MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Gov. Jerry Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a pro-business agreement Wednesday designed to strengthen economic and intellectual ties between Israel and California.

The agreement covers such issues as cyber security, water conservation, education, agricultural technology, health and biotechnology.

"Together we can solve these problems," Netanyahu said.

Brown said Israel has demonstrated how "efficient a country can be.''

"There's a lot we can learn, a lot we can share," he said.

During a joint appearance with Brown at the Computer History Museum, Netanyahu also condemned a shipment of Iranian rockets bound for Palestinian militants in Gaza as "weapons of mass death" that "reveal the truce face of Iran." The rockets, with a range of 1,000 miles, would have allowed Palestinian militants to "rain death and destruction on Israeli's cities," Netanyahu said.

Israel forces intercepted the ship, the KLOS C, and its load of dozens of long-range missiles bound to "cruel despots" in the Red Sea on Wednesday, he said.

Wednesday's visit follows Netanyahu's meetings with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on Monday. He also planned to stop at Apple and have a meeting with WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, a Jewish Ukrainian immigrant who sold his company to Facebook Inc. for $19 billion last month.


Advertisement

To applause, Netanyahu thanked Brown after California's state pension fund divested itself from Iranian investments while "investing in Israel."

Netanyahu also implored Brown to help create direct airline flights between San Francisco and Tel Aviv that he said would trigger "an explosion of creativity and inventiveness" between Israel and California.

"The future belongs to those who innovate," Netanyahu said.

California, which is suffering from a historic drought, would particularly benefit from increased cooperation with Israel because "Israel doesn't have a water problem," Netanyahu said.

Even though rainfall has dropped 50 percent since Israel's founding while its population has grown 10-fold, Netanyahu said Israel is the world's top recycler of waste water and a force in desalination.

"California doesn't need a water problem," he said.

Israel is also a world leader in cyber security, Netanyahu said. With cooperation from California, he said, "together we can solve these problems."

"The best brains in the world are in Silicon Valley," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.