a successful businessman. He founded Carnival Cruise Lines which earned him a fortune as it ascended to the top. Eventually, Ted became one of the richest people in the world. Later in life, he returned to his native Israel when he became a generous philanthropist, building hospitals and other vital charities. In 1997, he acquired - as part of a government privatization plan – the majority of controlling shares in Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank. generously gave large monetary gifts to the State.
A history of Arison's involvement in the cruise industry and the Carnival Cruise company can be found in Kristoffer Garin's book Devils on the Deep Blue Sea (Plume; 1 edition (Jun 27 2006)