Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi of India appeared together Wednesday night at a massive rally in Tel Aviv, where they were greeted by thousands of people with Indian ancestry living in the State of Israel.
“Prime Minister, these are the Jews of India. They love India, they love Israel. They love our friendship,” Netanyahu told Modi while the two of them were on stage.
“We are in a historic meeting, your visit, of two ancient peoples seizing the future.
“There was a time, a few decades ago and a few years ago, when this natural partnership was somehow frozen,” Netanyahu recalled.
“There was a young woman, her name was Tzipora Meir, a young Jewish woman in Cochin. She wrote an essay 50 years ago, just before the Six Day War, and the essay was the deep desire she had to see the partnership between India and Israel. She won a prize for that composition but it didn’t happen.
“Tzipora Meir, like so many of you,” he told the audience, “came to Israel, built her home here, contributed to her life, maintained the love of Indian Jewish customs, prayers and continued to hope that one day Israel and India will form this partnership and this friendship.
“Tzipora and her husband Sasson, who are here – that day has come. That day is today.
“Prime Minister Modi and I have decided on a vast program to bring our partnership and our friendship to new heights. But we always remember that there’s a human bridge between us – you. We admire you, we respect you, we love you.
“Seventy years ago, our countries achieved independence. Israel achieved independence, India achieved independence and our countries rise and rise and rise and rise and now they meet.
“We have decided to cooperate in so many areas but there’s one area that really guarantees the future, and Prime Minister Modi speaks of it all the time – it’s the young people: the young people of India, the young people of Israel.
“So, Indian students are coming here, we’re very flattered. Israeli young people are going there but there is something that we want to achieve: today when Israelis go to India, they go backpacking, they go on what is called, the ‘Hummus Trail’, there are signs in Hebrew, you hear Hebrew spoken, ‘The Hummus Trail’.
“I want to see young Indians come here backpacking on the ‘Curry Trail’. I don’t want many, just an equal proportion. We are building this future today between us, between our two great democracies, between our two ancient peoples, who believe in the future.
“It’s a partnership made in heaven but it’s happening right now here on earth today.”