Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said he is discussing with India ways to strengthen security cooperation against the menace of Islamist extremism that both democracies faced. “Our way of life is being challenged — most notably, the quest for modernity (and) the quest for innovation (are) being challenged by radical Islam and its terrorist offshoots from a variety of corners,” he said at the Raisina Dialogue, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
“We have discussed in this visit how we can strengthen our two nations in civilian areas, in security areas, in every area,” Netanyahu said. His visit to India comes six months after Modi made the first trip by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel. Netanyahu said he represents a “special” country that produced solutions to challenges and urged stronger partnership between India and Israel by attacking bureaucratic bottleneck with an “axe”. Stating that Modi’s visit to Israel in July “broke ground”, he said, “You (Modi) 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.”
Netanyahu said, “A simple lesson in our turbulent lesson is this, that the weak don’t survive. The strong survive. You make peace with the strong. Make alliance with the strong. You are able to maintain peace by being strong. Therefore, the first requirement of Israel from the time of our first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, was to achieve maximum strength to assure our existence.”
“I like soft power, but hard power is often better,” Netanyahu said, explaining that submarines, cyber capabilities, science and technology, interceptors were part of the necessities to “ensuring security for countries in the present-day world”. He said an alliance of democracies alone could overcome “radical Islam” which could upset the growth prospects of the world.