Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu—joined by billionaire Steve Forbes, owner of the Forbes magazine—on Thursday toured Be’er Sheva and the southern Israeli city’s Advanced Technologies Park at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Netanyahu discussed the area’s potential in the field of high-tech.
“What we are seeing in Be’er Sheva is very significant progress, a global revolution,” he said.
According to Netanyahu, that revolution affords Israel a great deal of financial clout, along with military and security strength. But he said, “It requires a detachment from the regular templates and establishing a vision.”
Netanyahu told Forbes, “This is the future. The future of the global economy depends on the Internet economy, and that cannot grow without cybersecurity. We need to find solutions to safeguard banking systems, electronic systems, and air transportation. Cyber defense is a necessity, and it is our intention to be the leader in this field.”
The tour was also attended by Be’er Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, BGU President Professor Rivka Carmi, and the head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau, Dr. Eviatar Matania.
“The true wealth of the State of Israel doesn’t lie in natural gas fields, rather in the quality human capital currently gathering in the Negev, in the academic institutions and the best intelligence and teleprocessing minds that come through here,” said Danilovich.