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PM Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

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Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

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PM Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin
and made the following remarks at the start of the meeting:

"I would like to compliment you on the very successful World Cup that Russia is organizing. The entire world is watching with great interest, including us in Israel, and I must say I am as well. So thank you for the invitation to watch the game later this evening.

Of course you mentioned the moving parade in honor of the victory over the Nazis, which was a great event that made an impression in Israel and I think around the Jewish world.

Every visit such as this is an opportunity for us to work together to try to stabilize the situation in our region, increase security and increase stability.

It is clear that our focus is on Syria and Iran. Our view that Iran needs to leave Syria is well-known; it is not new to you.

Several hours ago a Syrian UAV penetrated Israel's airspace. We shot it down and we will continue to take strong action against any trickle [of fire] and any infiltration into Israel's airspace or territory. We expect that everyone will respect this sovereignty and that Syria will strictly abide by the [1974] Separation of Forces Agreement.

The cooperation between us is a central component in preventing a conflagration and deterioration of these and other situations; therefore, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to discuss these matters and, of course, all other issues. Truly, thank you."
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PM Netanyahu attends ceremony marking 70th anniversary of the Acre prison break

I call on the leaders of Europe: Stop financing the terrorist regime that is financing terrorism against you on your soil. Enough with the policy of appeasement and weakness regarding Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the Underground Prisoners Museum in Acre, attended a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Acre prison break. Following is an excerpt from his remarks:

"Against those who threaten to destroy Israel we are taking strong action to ensure the future of Israel.

Even when we are the few against the many and when it is necessary to stand against the entire world we do this here, in our region; we do it in the international arena, we break down wall after wall, and sometimes it is necessary to break down walls of hypocrisy.

This week there was an example of Iran's boundless hypocrisy and brazen gall: This week the President of Iran met with leaders in Europe in order to try and overcome President Trump's sanctions regime – and I tell you that this attempt will fail – even as Iran planned a terrorist attack on French soil in Europe.

It was no coincidence that this attack was thwarted.

I call on the leaders of Europe:

Stop financing the terrorist regime that is financing terrorism against you on your soil. Enough with the policy of appeasement and weakness regarding Iran."
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Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

PM Netanyahu's remarks at the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod:

The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, along with – inter alia – former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Assuta Chairman Shuki Shemer, attended the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod.

The following is an excerpt from the Prime Minister's remarks:

"Today is a very important day in Israel and outside Israel.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel whether the UN recognizes it or not.
It took 70 years for the US to officially recognize it and it will take more years until the UN also recognizes it.
Attitudes toward Israel by many countries in the world, on all continents, are changing outside the walls of the UN and in the end will percolate inside the walls of the UN building – the house of lies.
The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.
Thank you President Trump and Ambassador Haley for standing up for Israel and for standing up for the truth. Ultimately the truth will prevail."
Read more...

Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

PM Netanyahu's remarks at the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod:

The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, along with – inter alia – former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Assuta Chairman Shuki Shemer, attended the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod.

The following is an excerpt from the Prime Minister's remarks:

"Today is a very important day in Israel and outside Israel.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel whether the UN recognizes it or not.
It took 70 years for the US to officially recognize it and it will take more years until the UN also recognizes it.
Attitudes toward Israel by many countries in the world, on all continents, are changing outside the walls of the UN and in the end will percolate inside the walls of the UN building – the house of lies.
The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.
Thank you President Trump and Ambassador Haley for standing up for Israel and for standing up for the truth. Ultimately the truth will prevail."
Read more...

PM Netanyahu's remarks at the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels

​Europe and Israel are important partners in three main ​areas: in the area of security, in the area of prosperity, in the area of peace. In security, Israeli intelligence has prevented dozens of terrorist attacks, many of them on European soil, and I think countless lives have been saved as a result of this cooperation.​​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 11 December 2017), at the European Council headquarters in Brussels was welcomed by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and made the following remarks:
"I thank you for this invitation, Federica, and also to the Government of Lithuania. It's a pleasure to be here. Europe and Israel are important partners in three main areas: in the area of security, in the area of prosperity, in the area of peace. In security, Israeli intelligence has prevented dozens of terrorist attacks, many of them on European soil, and I think countless lives have been saved as a result of this cooperation that is well known to the security services of many European governments.
We'll continue to do so as part of our common battle against terrorism. Equally, I think that the greatest problem facing Europe is the flow of people who are escaping the battle-torn areas in the Middle East, and the Middle East is under threat, both of ISIS, militant Islam of the Sunni variety, and militant Islam of the Shiite variety, led by Iran. Israel is the strongest power in the Middle East that is preventing the spread of militant Islam, not only preventing ISIS attacks in Europe, but also preventing the collapse of many parts of the Middle East adjacent to Israel that would otherwise be taken over by these militant Islamists, driving many, many, many millions into Europe. So, obviously we do so to protect ourselves, but in so doing, I believe that Israel serves a very important security function for the people of Europe in ways that are not always understood, but increasingly are appreciated by the relevant governments.
The second point is prosperity. We are in a revolution, a great revolution in the world. The future belongs to those who innovate. Ten years ago, the ten leading companies in the world were five energy companies, one IT. In a brief span of a decade, that's been completely reversed—five IT companies are now in the top ten, one energy company left, which went from number one to number five. The revolution is big data, artificial intelligence, connectivity—the net. New industries are created out of thin air. Israel has now a car industry. It never had. Europe has many car industries. Our car industry receives tens of billions of dollars of investment, including 15 billion a few months ago, when Intel bought an Israeli-based autonomous vehicle company. We didn't have this. We have 500 startups just in autonomous vehicles and Waze and crowdsourcing that are important, that are changing the face of transportation. I give this as one example.
Digital health—another example being developed in Israel; precision agriculture, IT, cyber—Israel now has received 20% of the global private investment in cybersecurity. Can we live without cybersecurity? Can you protect your bank accounts, you electricity grids, your civil aviation, your cars in the future? You need cybersecurity; Israel is a world partner. Therefore, the partnership between Israel and Europe is vital; in my opinion, it's important not only for us—clearly it is, I wouldn't be here otherwise—but I think it's important for Europe. And many, many countries around the world understand that, that Israel is the partner for innovation, and innovation is the future. So this is the second point.
We've also found gas, by the way, and we just concluded an MOU with some of the European countries: with Cyprus, Greece and Italy, it may be familiar to you. We're actually exploring the laying of a gas pipeline from our offshore gas fields up to Italy. This would be, I think, very important for Europe's economy in this way as well. Innovation, energy and every other way, we believe we are natural partners.
Third is peace. Israel has extended its hand to peace to our Palestinian neighbors for 100 years, well before there was a State of Israel and after it was established. And for 50 years, before there was a single settlement or a single issue of territory, we were being attacked constantly.
We were attacked not because of this or that piece of territory, but of the idea of any territory, that there would be a Jewish state, a nation-state for the Jewish people in any boundary was rejected by our neighbors. This is what led to the conflict, and this is what continues the conflict. You see that in the continuous denial, unfortunately, by the Palestinians of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and the denial of our history. For 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people, from the time… established by King David, well documented in the history of the Bible and the aftermath, when Jews in the ghettos of Europe whispered, "Next year in Jerusalem, next year in Jerusalem." We never lost that connection. Yet that connection is denied in UN forums, in UNESCO, in laughable decisions that seek to deny history and seek to deny historical truth. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for the last 70 years. I think what President Trump has done is put facts squarely on the table. Peace is based on reality. Peace is based on recognizing reality, and I think the fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital is clearly evident to all of you who visit Israel, see where the seat of our parliament, our Knesset is, the seat of our government, my office, the President's office, the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is Israel's capital. No one can deny. It doesn't obviate peace; it makes peace possible, because recognizing reality is the substance of peace, it's the foundation of it.
There is now an effort underway to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration. I think we should give peace a change. I think we should see what is presented and see if we can advance this peace. But if we have to begin it, I would say it's one place: recognize the Jewish state. It's always been about the Jewish state. And it's time that the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and also recognize the fact that it has a capital. It's called Jerusalem. I believe that even though we don't have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future. I believe that all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.
So I thank you for this opportunity to present these views, which I'm sure will engage in hardy discussion with the foreign ministers. It's a valuable opportunity, an important one. Europe is important, that's why I'm here."
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PM Netanyahu attends MFA Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony

​A great light emanates from the State of Israel. It spreads the light of progress, humanity, innovation and hope. I rely on you, Foreign Ministry personnel, our ambassadors, representatives and employees around the world who spread this great light.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Tuesday, 12 December 2017), at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, participated in a video conference in which they lit the first Chanukah candle together with Foreign Ministry personnel at the legations in the US (Miami), Brazil, Sweden (Stockholm),Turkey (Ankara), India (Mumbai), South Africa (Pretoria), Georgia (Tbilisi) and Ukraine (Kiev).

Prime Minister Netanyahu (translated from the Hebrew):

"First of all, a happy holiday to everyone, especially the children and – of course – the parents, our dedicated envoys around the world. Today we light the first Chanukah candle and recall the heroism of the Maccabees. We also remember, and do not forget for a moment the heroism of the modern Maccabees, the soldiers of the IDF who stand guard. Unfortunately, from time to time, some fall in the line of duty. This includes the latest casualty, Sgt. Ron Kokia, who fell just a few days ago. We also recall the heroism of security guard Asher Almaliakh for whom we are all praying and the missing soldiers that are obligated bring home, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and also our civilians. I met with the family of Avra Mengistu and promised them that we would bring him and our boys home.

A great light emanates from the State of Israel. It is different, different from the region. It is different from very cruel enemies. It spreads the light of progress, humanity, innovation and hope. I rely on you, Foreign Ministry personnel, our ambassadors, representatives and employees around the world who spread this great light. I very much appreciate your work. Last year, I have not been in every country yet, I was in Tbilisi once but we have not gone there the second time around. We were on every continent and I appreciate and esteem the important work that you are doing. There is a very great change in the international standing of the State of Israel. Many countries understand that we are spreading light unto the nations – in our search and rescue missions and in health, agriculture, water and all the important fields, to ensure a good and safe life to millions of people around the world. Therefore, I would like to thank you for your continuing activity and I also look forward to seeing all of you if not in Israel then in your countries, even though our true country is Israel. It is the true country for all of us.

This year we are lighting Chanukah candles at a very happy event because a few days ago US President Donald Trump made an historic statement that may be put on par with the Balfour Declaration and President Truman's statement. These are etched in history; they emphasize our ties to our land and our city.

We are certainly looking forward to US Vice President Michael Pence's visit next week and we understand that, as I said in Europe, there is no substitute to US leadership in the world and the region and there is no substitute to the positive role that the US plays in leading the peace process. But above all there is no substitute to the vitality of Israel and the spirit that beats within it, the spirit of the Maccabees. I would like to bless you all in this spirit and wish you a happy Chanukah! Happy Chanukah!

There is one thing that Israeli innovation has not yet achieved and this is a national goal. I see this as a strategic goal, to make a good and tasty jelly donut that is light in calories! [English:] Haven't the Jewish people suffered enough?"

Prime Minister Netanyahu added in English:

"This is a special Chanukah celebration. It comes a few days after President Trump’s historic declaration and his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. We look forward to receiving Vice President Mike Pence here, and we also call on all other nations to recognize this historic fact of Jerusalem’s place in Jewish history and in Israel’s history and to move their embassies here. It will cut driving time from Tel Aviv too.

I would say that there is no substitute for American leadership worldwide, in the Middle East, and there is no substitute for America’s leadership in leading the peace process. That’s something that I say here and I just said in Brussels in front of over twenty foreign ministers. It is true. Chag Sameach."
___

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended the candle lighting ceremony at the embassy in Tbilisi and wished Israel a happy holiday.

The ambassadors wished everyone a happy holiday and lit the first Chanukah candle.
Read more...

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President Trump’s decision regarding Iran

​PM Netanyahu: President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.

​PM Netanyahu commented  on President Trump's decision on Iran.

In his statement, PM Netanyahu noted: “If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain: in a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, and that’s a tremendous danger for our collective future.

"President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism."
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PM Netanyahu Meets with eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig. The two men discussed possibilities for expanding eBay's research and development – and the scope of its investments – in Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized the importance that the State of Israel places on innovation and the latent opportunities in the Israeli market. He said that the goal of the Government is to make it easier to do business in Israel by lowering corporate taxes and reducing regulation.

The head of the Prime Minister's staff, Yoav Horowitz and Prime Minister's Office Director General Eli Groner also attended the meeting.
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Statements by PM Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump

​PM Netanyahu: I want to thank you especially today for your deep commitment to Israel's security, its wellbeing and its future. I have no doubt that as we work together, you and I, the alliance between our countries will grow ever stronger.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, hosted a festive dinner with US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania. Before the meal, Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Trump issued the following statements:

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"President Trump, Donald, Sara and I are absolutely delighted to welcome you and Melania to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the Jewish state.

We've known each other for many years, and it's always good to see you. But it's also wonderful to see the blossoming friendship between our two beautiful wives, Sara and Melania. You're so welcome here and we're so pleased to see you. We're honored to have you in our home.

You've been today Mr. President to the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites of Judaism. You've been to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the holiest sites of Christianity. We protect the Christian sites as no one else does anywhere in this region. We protect Christian sites, Muslim sites, obviously Jewish sites. We're committed to the freedom of all faiths and to the rights of all.

Mr. President, I appreciate the fact that you went to the Western Wall, and you’re the first acting president who has done that. The people of Israel applaud you for it.

We had a terrific discussion today, and when I say 'terrific,' it encompasses everything. We could talk about deregulation, we could talk about economics, I think we quote each other, we understand each other, and so much of the things that we wish to accomplish for both our countries.

But I want to thank you especially today for your deep commitment to Israel's security, its wellbeing and its future. I have no doubt that as we work together, you and I, the alliance between our countries will grow ever stronger.

I want you to know how much we appreciate the change in American policy on Iran which you enunciated so clearly just an hour ago. I want you to know how much we appreciate your bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And I want to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East.

I look forward to working closely with you to confront the dangers we face together in this violent and volatile Middle East. I believe that together we could roll back Iran's march of aggression and terror in this region and we can thwart Iran's unbridled ambition to become a nuclear weapon state.

I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. And that's where we see something new and potentially something very promising. It won't be simple, but for the first time in many years, and Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change. The Arab leaders who you met yesterday could help change the atmosphere and they could help create the conditions for a realistic peace. These are all great signs on your historic visit.

It's a visit that I think has echoed down the ages because the late Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said that there was no city on Earth that he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. Well. Mr. President, Donald, there is no city on earth where you are more welcome than right here with us in Jerusalem.

Welcome to Jerusalem, welcome to Israel."

US President Trump:

"Thank you very much and it’s a great honor to be with my good friend, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and of course Sara. Thank you, and also thank you for that beautiful tour. Melania’s still talking about it. Thank you very much.

You honored me and Melania by being one of the first world leaders to visit the White House, as you know. And we had a very good and sound discussion. And now you honor us again by welcoming us to your home on my first trip abroad as the President of the United States.

This is a land filled with beauty, wonder and the spirit of God. I’ve been amazed by the glorious and beautiful monuments and holy sites, and the generosity of your incredible people because it’s all about the people. I was deeply moved by my visit today to the Western Wall. Words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression on me forever.

Today we reaffirm the unbreakable bond of friendship between Israel and the United States, a friendship built on our shared love of freedom, our shared belief in human dignity and our shared hope for an Israel at lasting peace. We want Israel to have peace. But we are more than friends. We are great allies. We have so many opportunities in front of us, but we must seize them together. We must take advantage of the situation and there are many, many things that can happen now that would never have been able to happen before, and we understand that very well. That includes advancing prosperity, defeating the evils of terrorism and facing the threat of an Iranian regime that is threatening the region and causing so much violence and suffering.

During my travels, I have seen many hopeful signs that lead me to believe that we can truly achieve a more peaceful future for this region and for people of all faiths and all beliefs and frankly all over the world. In my visit to Saudi Arabia, I met with many leaders of the Arab and Muslim world, including King Salman, who treated us so beautifully, and really wants to see great things happen for the world. He really does. I got to know him well, and he really does. These leaders voiced concerns we all share about ISIS, about Iran’s rising ambitions and rolling back its gains, and about the menace of extremism that has spread through too many parts of the Muslim world. I’m encouraged that they pledged cooperation to confront terrorism and the hateful ideology that drives it so hard.

America welcomes the action and support of any nation willing to do the hard but vital work in eradicating the violent ideologies that have caused so much needless bloodshed and killing here and all over the world. We are willing to work together. I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen, one that will bring greater safety to this region, greater security to the United States and greater prosperity to the world.

This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I thank the Prime Minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process. He’s working very hard at it. It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope.

I am certain we will have very productive discussions, and we’re going to have very productive discussions, in my opinion, with the leaders of other nations also, and I feel strongly about that because there’s a lot of love out there. And people from all nations, even nations that you would be surprised to hear, they want to stop the killing. They’ve had enough. America stands ready to assist in every way we can.

Our deep and lasting friendship will only grow deeper and stronger as we work together in the days ahead.

I thank you again for hosting us in this beautiful and ancient land. Truly, it’s a land of wonders and it’s my honor to be here with you.

Sara, thank you. Bibi, thank you. I appreciate it very much. Great honor. Thank you."
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PM Netanyahu meets with top Chinese corporate leaders

​The Prime Minister expressed Israel's willingness to continue opening to the Chinese market and to increase bilateral trade. He presented the attractiveness of investing in Israel as well as its unique human capital.​​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the heads of China's largest corporations, each of which has a turnover of tens of billions of dollars. Among those present were the chairpersons of Wanda, Alibaba, Wahaha, Lenovo and Baidu.

The Prime Minister expressed Israel's willingness to continue opening to the Chinese market and to increase bilateral trade. He presented the attractiveness of investing in Israel as well as its unique human capital.

Accompanying Prime Minister Netanyahu are Economy Minister Eli Cohen, Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman. The Prime Minister called on them to cooperate with Israeli companies in Israel, in China and in other countries around the world.

Afterwards, Prime Minister Netanyahu attended a business / economic forum with over 600 Israeli and Chinese businesspeople. He called on the Chinese businesspeople to adopt Israeli technology in order to continue to raise the standard of living in China.

The Israeli delegation to the forum – organized under the aegis of the Export Institute – is composed of dozens of businesspeople from a variety of industries and companies (including IDE, Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Tnuva, NaanDanJain and others) that either operate in China or are interested in penetrating the Chinese market. Delegation members are due to meet with hundreds of Chinese businesspeople.

The forum was organized by Economy and Industry Ministry commercial attaches at Israel's missions in China

"I just met with 11 heads of the largest corporations in China. A major portion of them are investing in Israel and a major portion of them will invest in Israel. This means jobs, the development of businesses and a link to the major Chinese markets. This is good for the citizens of Israel and for the Israeli economy. I told them that in today's world there are several concentrations of technology, not many, the US, Israel, and Israel is open for business with China," said Prime Minister Netanyahu​

PM Netanyahu’s remarks at a meeting of Israeli and Chinese businesspeople:

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks today (Monday, 20 March 2017) to a meeting of Israeli and Chinese businesspeople:

"This is a stark change from the first visit I had in China over 20 years ago, when I came during my first visit as prime minister. The streets were lined with bicycles, a lot of bicycles, few cars, some new buildings, but mostly old buildings. And I have to say less smog. And you see the force, the great, enormous swirl of Chinese progress and Chinese ascendency, with all its challenges and all its problems, assume its place on the world stage in a very exciting development in human affairs and something that all nations – all nations – seek to take part of, to be partners with China, to be of assistance to China and thereby also assist themselves.

In this period, in these decades, Israel too has not stood still. Israel has moved and become one of the foremost centers of global innovation, a technological global power. It is true that we also amended our economy. We changed it. We changed it into a much freer economy, a more liberal economy more aligned with free trade principles, free market principles. And the combination of the innate technology that we had and the market economy that we built created a very powerful explosion of startup companies in various fields, drawing on military capabilities, especially in the field of IT, but rapidly expanding into other areas. As a result, and for other reasons that I won’t enumerate here, Israel has become a hub of innovation. Not just a hub of innovation; perhaps the other hub of innovation – of cross-fertilized innovation. That’s one of the advantages of being small. People meet up and talk to each other. If you’re a chemist, that you’ve just finished some work in the intelligence service and you meet a pilot who just was discharged from the Israeli Air Force, and he has an idea of how to use the helmet for surgery and you have the chemical that could be used in that same surgery, you actually join forces for something revolutionary in surgery. This is actually happening.

And so it goes and it goes and it goes all the time. In that small country of Israel, you get gigantic leaps forward in innovation, with a structure of venture capital to finance it. So people leave their military service and they very naturally move into areas of entrepreneurship in hi-tech. We have of course the phenomena that produces what I called mushrooms after the rain. So we have a lot of mushrooms because of this climate. It’s very conducive to getting mushrooms – startup companies that begin to grow and they’re picked. They’re picked by American companies. They’re picked by Chinese companies or by German companies. They produce the basic technology and they’re transferring it to someone else. That’s fine. But it’s not as fine as something else.

So here’s something else that happened last week. I’ve been waiting for this a very long, long time, and it’s important for us and it’s important for China: Last week, Intel, a very large international company, bought a company, an automotive company in Israel – autonomous automotive technology, the wave of the future. It bought it in Jerusalem for 15 billion dollars. That’s a hefty sum. But the interesting thing about this purchase is that they didn’t just buy it and say, 'Okay, some of you will move to Palo Alto.' They said, 'None of you will move to Palo Alto. In fact, we have some 30 other such businesses around the world for automotive technology, and we are subordinating everything to you, Mobileye. You run it for us.' So Israel is now, at once, in one fell swoop, become the center of an enormous global industry – automotive technology, autonomous vehicles. It’s a huge industry.

Similar things are happening elsewhere. We have, for example – same thing exactly – developing with cyber security. We have a big investment in cyber security in the military. I have encouraged very much the development of a cyber-security private business, and in 2016 in Israel, we received 20% of the global private investment in cyber security. That’s 200 times our relative weight in the world population. There are 500 startups in cyber security in Israel. There are 500 startups in automotive technology in Israel.

Now there’s a third area that’s developing and it’s called digital health. Because we have data, computerized data for just about every person in Israel, we can merge that data and have preventative medicine. We can also do this with fewer doctors, because it can be done by telemedicine, and we can also have targeted, personal medicine because the data is so much better. This will elongate life and reduce diseases. These are huge industries and I’ll be remiss because I’m telling you, there will be many more.

And one thing I’ve learned, at least from my background, is I don’t know. I don’t know where the next great breakouts of genius will come, but it is clear – it is clear for Israel, it is clear for China, it’s clear for everyone in the world. What is happening now is that every single field of human endeavor is becoming technologized. The distinction between hi-tech and low-tech is no longer valid. Everything is becoming hi-tech. Agriculture: hi-tech. Water: hi-tech. Air purification: hi-tech. IT: of course hi-tech. Medicine: hi-tech. Transport: hi-tech. And so on and so on and so on. And the future now belongs to those countries who can innovate, who can upgrade their products and services for the betterment of their citizens with these new technologies.

So here’s the particular marriage that I see between Israel and China. I think that there is an extraordinary capacity for China to assume its rightful place, as it’s doing, on the world stage. It depends on the consistent ability to elevate living standards with additional added value that can be supplied only by technology, because at a certain point, once you give roads, railroads, intersections, buildings – once you… Given the basic infrastructure of initial and secondary development – airports, sewage lines, water – once you’ve done that, the way to go up and up and up is to constantly improve your products and services and utilities with technology.

We are your perfect junior partner for that effort. And we think there are only two such concentrations of technology in the world for the moment, and we are one of them. We are eager to work with you. We’re going to sign with the government in the coming days a series of agreements on how we can pursue this cooperation, how we can help China in its plans and how China of course can enable us to participate in its great projects. But I believe this is a marriage made in heaven."
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