Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Intergovernmental Consultations with Poland
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 22 November 2016), issued the following statement at the intergovernmental consultations with Poland:
"Welcome Prime Minister Szydło and your entire delegation.
This is a happy moment. We had the opportunity last night to have a wonderful dinner with you and the Foreign Minister, to talk in depth – first of all to know one another, to get to know one another – but also to see this blossoming friendship between Poland and Israel. It's real, it's concrete, but it also has deep spiritual elements in it.
We've had a joint history, the Jewish people and the Polish people, for one thousand years. It's had its ups and downs, in the previous century the worst down in the history of humanity with the murder of three million Polish Jews by the Nazis in a horrible tragedy. Poland too underwent terrible suffering during that war, and the history of modern Israel and modern Poland in the last 70 years is a history of tremendous hope and tremendous vitality. The rise of these two modern democracies, with free economies, with robust people I think is a story of hope and inspiration for all of the world.
I've been visiting Poland for the last 30 years, and from visit to visit, I can see the tremendous transformation that has happened in your country. Poland is one of the important countries of Europe, and it is developing in many ways more rapidly than most of the countries of Europe, and we appreciate that. Because in those 30 years, Israel too has transformed itself and has developed very rapidly into one of the countries that prize innovation and development and technology in a leading position in the world. Now it is up to us to join forces, which we are doing.
This is our third G2G meeting. And we're discussing everything, everything from meetings of our youth to tourism to agriculture to security against terrorism that threatens us all, to technological cooperation in a variety of areas. I mentioned three areas in which Israel is moving forward, and I think are changing the world – cyber security, digital health, automotive technology, which is becoming more and more dependent on software, and then Big Data. All of these things are things that we are perfectly happy to share with you, to see where we can cooperate and for the prosperity and security of our peoples, and a better future for all. We'll be discussing other areas as well. We've just discussed welfare. We're going to discuss tourism. We're going to discuss many, many more areas. I believe that there's a very, very bright future for our people together.
I will say that Poland has taken a resolute stand against the resurgent anti-Semitism that we see in parts of Europe. I appreciate this. We also know that Poland has taken an important position in international forums against the automatic reflex of anti-Zionism and anti-Israel resolutions. That is important too.
We see that the world is changing and that the embrace of Israel is now taking place along many continents. But nevertheless, we appreciate the fact that, until this change reaches all international forums, that Poland takes a resolute stand in these forums on behalf of the truth, which in this case means on behalf of Israel.
I want to welcome you again, Prime Minister Szydło, here. You come to a country that values Poland as a friend and as a partner in seizing the future. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation, and Israel is a friend of Poland, who wants to seize that future as well. So in that spirit, welcome. Welcome to Israel."