Israel, India both face threat from radical Islam: Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on a six-day visit on January 14, 2018.

Israel, India both face threat from radical Islam: Benjamin Netanyahu
Pic courtesy: IANS

.New Delhi: The threat of radical Islam and its terrorist offshoots can 'upset' the international system, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

At the same time, he batted for stronger ties between India and Israel to overcome the challenge.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 'Raisina Dialogue' in the national capital, Netanyahu hailed India as Israel's "natural friend and partner".

He said closer ties between democracies was essential to secure the common future of humanity at a time "our way of life and the quest for modernity and innovation" are being challenged.

"Most notably the quest for modernity, the quest for innovation is being challenged by radical Islam and its terrorist offshoots from a variety of corners and this can upset the international system. One of the ways to overcome such a challenge is to strengthen the relation between our two great democracies. The alliances of democracies is important to secure our common future," Netanyahu said, addressing the inaugural session of the three-day geopolitical conference.

Netanyahu began his 16-minute speech by identifying military strength, economic prowess and political power as the prerequisites for the development of a nation, factors which he said were behind the Jewish nation's rise from the "ashes".

"The weak don't survive, the strong survive. You make peace, alliances with the strong. You are able to maintain peace by being strong," he said.

Netanyahu, who arrived in New Delhi on a six-day visit on January 14, 2018, said PM Modi's July 2017 visit to Israel "broke ground". "You were the first leader of India to come to Israel in 3,000 years. It will not take long for your next visit, I know that," he said.

Netanyahu further said he found "astounding" the fact that under PM Modi, India has climbed nearly 42 spots in the ease of doing business rankings even as he stressed on the need to cut red tape to encourage businesses.

He said a government can both facilitate and block economic growth. Growth is possible when there is a free market, which facilitates innovation by business entities, the Israeli PM said.

Netanyahu added 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 money comes from the second source of power, economic power... The third power is political power, which means the ability to make political alliances and relationships with many other countries," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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