PM Netanyahu: We face common challenges, the first of which is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. We must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.
Below is the full statement (Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser) given by Prime Minister Netanyahu to Prime Minister Modi of India who is visiting Israel in a historical visit as both countries cement their global partnership.
“Thank you. Welcome to Jerusalem, my friend, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. You know, you have only been here a few hours and you have already visited Yad Vashem, you paid your respects at the tomb of the founder of our national movement, Theodor Herzl and you’ve seen some of Israel’s cutting edge technology. We went to a greenhouse on a warm day, believe me it was a warm reception.
So, you’ve had a glimpse of our painful past but also of our promising future. And we’re very excited to host you here. We have a great admiration for the people of India. I told you about my late uncle, Professor Elisha Netanyahu, he was a mathematician at the Israel Institute of Technology and he told me many times about his admiration for the great Indian mathematician Ramanujan. He said he was the greatest mathematician of the 20th century but he said he was perhaps the greatest mathematician in many many centuries. And this symbolizes the talents of the people of India. As we know, we have the talents of the people of Israel. And we believe in this partnership of talent.
We both seek a better future for our peoples. Doing so requires a lot of work. It won’t happen overnight but Prime Minister Modi and I have the same trait – we both want it to happen overnight. We are tireless reformers and I want to congratulate you, Prime Minister, on the reforms that you’re doing to change India’s economy and we both believe that we can do together great things for the betterment of the future of our peoples.
I have to confess to you that I’ve been inspired by Prime Minister Modi’s enthusiasm for yoga to begin. He said to me: you can start at a low level, choose your level. So I’m starting at a low level and here’s what we’re going to do. When I do a relaxing Tadasana pose, in the morning I’ll turn my head to the right, India is the first democracy that I’ll see. And when Prime Minister Modi does a relaxing pose of Vasisthasana and he turns his head to the left, Israel is the first democracy that you can see. So, in fact we have India and Israel are two sister democracies. In fact, together we account for about 20% of the world’s population. But although we are unequal in size, we’re equal in spirit. We believe we can accomplish great things. We have accomplished great things and we have many many more opportunities to seize together in the future.
But I have to say that we also face common challenges and the first of it is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. So we must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.
Prime Minister, we share a bond of democracy and creativity, a deep respect for the past, a boundless optimism for the future and it’s in this spirit, my friend Narendra, of close cooperation and deepest friendship that I welcome you here to our home in Jerusalem. Welcome friend.”