India-Israel: Strong Alliance; Strategic Partnership
“No Indian leader in 3,000 years of our own sovereign existence and our history has visited Israel”, said Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu citing PM Narendra Modi’s visit to his nation in 2017. Marking the 25th anniversary of relations between India and Israel, the visiting PM kick-started his 6 day diplomatic tour to India on 14th January, 2018. Cementing the camaraderie between India and Israel, the government has rechristened the iconic Teen Murti Chowk in New Delhi as the ‘Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk’, paying a glowing tribute to the Israeli city of Haifa and the brave Indian soldiers who fought to liberate the city from the Ottoman Empire during World War 1.
During the joint statement, Netanyahu hailed PM Modi as a “revolutionary” leader and said he and the people of Israel are honoured and moved by the welcome celebration. PM Modi reminded the nation about the mutual promise between the Israel PM and him to build a strategic partnership of hope and trust and progress of diverse and cutting-edge cooperation, and of joint endeavours and shared successes.
India-Israel Business Summit
“You have brilliant people in India. We have brilliant people in Israel. What we can do, is shape the future together. I believe in India. We are your partners, and I came here to say today, Prime Minister Modi, thank you for believing in Israel the way we believe in India”, the Israel PM said addressing the summit. PM Modi said that India has ‘size and scale’ while Israel has ‘sharpness and edge’, and urged the delegates from over 100 Israeli companies to invest in India. He stressed on the potential of the India-Israel Innovation Bridge will act as a link between the Start-ups of the two sides, ably complemented by the Startup India mission. A call for joint Research and Development projects under the ‘India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (i4F)’ was launched to combine the talent pool of the two countries in pursuit of path-breaking technological solutions with commercial opportunities. It is noteworthy to mention that this is the largest business delegation that has ever accompanied an Israeli PM on an oﬃcial visit.
Raisina Dialogue 2018
After his visit to Agra, Israel PM Netanyahu came back to Delhi on 16th January, 2018 to inaugurate the Raisina Dialogue, an annual ﬂagship geo-political conference, in the presence of PM Narendra Modi. The Israel PM was all praise for his Indian counterpart’s eﬀorts to cut the bureaucratic red tape and said he was astounded to know that PM Modi led India to an increase in the Ease of doing business by 42 ranks, in just three years
The visiting PM further said that to become an economic power, a country has to simplify and reduce taxes and mentioned how his country has beneﬁtted from such reforms. It is worth noting that the recent tax reform in the form of GST complements the words of the Israeli PM. He even spoke on the importance of startups and their role in the development of Israel and said “The future belongs to those who innovate.” He also expressed his high regard for India at the international level and remarked that “The weak don’t survive, the strong survive and you make alliance with the strong.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Gujarat focused on agriculture, irrigation, innovation and enterprise, sectors where India-Israel cooperation can yield excellent results. PM Netanyahu gifted a G.A.L-Mobile vehicle to the people of Sugiam in Banaskantha , a water desalinization and puriﬁcation jeep the two country heads rode on Israel’s Olga beach during the Indian PM’s visit. Both the leaders visited the iCreate centre in Deo Dholera, Ahmedabad and also felicitated the winners of the India-Israel Innovation Challenge.
This visit by the Israeli PM and the increasing bond between the two heads of nations and the people of the respective nations is a historic step towards an impeccable partnership between the two nations. The mutual respect and admiration for the nations have been eﬀectively communicated by both the leaders and this relationship is building itself to be one of the most powerful strategic alliance between two strong nations.