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January 11, 2018 3:58 pm

During India Trip, Israeli PM Netanyahu to Seek Strengthened Ties With Bollywood Film Industry

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu bids farewell to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Ben-Gurion International Airport, July 2017. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO via Netanyahu’s Facebook page.

During his four-day visit to India next week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek to strengthen the Jewish state’s ties with the Bollywood film industry, according to media reports.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, Netanyahu and his wife Sara will attend an event in Mumbai titled “Shalom Bollywood,” at which they will meet many important Indian cinema figures.

The Indian Express quoted a source as saying, “The Israelis are looking at Bollywood to fight the global BDS movement, which has impacted them… This event is aimed at getting movie producers to shoot in some of Israel’s picturesque locations.”

Netanyahu will be the first Israeli prime minister to visit India since the late Ariel Sharon traveled to the subcontinent in 2003.

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Last summer, Narendra Modi became the first sitting Indian prime minister to tour Israel. That trip came as Israel and India marked the 25th anniversary of the official establishment of diplomatic relations. Ties between the two countries have flourished in numerous realms in recent years.

Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said on Thursday that Netanyahu’s visit next week would serve as the “grand finale” of the anniversary celebrations.

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