By Christine Darg,
Photos: Haim Zach, Israeli GPO
Despite his many critics at home and in anti-semitic circles, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become a statesman of epic proportions.
It’s amazing to observe the number of countries now partnering with Israel and wanting to benefit from Israel’s great advancements in science, medicine, agriculture and technology.
Week after week Netanyahu and his wife Sara either entertain at home in Jerusalem or visit abroad leaders of the world’s largest economies or exotic countries including India, Azerbaijan, China as well as the African continent.
Nevertheless, on the home front, the pressures are relentless: both the Prime Minister and his wife continue to be subject to non-stop pressure from the media and the legal system determined to investigate every possible abuse of their public position.
This week the Netanyahus were given a red carpet welcome in China by President Xi Jinping at the beginning of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation. Netanyahu’s current mission in China is linking the Silk Road from Beijing to Jerusalem.
In China, the Prime Minister staged the “Israeli Prime Minister’s Business and Innovation Summit” and over 600 businessmen from both countries participated.
Among other leaders, the Prime Minister is working with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong to discuss the importance of the tight bilateral cooperation in promoting technological innovation.
Israel seems to be the only country in the world willing to form technological and friendship agreements with most countries in the world, except for those sworn to annihilate them.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong thanked Netanyahu for his personal commitment to the China-Israel cooperation in technology, for advancing bilateral relations in general but especially cooperation in science, initiatives and innovation.
Netanyahu said that China and Israel have three characteristics in common: Ancient cultural traditions, people that are engaged in trade and a desire for excellence and a commitment to constant improvement. “Two additional components must be added,” he said, “Investment in science and innovation, the combination of which ensures the continued prosperity of both countries. Bilateral innovation cooperation is the yeast in the cake of the Israel-China relationship and enables it to increase and rise.”
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to upgrade the Innovative Comprehensive Partnership, which they believe will raise bilateral cooperation to new heights.
The two leaders also noted satisfaction at the tightening of links and cooperation in academia, as exemplified by the presence of university heads at the meeting.
In addition, there will be an increase in direct flights between the two countries, the ten-year multiple entry visa agreement that took effect last November and the increase in Chinese tourism to Israel.
“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,” Netanyahu said at the summit. “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 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…, 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.”
Despite rising from the ashes of the Holocaust about 70 years ago, Israel has come a long way to spearhead cooperation and innovation from world leaders in technology.
In this week’s prayer points from Intercessors for Israel, the focus of prayer for the Prime Minister was upon the dogged attempts by the press and jurists at home to stop Netanyahu and consequentially put the brakes also upon his world-wide diplomatic efforts. Here are the latest prayer points from Intercessors for Israel for the Netanyahus:
~Let the truth be revealed – expose any corruption in these cases, Lord!
~Give wisdom and balanced judgment to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.
~May Bibi and Sara have deep respect for the law and for truth. Also protect them from all lies and slander.
~Protect their family life during these times. Draw them closer to each other and to You, their God.
~Continue to use Bibi as Your instrument in leading Israel for just as long as You purpose.
~Surround him with good advisors and prepare the individual or individuals who You have appointed to take over from Bibi when his time is up.
~Guard him against seeking his own glory and honor. May he seek to serve You and Your people