Any attempt to modernize, reform and privatize the old port in Haifa is doomed, the bloated workforce with strong trade union is politically toxic. The Israeli government made a smart move – it plays a new modern Chinese-owned port against the old one. A tale of two Haifa ports could be a Netflix TV show with intricate plot twists, something along the following lines:
The old port, unable to compete with the new modern port just across the narrow strip of water, goes bankrupt. The old port’s trade union loses whatever leverage it had and forced to accept terms of privatisation.
The old port is sold for peanuts to one of the old Israel tycoon clans.
Once the two ports are fully functional and operational the Israeli government, using US pressure as a pretext, forces the Chinese owners to sell a stake in the new port to Israeli entity.