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January 17, 2018 8:39 am

Israel’s Netanyahu Says Indian Peace Hero Gandhi an Inspiration

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara tie a garland made of cotton threads to the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi as Indian PM Narendra Modi looks on during their visit to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Jan. 17, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amit Dave.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the home of Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday, saying modern India’s founding father and promoter of peace was an inspiration for humanity.

Netanyahu is making the first visit by an Israeli prime minister in 15 years and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rolled out the red carpet, seeing Israel as an ally in the fight against terrorism.

Modi hosted the Israeli leader in his home state of Gujarat, where hundreds of people waving Indian and Israeli flags lined up the streets as the motorcade passed.

The two men, accompanied by Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, went to Gandhi’s ashram on the banks of a river where Netanyahu tried his hand at a spinning wheel, a pastime Gandhi made popular while he was jailed during British colonial rule.

“An inspiring visit to the hearth of one of humanity’s great prophets of inspiration — Mahatma Gandhi,” Netanyahu and his wife wrote in the guest book.

Netanyahu and Modi have pledged to deepen economic and security ties in a more open embrace of the relationship which New Delhi had long kept at a low profile, largely for fear of upsetting Arab nations on which it depends for oil.

Modi said India’s cooperation with Israel was diverse and benefited both countries. On Tuesday, Netanyahu said the two countries were discussing ways to strengthen cooperation to fight the menace of radical Islam that they both faced.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will travel to Mumbai to join a memorial event for the parents of an 11-year-old Israeli boy who were among the 166 people killed during an attack by Pakistan-based terrorists in 2008.

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