In his first extended trip overseas since the March elections, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Italy this week to discuss Israel’s exciting contributions to the fields of technology and agriculture.
Netanyahu visited Israel’s display at Milan Expo 2015, a world trade fair showcasing innovation from around the world. Speaking to the crowd, he said:
I’m very proud as an Israeli to be here because we are contributing to the defeat of Malthusian projections. Malthus said a few hundred years ago that the world’s population will die out because of irreversible disparity between the numbers of people and the food available, and obviously science has defeated that. But Israel in this field has been a pioneer of the world for the last 70 and more years, even before the founding of our state. We’ve developed tremendous strides in drip irrigation, in desalinization. We’re the world’s leader in wastewater recycling. We recycle about 80 percent of our wastewater. I think number two is about 25 percent. So we have not only changed our situation.
We have ten times more population than we had when the state was founded 67 years ago and we have half the rainfall. Yet Israel has no water problems because we were able to solve this with all these techniques and we are prepared and are doing our share to partake this information with people everywhere around the world, so they can have water, they can have crops, they can have cows that give a lot more milk and many, many other things that offer the betterment for mankind. We’re very happy that we can do this here in Italy, in Milan. We have very strong bonds of friendship with Italy. We are doing everything together in commerce and trade, in technology, in tourism, in science, in culture, and we want to do even more.
I look forward to discussing all of these areas with Prime Minister Renzi who visited Israel, gave a remarkable speech in our parliament, the Knesset. There’s a very strong feeling of friendship and a desire to further cooperate in all these areas and I’m going to discuss some of these ideas with Prime Minister Renzi when we meet two days from now in Florence.
I have to say that one of the things that I saw in the pavilion is going to take up our time. Israel and Italy are cooperating in one African country today to better their agriculture. Why one? Why not twenty? Why not thirty? If we pool our resources, our knowledge, our technology together, we can help many, many countries in Africa have not only better agriculture but a better life, and this is one of the key areas that I’m going to discuss with Prime Minister Renzi on this visit.
I’m proud of everything that we’re doing. I think it has to do a lot with our culture. Our scholars for centuries studied the Talmud. They always believed that there wasn’t one answer. They always questioned. They always argued. There wasn’t a single set truth, and truth wasn’t achieved by repetition and memory. It was achieved by constant inquiry. And this tradition was translated in modern times by Jewish scientists and Israeli scientists into the fields of mathematics and physics and chemistry and in every field of life, medicine. And it is now being translated by Israeli entrepreneurs and technologists for all the things that can make a better life for all the people of the planet.
So it’s in this spirit of cooperation with Italy and our own spirit of inquiry and advancement and innovation that I’m delighted to be here with my wife and all our delegation in Milan. We wish you great success. Thank you very much. Thank you.”