Netanyahu Says Israel, India Both Face Threat from Radical Islam

NEW DELHI (Reuters/Hamodia) -
An Indian man walks past a billboard put up to welcome Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that features him along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate) near Bavla in Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he was discussing with India ways to strengthen security cooperation against the menace of Islamist extremism that both democracies faced.

Netanyahu told a security conference that India and Israel were two democracies with a natural affinity, but their open and liberal societies faced risks.

“Our way of life is being challenged, most notably, the quest for modernity, the quest for innovation (are) being challenged by radical Islam and its terrorist offshoots from a variety of corners,” he said.

Both Israel and India have long sought to counter Islamist terror — in Israel’s case, mainly from Gaza and Sinai and, in India’s case, mainly from Pakistan. Away from the public eye, India and Israel have been cooperating against the threat through, in part, intelligence sharing, officials say.

“We’ve discussed in this visit how we can strengthen our two nations in the civilian areas, in security areas, in every area,” Netanyahu told the conference.

While he said that no details could be given until the end of his tour, Netanyahu noted: “Our defense relationship is quite significant and it encompasses many things.

“I think the keyword is defense. We want to defend ourselves. We are not aggressive nations, but very committed to making sure that no one can commit aggression against us.”