The Philippines and Israel reaffirmed their enduring friendly relations when the governments of the two states issued on 29 January 2015 a joint stamp commemorating the Philippine rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.
The launching ceremony, held at the Community Hall of Rishon LeZion, came two days after the International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2015 — a significant event for all Jews around the world in tribute to those who suffered and lost their lives during the Holocaust.
The Philippine version of the stamp was unveiled by Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial, Post Master General and CEO of Philippine Postal Corporation (PHILPOST) Maria Josefina M. Dela Cruz and PHILPOST Business Lines Department Manager Enrique V. Tagle. On the other hand, the Israeli version of the stamp was unveiled by Israel Post CEO and President Haim Elmozino, Rishon LeZion Mayor Dov Zur and Israel Philatelic Service Director Yaron Razon.
The joint commemorative stamp features the national flags of the Philippines and Israel and the Open Doors Monument. The monument, which was unveiled on 21 June 2009 at Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, honors the humanitarian act of President Manuel L. Quezon in saving the lives of Jews fleeing the Holocaust from 1939-1942 through the issuance of around 10,000 visas. Only about 1,300 Jews reached the Philippines.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Imperial said, “This humanitarian act not only resulted in saving the lives of a large number of Jews and their succeeding generations; it no doubt influenced as well the Philippine vote in favor of United Nations Resolution 181 in 1947, which helped create the State of Israel. These two acts, almost a decade apart and pursued by two different Philippine governments, had one common denominator: a consistent commitment to provide a home for the persecuted Jews.”
During the ceremony, an excerpt of the documentary film “Rescue in the Philippines” was shown to the guests. The documentary tells the story of the effort of President Quezon, US High Commissioner Paul McNutt, the five Frieder brothers, and then Army Colonel Dwight Eisenhower in helping European Jews fleeing the Holocaust to immigrate to the Philippines.
Rishon LeZion, which hosted the launching ceremony, is Israel’s fourth largest city and one of the country’s central and leading cities, especially in terms of commerce and industry. The city is also a host to a large number of Filipino caregivers
(Article and photos taken from the Philippines Embassy website.)