Wednesday, 17 January 2018 | PNS | New Delhi-
Terming radical Islam as a major threat to Israel and the world, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called for an alliance of democracies not only to fight the menace of terrorism but also to strengthen themselves.
“The alliance of democracies is important to secure our common future. I believe possibilities are endless. In this visit, we have discussed how we can strengthen our two nations in civilian, security and in every area,” Netanyahu said at the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialogue organised by Ministry of External Affairs and with Observer Research Foundation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were among the audiences.
“Democracies bind and connect to each other in natural ways. I saw sympathy and friendship of people. When I walked in streets of India, just like in Agra, someone said to me, we are so happy that you are friends with our PM, we are friends with you and Israel,” Netanyahu narrated an incident during his Agra visit earlier in the day. “We believe in India. We are naturally sympathetic to India,” he added.
Netanyahu thanked Modi for the “unbelievably moving visit”, and called him a friend. He also praised the India-Israel friendship and the convergence of ideas between the two leaders on the issue of development and cooperation.
Lauding Modi for improving the business atmosphere in India, Netanyahu said that the challenge now is to make things easier for companies to innovate and invest. While batting for a free market and conducive environment for companies to innovate and do business with ease, he suggested cutting of taxes and bureaucracy apart from carrying other reforms to help private firms grow.
“Reduce taxes, simplify taxes and reduce bureaucracy so that firms can do business with ease…The future belongs to those who innovate,” Netanyahu said.
Talking about Israel, Netanyahu mentioned the way his country, with no natural resources and big rivers, overcame challenges to become a strong nation.
“The weak do not survive, the strong survive. You make alliances with the strong, you are able to maintain peace by being strong. Therefore, the first requirement from the time of our first PM was to achieve minimal strength required to assure existence,” Netanyahu said.
He mentioned military, economy and political strengths as three main pillars of making a nation powerful and said that to defend a nation, one needs a strong military which in turn requires a lot of money. The money, he said, comes from a strong economy. “Defence costs a great deal of money. The growth of military power depends automatically on the economic power,” he said while mentioning political power as the third aspect, This includes the ability to make alliances with big countries. “We have exceptional relationship with democracies like the US and Canada,” Netanyahu said.