Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on an official visit to Israel from 4th to 6th July 2017.
- PM Modis’s visit is aimed at commemorating 25 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Israel.
- During the course of this visit, PM Modi held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on all matters of mutual interest.
- He also called on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
- India and Israel signed several agreements for cooperation in diverse areas.
New Israeli Flower Named After PM Modi
During his Israel visit, PM Modi visited the Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm along with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Mishmar Hashiva where they were briefed about the latest technologies being used for floriculture.
- Commemorating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, Danziger Flower Farm named the flower Crysanthumun as ‘Modi’, on the name of Prime Minister.
- Crysanthumun is a new fast-growing Israeli flower.
- The Danziger flower farm, founded in 1953 is one of Israel’s leading floriculture companies with approximately 80,000 square meters of state-of-the-art greenhouses specialising in reproduction of plants.
Narendra Modi becomes first Indian PM to visit Israel
PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel from 4th – 6th July, 2017 was the first ever visit of an incumbent Indian prime minister.
- PM Modi was given the red carpet treatment during his trip to Israel.
- Israeli PM Netanyahu accompanied him for almost the entire duration of his visit – an honour usually reserved for visiting US presidents.
- It is to be noted that India has gradually built up counter-terror and trade relations with Israel since diplomatic ties were restored 25 years ago. Currently, India is Israel’s biggest arms market, worth $1bn a year.
Mahindra Telephonics inks pact with Israeli firm
On July 4, 2017, India’s Mahindra Telephonics and Israeli firm Shachaf Engineering signed a MoU to collaborate on design, development and manufacture of strategic electronics for military use.
More Details about MoU between Mahindra Telephonics – Shachaf Engineering:
- The MoU was signed in Tel Aviv on the day when PM Narendra Modi arrived in Israel on official visit.
- Under the deal, Mahindra Telephonics would look to jointly develop strategic electronics and systems for use in aerospace and marine domains with Shachaf Engineering.
- Technology transfer and organisation of training in specific areas, as jointly identified by both the companies, would also be part of the collaboration.
India, Israel resolve to fight menace of terrorism and radicalism
India and Israel have agreed to cooperate to protect their strategic interests and called for strong measures against terror groups and their sponsors.
- As per a joint statement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu have recognised that terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability and reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and manifestations.
- The leaders asserted that strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups.
- Both leaders also committed to cooperate for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International terrorism (CCIT)
PM Modi gifts 2 sets of relics from Kerala to Israeli PM
On July 4, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu replicas of two sets of relics from Kerala, regarded as key artefacts of the long Jewish history in India. The gift comprise two different sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th Century.
Details about PM Modi’s Gifts to Israeli PM:
- The first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochin Jews in India. It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal (often identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma) to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban.
- According to traditional Jewish accounts, Joseph Rabban was later crowned as the Prince of Shingli, a place in or equated with Cranganore. Cranganore is where Jews enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy for centuries, before they moved to Cochin and other places in Malabar.
- The second set of copper plates is believed to be the earliest documentation of the history of Jewish trade with India. These plates describe the grant of land and tax privileges by the local Hindu ruler to a church.
- The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala.
India, Israel sign seven agreements, to cooperate in fight against terror
On July 5, 2017, India and Israel signed following Seven Agreements:
- An MoU was signed between the Department of Science and Technology, India, and the National Technological Innovation Authority, Israel, for setting up an India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
- India’s Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation signed a MoU with Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources on a national campaign for water conservation in India.
- An MoU on state water utility reform was signed between the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of Israel.
- India-Israel Development Cooperation on a three-year work programme in agriculture from 2018 to 2020.
- A Plan of Cooperation was signed between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in atomic clocks.
- ISRO and ISA signed a MoU on cooperation in GEO-LEO Optical Link.
- ISRO and ISA signed another MoU on cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.
India and Israel elevated their ties to the “strategic partnership” level with a vow to do much more together to combat growing radicalisation and terrorism and pitched for strong measures against those financing and providing sanctuaries to terror groups.
PM Modi announces launching of flight services from Delhi, Mumbai to Tel Aviv
While addressing the Indian Diaspora in Tel Aviv’s Convention Center, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to start a new flight service connecting Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv and invited youth of Israel to visit India.
- Air India had earlier announced to start direct flight between Delhi and Tel Aviv. The flight service was to start in May 2017 but the launch was delayed as several countries, which fall in the selected route, denied the over flight permission.
- Air India used to operate directs flights to Israel from Delhi until mid-1990s and Mumbai until early 2000. The flights were withdrawn for commercial reasons.
- PM Modi also promised to ease the process of acquiring Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards by Israelis of Indian origin. People of Indian community who have done compulsory army service in Israel will be eligible for OCI cards.
India to open cultural centre in Jewish nation
In a bid to enhance people-to-people contacts between India and Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the setting up of an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel.
- PM Modi appreciated the contribution of the Jewish community in India and the Jews of Indian origin in Israel in bringing the two societies closer.
- Earlier, Noah Massil, the founder-president of Central Organisation of Indian Jews in Israel, had said that an announcement to establish an Indian cultural centre in Israel like the one in Cairo (Egypt) would fulfil a long-time dream of the Indian community.
- Massil added that there are about 47 synagogues of the Indian Jewish community and they all can also pitch in with financial support if such a proposal comes up and the government allocates land for an Indian cultural centre.
Quick Facts about Israel:
- Capital: Jerusalem
- Currency: Israeli new shekel
- Current Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
- Current President: Reuven Rivlin