Indian-Israeli Jews celebrated the blossoming ties between their birth country and their homeland.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening were present at a special rally held in Tel Aviv and attended by thousands of members of the Indian community in Israel.
Performers brought a taste of India to the stage, before Netanyahu and Modi addressed the crowd.
“These are the Jews of India,” declared Netanyahu. “They love India, they love Israel. They love our friendship.”
Modi’s historic trip marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and represents the first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel.
“We are in a historic meeting, your visit, of two ancient peoples seizing the future,” Netanyahu stated triumphantly.
Netanyahu told the story of Tzipora Meir, a young Jewish woman in Cochin, India. She wrote an essay 50 years ago, just before the Six Day War, expressing her deep desire to see the partnership between India and Israel come to fruition.
Meir won a prize for the composition, but her desire was realized many years later.
“Tzipora Meir, like so many of you, came to Israel, built her home here, contributed to her life, maintained the love of Indian Jewish customs, prayers and continued to hope that one day Israel and India will form this partnership and this friendship,” Netanyahu recounted.
Some 100,000 Indian Jews live in Israel.
Addressing Tzipora and her husband Sasson, who were in attendance, Netanyahu said, “That day has come. That day is today.”
“Prime Minister Modi and I have decided on a vast program to bring our partnership and our friendship to new heights. But we always remember that there’s a human bridge between us – you. We admire you, we respect you, we love you,” Netanyahu added.
“We are building this future today between us, between our two great democracies, between our two ancient peoples, who believe in the future. It’s a partnership made in heaven but it’s happening right now here on earth today,” Netanyahu concluded.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News