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“The president of the Philippines isn’t a wanted guest here, and his visit is a shameful diplomatic stain.”

Duterte in Israel: Holocaust, Rape Excuses and Weapons

Duterte in Israel: Holocaust, Rape Excuses and Weapons

Everything the Phillipines’ president has done in his Israel visit so far – and he still has one day to go

Haaretz

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Israel sparked headlines before it even began, and those expecting him to keep causing commotion during the trip were not disappointed.

Here are five highlights – or what some would call lowpoints – of the controversial leader’s four days in Israel, plus Haaretz’s must-read Editorial and a bonus at the end.

1. Defending rape

After landing in Israel on Sunday, Duterte addressed an audience of Filipinos at an event in Jerusalem, where he defended remarks about rape he made a week earlier.

According to a foreign reporter who was at the event, the president listed “democracy and freedom of expression” as justifications for his statement that “if there are many beautiful women, there will be many rape cases as well.”

2. ‘Passion for peace’

The next day, Duterte met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “May we continue to be blessed with a strong relationship,” Duterte said after the meeting.

“We share the same passion for peace. We share the same passion for human beings. But we also share the same passion of not allowing a family to be destroyed by those who [have] corrupt ideologies… In this sense, Israel can expect any help that the Philippines can extend.”

Later that day, Duterte layed a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum – a visit that some criticized as inappropriate given that in 2016, Duterte compared his crackdown on drug dealers and users to the Holocaust.

“Critics compare me to Hitler’s cousin,” he said two years ago. “Hitler massacred 3 million Jews… there’s 3 million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

4. ‘The devil himself’

On Tuesday, Duterte met President Reuven Rivlin and told him that he was encouraging his military to purchase Israeli equipment.

While protesters outside called Duterte a dictator and a criminal, Rivlin brought up his counterpart’s visit to Yad Vashem. “I have to emphasize that the whole of humanity, not just the Jewish world and the free world, felt that Hitler represents the devil himself,” Rivlin said, without mentioning the 2016 incident.

5. Secret stops

Duterte’s public schedule contains no mention of events related to arms transactions, despite the fact that several such events are expected to be on the president’s itinerary, including the display of advanced weapons and equipment.

The sale of Israeli-made weapons to the Duterte regime has come up against public criticism as a result of the human rights violations in the Philippines, and as a result of comments by Duterte that have sparked outrage.

6. A Hitler admirer at Yad Vashem

“The president of the Philippines isn’t a wanted guest here, and his visit is a shameful diplomatic stain.”

1 Comment

  1. September 5, 2018 at 19:35

    Blood brothers.

    Quite literally.


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