Recently, the Manila Times had a virtual interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss. Content of that interview was published online by the newspaper and it sure contains lots of details about the strong ties between Israel and the Philippines.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the article of the Manila Times. Some parts in boldface…
The Manila Times (TMT): Could you give us an overview of Philippine-Israeli bilateral relations? What is the direction of our bilateral relations?
Ambassador Fluss: I would like first to say that I want to congratulate The Manila Times for its anniversary — 124 years is long, many years. So, congratulations.
Generally speaking, the relations are, I would say, very good and warm. Historically, we always remember 1928, the Philippines giving a safe haven to 1,300 Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi rule where most countries, not all countries, closed the borders for refugees.
And the Philippines during the time of President [Manuel] Quezon showed the gesture of giving the message of helping those who are in need. And it is something that we appreciate very much.
And the second thing I would mention, which is very important to us historically, is 1947 when the Philippines voted in support of the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, voted in the United Nations. This gives the foundation for the political foundation for the establishment of the State of Israel.
For this reason, until today, Filipinos do not need a visa to enter Israel and I think this is one of the reasons why we are seeing a really very good flow of people, movement of people between our two countries because it is easier with no visa.
Hopefully, when we see direct flights between our two countries, and I am very optimistic it will happen sometime next year, I think Manila-Tel Aviv will be a very busy line.
First of all, there is always a very good sense of people feeling very comfortable, very interested, very warm to each other I think it comes from similar values — the importance of family, value of family, value of charity, of helping each other, the community, I think these are the issues that we share between our societies, our two countries.
Today, we just had a JCM, the joint committee meeting, which is an annual political meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) here. We did an overview of the relations.
And generally, things are going well between our two countries — friendly, warm, open discussions.
TMT: In terms of trade and commerce, are there new avenues that we can explore to further enhance our economic cooperation?
Ambassador Fluss: I’ll say my vision as the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines is to create bridges of innovation and technology between our two countries, which means one side to transfer the knowledge, what we’re doing in Israel.
Because Israel is known as a global hub of innovation. I want to share this experience and to help the Philippines in creating its own system of innovation where you can have local innovation, entrepreneurship. And to support that, I’m working on both government-level and private sector, academia, and also introducing relevant Israeli technologies that can support the development process here in the Philippines.
In this regard, we had a delegation in the Philippines last week of companies in the agricultural sector who came to a big agricultural expo in Davao, which is the “food basket of the Philippines.” We participated there. I was there in Davao last week.
There is a lot of interest in Israeli technologies and this is also part of the vision and one of the main goals of the President (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.) is enhancing agricultural productivity and food security, and we are trying to support these efforts. The State of Israel is a leader in agriculture technologies.
So, for one side the economy and trade, so more business delegations. We are also looking at another delegation coming to the Philippines on the area of water. We are also planning to have an exhibition on Israeli innovation in the Philippines, which will be presented here. We have Israeli experts to talk about Israeli innovations.
During the pandemic two years ago, the Israeli Embassy expanded and we opened a trade and economic office in the embassy which shows Israel is now investing more in promoting the relations between our two countries in this sector.
To read the rest of the interview, I encourage you all to visit https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/10/11/tmt-anniversary/ph-israel-an-enduring-partnership/1861565
Ambassador Fluss confirmed that Israel-Philippines ties are in a really good state not just diplomatically but also socially and economically. This past September, it has been confirmed that the State of Israel will assist farmers in the Ilocos Region by sharing their solutions to modern agriculture which should boost the local productivity. Ambassador Fluss visited the province of Ilocos Norte for the first time and met with the officials there.
Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to grow stronger. As such, I encourage you all to not just read Manila Times’ interview with Ambassador Fluss but also pay close attention to the many details recorded in the interview so you can have a clear view about the state of Israel-Philippines relations. That interview is a blessing from our Lord. Keep on praying to Him to have the two nations rise high strongly and stand out among all nations of this very divided world we live in. Pray to Him that no enemy will ever succeed on opposing Israel and the Philippines. The evil ones will be exposed and will fall down in due time.
If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.
Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel! Israel-Philippines ties are essential!
In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos plus one Philippine news video for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.
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