Summing up the third day of his visit to India today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he discussed the deal for Spike missiles produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and that the deal would be revived. Before his trip, there was concern that the deal would be called off. An announcement made by Netanyahu stated, "We're back to moving ahead with the Spike deal, and things will be discussed in the process. The directions are very positive; there is another process. Before we came, it had been taken off the table, and in the current visit, we put it back on the table."
The prime minister also referred to the damaging statement against IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot on the radio today. Rabbi Shlomo Eliahu, a rabbi in the Chief Rabbinate, told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) that pushing women forward in the IDF has brought the chief of staff to a "crazy feminist agenda, and the chief of staff should be fired immediately." The matter was brought up for discussion following the promotion of a woman to the rank of lieutenant colonel and air squadron commander.
Netanyahu's spokesperson sent the following message in his name: "I am proud that we have the first woman commander of an aerial squadron. Not only do I not condemn the chief of staff; I praise him and the commander of the air force. I expect more such appointments."
Netanyahu also toured the Indian "I Create" innovation center today - a program for cooperation between Israeli startups and Indian partners. During the visit, Netanyahu and Modi met with young Indian entrepreneurs, who presented innovative ventures in the framework of a special exhibition held in honor of the prime minister.
In addition to the exhibition, 36 startups, 18 from each country, were selected by the I Create center to participate in a unique "Bridge to Innovation" program. The goal of the plan is to jointly find a solution to global challenges in water, agriculture, and health.
In the framework of this event, Netanyahu gave Modi a "Gal Mobile" vehicle (an Israeli development of a vehicle for desalination) through a video chat broadcast live from the Kutch salt desert.
According to the press release sent from the Prime Minister's Office, Modi founded the I Create center when he was head of Gujarat Province. He told Netanyahu that when he visited Israel, he saw how ideas become innovation, turn into companies, and change the world. He immediately realized the revolutionary power of technology and young people.
During the event, Netanyahu said, "I was delighted to discover that some of the team at I Create are graduates of Israeli training programs. This is the first time that people from Gujarat and Israelis are getting together. After the terrible earthquake here in 2001, Israel sent hospitals to help. Quite a few Indian babies were born in these hospitals. Who knows; that young boy might have been one of them, and perhaps some of those babies are here with us today. But the connections between us are even longer. 100 years ago, some of the Indian soldiers who fell in the battle to liberate Haifa were from Gujarat. We respect and honor their memory. Thank you, Gujarat."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 17, 2018
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