Why Israeli diplomat calls Sara Duterte’s visit to his country ‘closure’


Posted at Sep 05 2018 03:01 AM

Photo courtesy of Gilad Cohen's official Twitter account

MANILA—Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's visit to a Holocaust memorial in Israel appears to be an act of "closure," an Israeli diplomat said Tuesday.

Gilad Cohen, deputy director general for Asia-Pacific Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, said the presidential daughter's Jewish grandfather has a connection to his country.

"Her Jewish grandfather found shelter in the Philippines before WWII (World War II), when President (Manuel) Quezon opened the gates for Jews who fled Germany," Cohen said.

"A closure here in Israel at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum."

Quezon reinforced the Commonwealth government’s open-door policy to accommodate Jews who fled Europe from 1935 to 1941.

Duterte-Carpio's mother Elizabeth Zimmerman, the president's ex-wife, is Jewish American.

The Davao City mayor is part of her father's delegation for a four-day visit in Israel.

Duterte is the first sitting Filipino president to set foot in Israel since the 2 nations established diplomatic ties in 1957.

Israel is home to some 28,000 Filipinos, mostly working as caregivers.