by Ishi Gonzales – May 11, 2015
The government of Israel declares 2015 as Thank You Philippines year. “It was the small nation of the Philippines in the times of the commonwealth government, that radiated a beacon of hope to those trying to escape certain death in Europe,” Israel Ambassador to Philippines Effie Ben Matityau said in an event in Manila to celebrate Israel’s 67th National Day.
It can be remembered that 1,300 Jewish people managed to reach Philippines as safe haven in 1941.
“Filipinos and Jewish people suffered the results of the war, the immense destruction and the loss of lives, however, in Europe they were killed for being Jewish and here they were all victims of the War as a fate they shared as one,” Israel’s top diplomat in the country said. “So, we have 1,300 good reasons to Thank You Philippines, and the Philippines has 1,300 good reasons to be a very proud nation for its moral victory in contrast to the moral collapse of the time.”
He added that Philippines’ noble deed did not stop in 1941. “The Philippines was the only Asian country who voted in favor of the establishment of the State of Israel in the United Nations on Nov. 29th 1947 that was done under the leadership of President Manuel Roxas ,” Matityau added.
In 1949, President Elpidio Quirino supported the acceptance of Israel as a member of the United Nations.
“This is a very special year of commemoration we decide to declare it as the “Thank You Philippines” year with a large number of activities and projects that are running year round,” Ambassador Matityau said.