Netanyahu and his wife Sarah participate in the Jewish community leadership activities in Brazil

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his Wife Sara Attend Event with Brazilian Jewish Community Leaders in Rio de Janeiro – PM's Full Remarks

Attached photo credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Sunday, 30 December 2018), in Rio de Janeiro, attended an event with Brazilian Jewish community leaders.

Following are Prime Minister Netanyahu's remarks:

"Sara and I bring you greetings from Jerusalem, to Rio de Janeiro and to Brazil, our brothers. This is what President-Elect Bolsonaro said yesterday. He said: 'We are brothers.' Not 'We are allies,' not 'We have common interests.' Brothers from the heart.

And today I want to speak to you, members of the Jewish communities and the Governor, honorary Jew, our governor. I want to speak to you about the heart and the mind. I’ll start with the mind, and I’ll get to the heart, and to the Jewish heart, in a minute.

Which cow produces the most milk in the world? Is it an American cow? No. Is it a Dutch cow? No. Is it an Australian cow? No. Is it an Argentinian cow? No. It’s not even a Russian cow, it’s about one third. This is why Mr. Putin has asked us to build farms in Russia, and why we’re doing it in China, and why we’re doing it in India. The biggest producer of cows that produce most milk is this cow, an Israeli cow. It’s not because it’s a Jewish cow, it’s because it’s an Israeli cow. It’s a computerized cow.

Which country produces clean water from brackish water, from waste water, more than any other country? It’s Israel; 86% of our waste water is recycled. The next country is Spain, 17%.

Does Brazil need water? Yes. Does Brazil need milk? Yes. Is there anything that Brazil doesn’t need? It needs good health, longevity, protection from disease, it needs safe transportation, it needs security. All these things, Israel has. And the reason we have it, is because there’s a revolution in the world, a great revolution. And it is a technological revolution which gives tremendous value to products of the mind. Products of the mind are more important than products of the earth, like oil.

The five largest companies in 2007 were companies that were making oil. Only one, Microsoft, was making a product of the mind. And in ten years, ten short years, a revolution occurred that didn’t happen in history, because after ten years, not one of the energy companies is left. But look at how many companies that are producing products of the mind are there. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Seven out of ten. Every one of those companies, has, not a research and development center in Israel, a major research and development center. In fact it’s probably their biggest outside their home country.

There are 300 such centers of the leading companies in the world, because Israel is producing products of the mind. This is the connection of big data, artificial intelligence and connectivity. It creates new industries. Like cyber.

You want your planes protected, so they’re not brought down by hackers? Well, Israel is the second largest cyber power in the world. We went from 10% of the cyber markets, security market in 2010 to double that in three years.

We had a car industry. That’s the car we had. Susita, it’s called, a horse. I had one. I won’t tell you about it. We crashed, literally. But today we have a car industry because 85% of the value of a car is software. It’s a computer on wheels. Now we have Waze. Do you use Waze? That’s from Israel, and Mobileye which was just bought for 15 billion dollars by Intel. Revolutionary new industries. This is all in the last ten years. 500 companies.

Those who innovate seize the future. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is the innovation nations. It produces products of the mind. We want to cooperate with Brazil on products of the mind in agriculture, in water, in health, in security, in defense. Products of the mind. A tremendous partnership.

We have decided, President Bolsonaro and I, to have here delegations for security, for defense, for agriculture, for water, and for the other industries. Several delegations will be coming here in the coming months to map out the full extent of Brazil’s cooperation with Israel. This is a partnership that has been meaning to happen, meant to happen, and we’re going to make it happen very fast

Mr. Bolsonaro also said this: 'I will move the embassy to Jerusalem. It’s not a question of if, just a question of when.' President Trump said the same thing. He moved the embassy. And President Bolsonaro will move the embassy as well. He accepted my invitation to visit Israel in the coming months and he’s going to do it, he says, by March. And I look forward to receiving him with the same spirit and the same brother hood that he received me and that you are receiving us."

Products of the mind describe half the story. They don’t describe the heart.

Yesterday, my wife Sara and I decided to go to do a stroll on the beach, Copacabana, with your permission, Governor. And we walked on the beach. There must have been about 10,000 people on the beach where we crossed, about that. One shouted 'Free Palestine.' That’s it. But thousands received us warmly. Thousands. And I saw some people playing soccer, football, so I played. I had the opportunity to touch the people, and they had the opportunity to touch us. They have focus groups in politics. They do focus groups. They put people in a room and they ask them questions. This was our focus group, a huge focus group with a lot of sand. And you could see the warmth and the love and the enthusiasm of the people there, Brazilian, also of course, Evangelicals, but not only, I have to say. The citizens of Rio embraced us in such a direct and warm way, we could see there’s a meeting of the hearts. So I welcome that, especially.

And of course there is also something else, which is the special connection of the Jewish community here. I appreciate that you come from all parts of Brazil. In a future visit, I would say, 'Next year in the Amazonas' but not this year. This year the Amazonas came to us, and I appreciate that very much.

There is a special warmth that the Jewish community of Brazil feels for Israel. They are proud of Brazil and they love Brazil. They’re proud of Israel and they love Israel. And they are a wonderful bridge between our two countries. We feel that there is a tremendous empathy. I view Israel as the home of all Jews. All Jews should feel welcome in Israel. All of you are welcome in Israel. And I have to tell you that we have made a pledge for centuries, 'Next year in Jerusalem'. I’d like to see all of you.

I would hope that you spearhead this revolution in our relationship between Brazil in Israel. There’s no question, it’s going to be a fantastic brotherhood, a fantastic relationship. And you have a special role, as our ambassadors, as the ambassadors of this friendship between us.

Brazil is the fifth country that we visited within the space of one year in Latin America. First Sara and I went to Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Mr. Temer asked me, would you come to Brazil. I said, sure, after the elections. And, I keep my promise. But there was a fourth visit, just a few weeks ago; Sara was invited by the president of Guatemala, by the wife of the president, to come there. And she went there. I think it’s the first time that the wife of a prime minister makes such a visit, and she was received with full honors, helping that country after the earthquake, the unfortunate earthquake that was there, and was received. Again, in all these countries we were received with tremendous enthusiasm. So Latin America is on our map, and you can see it because we’re actually going there.

We love Latin America and we’re coming to Latin America, you can see we’re doing it because we believe in this relationship. We attach enormous importance to Brazil on its own and Brazil in the context of Latin America. Israel is coming to Latin America, Latin America is coming to Israel. It’s a revolution in our diplomatic effort.

I will be going with Sara and our delegation on Tuesday to the inauguration of President Bolsonaro. I think it’s a symbolic moment, it’s a historic moment. I’ll be meeting there other heads of state and other dignitaries, including from Latin America. I think this heralds a historic change, a historic pivot. I want to ask you, each of you, to take part in this adventure and to be part of history. And I invite you to bring all your friends to Jerusalem and I will receive you there personally. But tell me before you come."

Israeli Ambassador to Brazil Yossi Sheli said [translated from Hebrew]:

"This is the first Prime Minister of Israel to visit Brazil and thanks to the content of the visit Israel and Brazil are closer than ever. We are working on projects in water, energy, agriculture and public security that will improve the lives of many Brazilians and Israelis."

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