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December 13, 2016 2:53 am

Netanyahu Promotes New ‘Terror, Technology, Peace’ Policy to Bolster Israel

avatar by Karen McDonough / JNS.org

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

JNS.org – Does Israel’s path to peace lie in its technology and cybersecurity sector? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks so — and he has a new acronym to prove it.

Netanyahu spoke about the future of Israel during a recent press conference for international Jewish journalists at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The journalists were gathered in Jerusalem for the four-day Jewish Media Summit, which was organized by Israel’s Government Press Office.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed a variety of topics of concern to the American and global Jewish communities. He called the rise in antisemitism in America “a fringe phenomenon” that must be fought.

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On the issue of the Western Wall agreement that allows egalitarian prayer at the holy site — which was reached earlier this year but hasn’t yet been implemented — Netanyahu said, “There was backtracking, which happens…it’s a process.”

Addressing a recent Palestinian Authority (PA) push for the United Kingdom to denounce the 1917 Balfour Declaration — which supported the idea of establishing the Jewish homeland — Netanyahu called the episode “very revealing about the true source of this enduring conflict. It’s not about territories, even though that’s an issue. It’s not about settlements, even though that’s an issue. It’s not even about a Palestinian state… It’s always been about the Jewish state, and the fact there’s a challenge to the Balfour Declaration 100 years later tells you that we haven’t come very far.”

Turning to trade, Netanyahu discussed what he calls TTP — “terror, technology and peace” — a play on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently being debated in the United States.

“Israel’s situation in the world is changing at a dazzling pace,” Netanyahu said. “And it’s just a question of time — as I’ve said in the UN — that this bilateral change across the continents is going to be reflected in the way countries vote in the UN. It will happen.”

According to Netanyahu, “We get about one [official visit from a foreign dignitary] a day,” totaling about 250 for the year. Just last week, Netanyahu brokered a trilateral research and development deal with Greece and Cyprus. He also recently met with representatives from China, Japan, India, Russia, Vietnam and South Korea, and during the summer he traveled to four East African countries. Netanyahu will soon visit Singapore, Australia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and West Africa.

“The great powers of Asia, countries of Africa and Latin America are coming to Israel, it’s happening at an unbelievable pace,” Netanyahu said.

Terror and cybersecurity

With the rise of radical Islamic terror worldwide, countries are looking to cooperate with Israel due to its “vast intelligence capacity,” Netanyahu said.

But it’s the country’s booming technology sector — specifically in cybersecurity — that is the real difference-maker, he asserted.

“Israel is at the nexus of the great change taking place in any technology,” Netanyahu said.

Though Israel has 8 million residents — just one-tenth of 1 percent of the world’s population — it attracted more than 20 percent of global private investment in cybersecurity this year. “We’re punching 200 times above our weight,” said the prime minister.

Other areas of major growth include Israel’s accelerating driverless car technology — which has attracted automotive giants BMW, General Motors and Ford, among others — and digital healthcare.

“This is an explosion,” Netanyahu said. “Everything is becoming technologized, and Israel is a global force of technology.”

Path to peace

When meeting with foreign leaders, Netanyahu explains that “most of them don’t raise [the Palestinian issue], they don’t care.”

Regarding the prospects of peace, Netanyahu said, “we’re willing to negotiate peace immediately without preconditions, and the other side is not,” said Netanyahu. “They have strange politics there.”

But Netanyahu said that while the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has stagnated, Israel is quickly building other key alliances in the Arab world.

“The biggest change is right here in the Middle East, where many countries in the region understand that Israel is their partner — not their enemy, but their ally in fighting militant Islam, either by the Shiites led by Iran or the Sunnis lead by Daesh (Islamic State). Israel is their ally in this indispensable battle for the future. This will ultimately prove the path to peace,” Netanyahu said.

At the end of the address, the prime minister pointed to charts projected on the wall, showing Israeli innovation in dairy farming and wastewater reclamation. “Which cow produces the most milk per cow? It’s an Israeli cow — every moo is computerized,” he said.

“If you’re a country in Africa or in Asia or in Latin America, and you want to increase your dairy production or water usage or solar energy or your public health or your IT sector or your cyber security, Israel is the place,” Netanyahu said. “People understand Israel is a great force for good.”

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