This week has been very significant for Israel-Philippines relations. Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived here on an official visit and he had a high-level meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. in Malacañang Palace which resulted in very tremendous agreements that include direct flights between Israel and the Philippines, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news article.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
The Philippines and Israel are pushing for the direct flights between the two countries and elevating their partnership in agriculture and water sectors, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
The plan to enhance cooperation between Manila and Tel Aviv was discussed when President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. met with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Monday, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.
Cohen told Marcos that establishing direct flights between the Philippines and Israel would boost the two nations’ tourism and economic ties.
“There’s another thing that we, both of us, took for an action item. [It] is to have a direct flight… your external sea between Israel and the Philippines,” Cohen, as quoted by the PCO, said during the meeting, referring to his earlier meeting with Filipino officials.
“And I think that we agree that both ministries will work together to have the direct flight. And this is also to bring more business people to come to invest and reach the place between us. So this is also another important action item that we will do.”
The Philippine Airlines was supposed to launch its direct flights to Tel Aviv in 2022, but the plan has been stalled because of geopolitical concerns.
The Philippines has become one of the top tourist destinations for the Israelis in the last few years, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said in November 2022.
Cohen also told Marcos about Israel’s planned closer cooperation with the Philippines to ensure food security, suggesting that the two nations may open an agricultural hub.
“I think that we can work together on the segment of agriculture. I just let you know that our land, 60 percent of our land is desert. But although 60 percent of our land is desert, we were able to provide all our water needs,” Cohen said.
“And I think that we can work together and let’s say that less import, more export for the Philippines. And I think that we can work together,” he added.
Marcos said he was glad that Cohen raised Israel’s plan, as he expressed admiration for its advancement in agriculture.
He added that agricultural development is “very important” for the Philippines,
“Because when we look at the economy as hard to just test, we said how do we fix the economy. It always comes down to agriculture first, how to fix every policy, then everything else would be great. So that’s the position that we find ourselves in,” he said. “So, the offers that you make for assistance and partnership in those two areas are very, very welcome.”
Cohen said the Philippines and Israel can also collaborate on water management, noting Tel Aviv’s vast experience in this sector.
He said Israeli experts may visit the Philippines to provide advice, noting that Israel has been reusing a large portion of its water resources because of water scarcity and it can share its experience in water management with the Philippines.
Marcos said the Philippines is looking at Israel and Singapore for best practices that the country can imitate.
Indeed, these recent developments prove the Israel-Philippines ties are blossoming and truly essential. For the newcomers reading this, the 65th anniversary of friendship between Israel and the Philippines was commemorated. It was also this year when the 75th year of independence of the State of Israel was celebrated.
The establishment of direct Israel-Philippines flights will enable more Filipinos to visit the Holy Land while potential more Israelis will visit more conveniently and boost not only Philippine tourism but also engage in business and investments. For those of you who want to visit Israel to deepen your faith in the Lord, read my Israel 2023 feature articles by clicking here, here, here, here, here and here.
To my fellow Filipinos reading this, I encourage you to accept the truth that Israel is the land God designated specifically for the Jewish people (read Genesis 35:10-12) and His command must be followed by all. If you want to be blessed further by the Lord, do so by loving and blessing the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3). I did my part when I was in Israel. Also, let me remind you all that the ties between the Jews and Christians are truly biblical!
If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful, you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel and love the Jewish people no matter what. 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 and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.
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