Israel–Philippines relations

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Israel-Philippines relations
Map indicating locations of Israel and Philippines



The Israel–Philippines relations refers to the bilateral ties between the State of Israel and the Republic of the Philippines.

Full diplomatic relations between the two countries were realized upon the signing of the Treaty of Friendship on February 26, 1958. The Israeli embassy in Manila and the Filipino embassy in Tel Aviv opened in 1962.[1]


Giant flag of Israel

The Philippines voted in favor of UN Resolution 181 concerning the partition of Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel in 1947. The Philippines was among the 33 countries who supported the creation of Israel and the only Asian country who voted for the resolution.[2] Israel and the Philippines established full diplomatic relationships in 1957.[3][4] Embassies were opened in Tel-Aviv and Manila in 1962. In 1997, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) institutionalizing the bilateral political dialogue between the respective foreign ministries. The political dialog is accompanied by cooperation in trade and economy, culture, technical assistance, science, academic exchanges, tourism etc.

On November 28, 2007, the Knesset honored the thirty three countries which supported the UN Resolution 181 in celebration of 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel. The UN resolution, which marked January 27, as a yearly commemorative to honor the Holocaust's victims, was co-sponsored by the Philippines.[5] In October 2012, Vice President Jejomar Binay embarked on a five-day visit to Israel during which he met with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.[6]

At 2014, DFA Philippines Secretary Alberto del Rosario visited Israel for cooperation in Agriculture.[citation needed]

Economic relations[edit]

Trade between Israel and the Philippines continues to grow but remains insignificant compared to Israel's trade industry between Europe and the Americas. Israel's exports to the Philippines remain higher in comparison to the Philippines' exports to Israel. Israeli exports amount to $248,448,918 while Filipino exports amount to $33,929,631 in 2007. The number one exports to each other by both countries are electronics.[7]

In 2004, there were 37,155–50,000 Filipino workers in Israel.[8][9]

Cultural relations[edit]

Bishop Armando Cruzem and his congregation at their local annual Day to Praise Israel Independence Day event in the Philippines, 12 May 2016

In 2007, Sister Grace Galindez-Gupana, a Filipino businesswoman and supporter of Israel, financed the installation of a giant Israeli flag to honor 50 years of friendly relations between Israel and the Philippines.[10]

In 2009, the Open Doors Monument was erected in the Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon Lezion, Israel. It honored the role of the Philippine Commonwealth Government under President Manuel L. Quezon in officially offering safe haven and issuing 10,000 visas to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi regime. This was done in coordination with US Commonwealth officials (including High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt and Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower) as well as the local Jewish-Filipino community. Between 1937 and 1941, approximately 1,200 to 1,500 Jewish refugees (mostly from Germany and Austria) were settled in government-provided housing communities in Marikina. Additional plans were made to increase the visas allocated to 100,000 and to allow the refugees to resettle in the then sparsely-populated island of Mindanao, but these could not be carried out due to the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in December 1941. Quezon's actions were notable because the Philippines was one of the few nations that unconditionally opened its doors to Jewish refugees. Quezon was also one of the few heads of state to openly condemn the Nazi persecution of Jews, prior to the outbreak of World War II.[11][12] [13][14][15][16]

The Philippine Fair is an annual event in Haifa. In July 2013, the 2-day fair opened at the Castra mall, organized by the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Municipality of Haifa. The fair features booths selling Filipino handicrafts and food, as well as a cultural program showcasing traditional Filipino music and dance. A photography exhibition, “Yesterday and Today: A Look at Philippines-Israel Relations through the Years," opened at the mall. Some of the images date to the Philippines’ “Open Door Policy" in the 1930s, when more than 1,200 European Jews fleeing the Holocaust were given a safe haven in the Philippines.[17]

Military ties[edit]

At June 2013, the Philippines have interest to purchase the SPYDER and Iron Dome Surface-to-Air Missile according to DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. The fate of the deal is still unknown but it might be already signed and deployed.

In January 2014, the Armed Forces of the Philippines agreed to purchase 28 Israeli armored vehicles.[18]

The Philippines is known to use a variety of Israeli weapons such as Israeli firearms like Galil and TAR-21. Also included is the artillery.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "UN General Assembly Resolution 181". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel). 
  3. ^ dela Cruz, Roderick (March 12, 2016). "Why Israel offers visa-free access to Filipino tourists". Manila Standard. Philippines. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  4. ^ Hoffman, Carl (April 11, 2007). "The ties that bind: Filipinos and Jews, the Philippines and Israel". The Jerusalem Post. Israel. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  5. ^ Philippine-Israel diplomatic history
  6. ^ VP Binay's official visit strengthens ties with Israel
  7. ^ Philippine-Israel trade cooperation
  8. ^ "Stock estimate of overseas filipinos" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Catholic News". American Catholic. 
  10. ^ Largest Flag-world record set by Israeli Flag
  11. ^ Madison Park (3 February 2015). "How the Philippines saved 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust". CNN. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Danny Pins (23 December 2014). "A Christmas Story of Philippine Charity Repaid". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Volt Contreras (13 December 2010). "Monument in Israel Honors Filipinos". Asian Journal. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "History of the Jews in the Philippines". Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Tel Aviv. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Lilach Gavish (7 August 2009). "An Overdue Thank You". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  16. ^ Federico D. Pascual, Jr. (5 August 2014). "Filipino hospitality saved 1,300 Jews". PhilStar. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  17. ^ In Tel Aviv Philippine Fair celebrates Filipino-Israeli friendship through songs and dances
  18. ^ Adiv Sterman (20 January 2014). "Philippines to purchase 28 Israeli armored vehicles". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 

External links[edit]