The month of February 2023 is indeed exceptional. In my experience, I had the greatest overseas trip of my life as I went to Israel on a pilgrimage tour with my local church. There, I witnessed the Holy Bible come to life at the many sites in the Holy Land. As such, I am grateful to the Lord and will always be faithful to Him.
On another significant matter, February 2023 also marked the 65th year of Israel-Philippines friendship which was celebrated a few weeks back according to a news article by the Philippines News Agency (PNA). For the newcomers reading this, Israel and the Philippines have a deep relationship with each other and lots of cooperation has been done.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
The Philippines and Israel celebrated 65 years of friendship on Sunday, marking an already warm and historic relations with increased interactions in the areas of agriculture, commerce, and development.
In the past 12 months alone, the two nations signed various deals — from a memorandum of understanding to initiate joint activities on trade and investment to a cooperation agreement in technological innovation, research, and development.
The “milestone” Philippine-Israel Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was also concluded in June 2022, signaling the two nations commitment to create environment for investments in water management, agriculture, cybersecurity, defense industry, smart transportation, manufacturing, and diamond industry development, among others.
Envisioning an even closer economic relations in the years beyond, Israel Ambassador to Manila Ilan Fluss sees the field of innovation as an area the two countries could further develop.
“My vision is that we will establish bridges of innovation in technology between Israel and the Philippines,” he told the Philippine News Agency in a recent interview.
“For this, we’re working a lot on both on two levels, one on the startup community and how we can get an exchange between startups and to get Philippine startups enter into Israel,” he added.
As an innovation hub, Fluss believes Israel could support the Philippines in building a stronger startup industry through training and guidance in “internationalizing” Filipino startups.
In 2022, there were over 6,000 startups active in Israel, making the country a world leader in startups per capita.
Israeli firms, on the other hand, could enter the Philippines and provide solutions that address challenges unique to the country.
“[The Philippines] could help Israeli startups who are usually focused more on the developed markets, enter into the Philippines, adjusting what they’re doing to the challenges in the Philippines which are different than Europe and the United States,” Fluss said.
“So we want to help them diversify and enter the Philippine markets. So this is a very major effort that we are doing in the embassy,” he added.
Israel and the Philippines’ friendship is founded on deep historical and moral connections, with Manila opening its doors to 1,300 Holocaust refugees in late 1930s even before Israel became a state.
The Philippines was one of the 33 countries to vote in favor of a United Nations resolution in 1947 that created the State of Israel.
65 years of not only friendship but strong cooperation and commitments between Israel and the Philippines clearly shows that the two nations were chosen by God to be together. Be thankful to God for all the breakthroughs and the continuing progress of Israel-Philippines ties. Israel-Philippines ties are essential!
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.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the article of the PNA. Some parts in boldface…
Israel wants to increase cooperation with the Philippines on agriculture, cybersecurity, and other areas of mutual interest after the two countries cap their 12th Joint Commission Meeting this week.
The political dialogue, held in Manila on Sept. 5, was led by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Alfonso Ver and Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Rafael Harpaz.
“The Israeli delegation emphasized building bridges of innovations between the two countries in the areas of agritech, watertech, cybersecurity, ICT and connectivity, and more. Also included in the agenda is the topic of counterterrorism and the expansion of the defense cooperation between Israel with the Philippines,” the Israel Embassy in Manila said in a statement.
The delegations also discussed regional and international developments, particularly in the Middle East, Iran, and the West Philippine Sea.
On agriculture, Israel Ambassador Ilan Fluss said Israel would share with the Philippines its expertise as the two sides discussed solar-powered irrigation, increasing dairy output, as well as Israel’s agriculture internship for Filipinos.
“We are happy to share our expertise in the field of agriculture with the Philippines to address productivity and food security,” he said, citing a recent meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who sought to enhance agriculture cooperation with Israel.
Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to grow stronger. Israel’s willingness to engage with the Philippines on agriculture and cyber security is essential. More than ever, Philippine agriculture needs to improve dramatically not just to keep up with the world but also to ensure a huge and stable supply of food for the people. Enhancing cyber security will make the Philippines more secure and also become a more attractive and safer place for technology developers, foreign investors and the like. 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.
Since August 9 of 1957, Israel and the Philippines had been friends and the diplomatic ties between them prospered through the decades. In 2018, then President Rodrigo Duterte and a contingent of officials visited Israel. There, then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Duterte. During the COVID-19 crisis, Israel assisted the Philippines in varied such as having Filipinos in Israel vaccinated and by also sending their health experts to the Philippines.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from report of Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…
The Philippines and Israel are celebrating their 65th year of diplomatic relationship this year.
On August 9, 1957, the two nations started fostering their relations, with Israel providing capacity building programs for Filipinos in the agriculture sector.
Israel has been providing assistance to Filipinos in advanced farming practices and data-driven agricultural management systems, as part of the Philippines’ campaign to stabilize the price of commodities and strengthen long-term food security.
As of 2021, the Philippines and Israel recorded a total of $354,349,790 in trade, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Israel also exported $268,096,401 worth of products to the Philippines, DFA added.
In July, Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss met with Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles of the new Marcos administration to discuss possible collaboration and ways to strengthen the embassy’s connection with the Office of the Press Secretary in sharing the initiatives and partnerships between Israel and the Philippines.
Fluss said Israel’s expertise in cybersecurity, digital diplomacy, and media tech could be deployed for faster and more comprehensive delivery of news and information in the remote areas in the Philippines.
Responding to President Marcos’ first State of the Nation Address, Fluss also said Israel is looking forward to achieving the chief executives’ vision, “especially in the fields of agriculture, innovation & technology, and more.”
Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to create opportunities, prosperity and new forms of friendship between the Filipinos and the Israelites. Keep on praying to Him to have the two nations to rise high and stand out among all nations of this very divided world we live in. Pray to Him that no enemy will ever succeed while opposing Israel and the Philippines. The evil ones will be exposed and will fall down in due time.
Let us be very clear here…deception must be overwhelmed in order for the truth to be realized. I’m talking about the years-long campaigns of lies, distortions, violence and exaggerations by the enemies of the State of Israel being magnified by all of those “free Palestine” activists, Leftists, social justice warriors (SJWs), the United Nations members and Amnesty International.
The side that always hates Israel often repeats lies that the State of Israel is guilty for committing apartheid (a term best associated with the apartness between white and black people in South Africa) which is completely false! In fact, it is the corrupt and terrorist-linked Palestinian Authority (PA) that practices apartheid according to the findings of a legal expert as reported by CBN News. This is something that the world should pay more attention to.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CBN News article. Some parts in boldface…
CBN News reported on backlash caused by an Amnesty International report accusing Israel of being an apartheid state. One result of the fallout shines the light on a major issue basically ignored by this group that purports to end abuses of human rights.
The amnesty international report concluded that “Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid.”
Apartheid refers to the South African policy of separating blacks and whites, which existed for more than 40 years. It ended in the mid-1990’s.
“Amnesty and the UN, which is going to be joining the effort by describing Israel as an apartheid state isn’t getting it wrong, they’re getting it an opposite of the truth,” says legal expert Prof. Eugene Kontrovich.
“Israel is a country where Arabs participate in all walks of public life, hold positions in the government,” he says. “In Israel, Arabs and Jews mingle, in cafes and on busses, in all public places. But right next door, in those areas of the Holy Land run by the Palestinian Authority, real apartheid is practiced.”
Kontorovich points out the PA has a law that calls for the death penalty if a Palestinian sells land to a Jew. Back in November, CBN News asked the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister about that law.
“Land in Palestine is not a real estate issue. Land in Palestine is a political issue. So therefore, the Palestinian law does not allow land to be sold to non-Palestinians,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told CBN News.
Another controversial government policy is referred to as pay to slay. That program rewards terrorists convicted of killing Jews.
“Israel is not sponsoring a program of pay to slay against Palestinians,” Kontorovich says. “The Palestinian Authority government supported by Western governments … funds a pay to lay program to pay for the murder of Jews.”
Kontorovich says through all its laws and policies the PA has created a Jew-free zone.
“When you at the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, it’s not that there’s no separation between Jews and Arabs, there’s just no Jews. Because they have created a Jew-free state and they have enforced this through official methods.”
Posted below for your viewing is the very video about the CBN News report.
For a deeper understanding about the Israel-Palestine conflict as well as the web of deception and evil forces that are determined to destroy Israel and uplift Palestine (which has a history of terrorism), watch the following videos below.
Going back to the highlighted CBN News report, I urge you readers to NEVER allow yourselves to be deceived by the Palestinian Authority, its evil partners and terrorists. All these blaming and lies against Israel are deceptions recycled all over and over. Israel is the truly the land of the Israelites, not the Palestinians.
For insight about the Palestinian people and the land of Israel, watch this Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) documentary which is credible and truthful.
For more, let’s go to the Holy Bible and take a close look at God’s promises to Abraham as well as the inclusion of Isaac and Jacob as the true inheritors with regards to the land of Israel. Read the following scriptures below…
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
Genesis 12:1-9 (NKJV)
Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”
And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign [a]gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.
And they journeyed, and the terror of God was upon the cities that were all around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. And he built an altar there and called the place El Bethel, because there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother.
Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the terebinth tree. So the name of it was called Allon Bachuth.
Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.”
Genesis 35:1-12 (NKJV)
And the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give to you,
And I will give the land to your descendants after you.
Genesis 35:12 (NASB)
And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.
Genesis 35:12 (NLT)
I am The Strong God.
Have children! Flourish!
A nation—a whole company of nations!—
will come from you.
Kings will come from your loins;
the land I gave Abraham and Isaac
I now give to you,
and pass it on to your descendants.
Genesis 35:11-12 (MSG)
As seen in the above verses, it is totally clear that Abraham’s illegitimate son Ishmael (whose mother was Hagar) was never meant to inherit the land of Israel. God had other plans for Ishmael and Hagar while His blessings for Abraham were meant for the rightful heirs Isaac and eventually Jacob. For greater insight, look at the scripture below…
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.
Genesis 21:9-14 (NKJV)
Israel today is a great and blessed nation. It is the true homeland of the Jewish people and the foundation of the State of Israel was a promise fulfilled by the Lord. As this divided world is filled with evil and constantly influenced by Satan, it is no surprise that there are sinister forces that want to destroy Israel. Iran has sponsored terrorism for many years and they won’t give up with their support of Israel’s enemies. The Palestinian Authority has its own agenda, shenanigans, connections with evil forces (note: look at their connection of support with the Marxist terrorist group Black Lives Matter) and legacy of violence against Israel (note: remember what Yasser Arafat did decades ago? Remember when Bill Clinton as United States President accommodated Arafat knowing he committed terror many times?).
Under the watch and guidance of the Lord, the Abraham Accords were established during the days of United States President Donald Trump. The Abraham Accords is indeed working as Israel established new peace deals with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco and the Kingdom of Bahrain. For insight, watch the videos below.
Truly God is faithful and He always keeps His promises to the faithful. I believe that the Abraham Accords will keep progressing and the Palestinian Authority as well as its violent allies (notably Iran as well as the Democrats and Communists of America) will become less relevant in due time. The people in Palestine will become better off without the PA and its evil partners. In due time, the apartheid of the PA will be realized even more and eventually come to an end. Along the way, we must always look up to the Lord and maintain unwavering faith in supporting Israel and the Abraham Accords. Keep on praying to Him!
Pray to the Lord for the Abraham Accords to keep progressing and establishing more peace and stability between the Jewish people and the Arabs! Pray to the Lord for the Palestinian people to be freed from the corruption and violence of the Palestinian Authority! Pray to the Lord for the fall of the anti-Semitic forces, the fall of the terrorists, the fall of the Leftist forces, the fall of the BDS Movement and the fall of the other enemies of Israel so that all those who oppose Israel will realize their errors, repent to the Lord and submit themselves to Him! Pray to the Lord for the continued protection and progress of the State of Israel no matter how their political landscape changes. Thank God for His Love, His Blessings, His Protection and for sending His Son Jesus who is our Lord and Savior!
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…
Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss announced that his group is now “in discussion” with the Philippine government on how to provide a “long-term response” amid the ongoing relief operations after the devastation of typhoon Odette.
“Now we are in discussions with the government here – what should be long term response?” Fluss said during a televised interview on Monday, Dec. 27.
The Israeli diplomat also said that the Israeli Embassy has joined hands with Israeli civil society, which has already seen the devastation, to help in the relief efforts in heavily-affected areas in the country.
“There are already some Israeli NGOs (non-government organizations) that have started working here and then will stay here also for the long run and we are supporting them and we’re doing this in coordination between us at the embassy and the Israeli government and Israeli NGOs and civil society so we’ll be here to stay,” Fluss said.
When the Philippine government was racing to reach out to affected areas after the onslaught of the deadly typhoon, Israel was among the foreign countries that immediately sent help to typhoon victims.
Fluss said they sent some food, hygiene kits, rice and solar panels to create energy, water purification systems to Cebu, Bohol and Siargao.
“This was very important for us to show the sympathy and the close relations and we care about the Philippines and what is happening here,” the ambassador said. “We are now looking how to continue for the longer run we are going to continue working.”
On the medical side, Fluss further said that they are working with Philippine hospitals in rebuilding some of the medical facilities that were damaged by the typhoon.
He also encouraged Filipinos to “keep the spirit, keep strong and still mark-up challenging times in front of us” in dealing with the impacts of both the typhoon and the coronavirus pandemic.
While enemies like Iran and Palestine have not given anything to help the typhoon victims as of this writing, Israel’s dedication to help Filipinos is transparent, genuine and solid. The ambassador also announced that all Filipinos staying in Israel got vaccinated for COVID-19. We should give thanks and praise to our Lord for these very important developments involving the Jewish State and we Filipinos can return the favor by helping the Israelites wholeheartedly. We can stand with Israel and protect it from its enemies.
In case you missed the news, the powerful Typhoon Odette (international reference: Typhoon Rai) ravaged many places and residents in different parts of the Philippines causing many billions of Pesos of damage as well as disrupting the lives of many families.
Fortunately for the victims who lost a lot, the State of Israel went ahead in providing much-needed assistance and already they got recognized for it. Recently it was reported by the Manila Bulletin that the national authorities expressed its gratitude to Israel for donating a variety of items which are truly essential to the victims.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin. Some parts in boldface…
Malacañang thanked the Embassy of Israel after it sent donations of food and water to families in Visayas and Mindanao that were affected by typhoon “Odette”.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the Philippine Air Force, and the Embassy of Israel conducted a ceremonial turnover of donations at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar bared in a statement Friday, Dec. 24.
The donations included a water purifier, four solar panels, more than 2,000 kilos of rice, and 500 food and hygiene packs are intended for residents of Siargao.
In his message, Andanar said the celebration of Christmas 2021 is different from the previous years due to the recent calamity that was Odette, which caused massive destruction in several province.
But the government has been able to roll out relief operations thanks to the help of donors like Israel.
“It is usually spent with so much merrymaking but this Christmas Eve (Friday) will not be the same in the few areas of Visayas and Mindanao. We want to thank Ambassador Ilan Fluss and the State of Israel for your generosity,” he said.
Fluss said that Israel is willing to share and support the country’s recovery from the typhoon.
He said they have already extended help to affected communities in Cebu and Bohol. Now, they are expanding their efforts to help Siargao.
“The State of Israel has witnessed the devastating result of typhoon Odette and the impact it had on the people. It destroyed infrastructure and homes, and claimed lives. We, as friends of the Philippines, cannot stay indifferent,” he said.
The above report ended quoting the Israeli ambassador stating that they are looking for long-term aid to see what they could do in the rehabilitation of medical centers together with other organizations.
We should all be thankful to God that our nation has a very essential partner and close friend in Israel which did not hesitate in helping the typhoon victims. Israel continues to bless our nation and we Filipinos can bless them in return in a variety of helpful ways. Also take note that, as of this writing, Israel’s enemies Iran and Palestine so far provided NOTHING to the Typhoon Odette victims. As for the “Free Palestine” fanatics, they are just wasting their lives condemning Israel and they do not even care about the typhoon victims.
Good news for Filipinos who wish to visit Israel and the Holy Land! According to the recent report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Filipino travelers who have been fully vaccinated (with the 2nd dose received within the previous six months or 180 days) can final visit Israel, take the swab test there, go through the mandatory quarantine and once the result shows a negative reading, visitors will be able to enter and start touring.
As we are all living in this ongoing pandemic, there are lots of requirements to be made before even booking a flight to Israel. Those who wish to travel there should also be aware as to what brands of COVID-19 vaccines are acceptable to them.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the very short PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
Israel is accepting Filipino and other foreign tourists as long as they are fully vaccinated and their second dose had been administered within the last six months, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said Wednesday.
“On the 1st of November this week, we opened for vaccinated tourists so anybody who is vaccinated can visit Israel. Filipinos are now welcome to visit Israel,” he told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
Tourists may travel to Israel “individually or as a group” but are advised to check first the specific entry guidelines and requirements before booking their flight and tour packages.
The envoy said travelers will have to present a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result taken 72 hours prior to departure and take another swab upon arrival at the airport.
After the test, the tourist will undergo mandatory quarantine until the result is out.
Fluss noted that Israel is only allowing foreigners who had been vaccinated with a jab recognized by the World Health Organization, such as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Sinopharm.
Among others, the second dose must be administered within the past six months and supported by a vaccination certificate.
“If (the last shot) is more than six months, you are considered unvaccinated. So either you take the booster and then you can visit or you can’t,” he said.
Filipinos are allowed visa-free entry to Israel but Fluss said they must secure a “special entry permit”, which had been required from all foreign nationals following the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Israel looks forward to welcoming Filipino tourists to the Holy Land, Fluss said Israeli travelers are likewise waiting to visit the Philippines, popular for its picturesque beaches and world-class dive spots.
“The Philippines, for Israelis, is a very interesting attraction. Israelis have been to Thailand but they like to always find new and exciting destinations and in the last few years they found the Philippines. So I want to see more of the Israeli exchanges,” he said.
In the meantime, he invited Filipinos to visit their religious sites and churches that had been closed to foreigners since March 2020.
“The Philippines is a Christian country and I think people are very keen to travel to the Holy Land and we would be very happy to see more tourists to come and visit,” he said.
“Israel is an interesting country with the combination of the Holy Land, history, religion, culture; and Tel Aviv is a city of fun and is one of those cosmopolitan cities that goes 24 hours. It’s a combination of modern and traditional,” he added.
Fluss is also hoping the Philippine Airlines could finally mount its direct flights between Manila and Tel Aviv in April 2022 after the target launch last October 2021 was postponed “due to issues with the routes”.
Whew! That was a heavy load of information posted above. To make your dreams of visiting Israel come through, you will have to meet all the requirements related to vaccination (note: always have your records ready), COVID-19 testing, getting the special entry permit, booking and more. It’s challenging to meet the requirements but it’s not impossible and ultimately Israel is always a great place to visit filled with wonders of discovery. Visiting the Holy Land with deep faith in the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be tremendous.
In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos.
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