Duterte on Holocaust: Never again

Duterte expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict

"(The visit) is for President Duterte to look for an alternative market for. weapons for our armed forces as well as for the police", Henelito Sevilla, an global relations expert at the University of the Philippines, told AFP. Duterte said then "Hitler massacred three-million Jews. there's three-million drug addicts [in the Philippines]". Netanyahu highlighted the countries' long friendship, how the Philippines took in Jewish refugees after WWII and was the only Asian nation to vote for Israel's establishment.

Duterte started his remarks by thanking Israel for hosting tens of thousands of his countrymen, praising Israelis for the kind way in which they treat Filipino caretakers.

Duterte will also meet with the thousands of Filipinos in Israel and Jordan. But critics say this outreach has come at a cost, with Netanyahu cozying up to authoritarian leaders, some of whom are guilty of human rights abuses.

Duterte's visit to Yad Vashem led to criticism even before it took place, mainly due to comments in 2016 comparing himself to Adolf Hitler. But Sunday, while visiting a Holocaust memorial in Israel, Duterte vowed to fight "insane rulers" like Hitler.

Duterte will also visit Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial museum, and lay wreath at a monument in Rishon Letzion, 8 km south of Tel Aviv, in commemoration of the Philippines' efforts to save the Jews during the Holocaust.

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The visit was the first by a Philippine president to Israel since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1957.

Though it is not officially listed on his schedule, Duterte's trip to Israel is expected to focus on exploring possible arms deals.

And it was the last that may provide insight into some of the prime minister's insistence that Duterte not be ignored.

Duterte, speaking alongside Netanyahu ahead of their lunch, said they "share the same passion for peace".

Duterte, who has been president since 2016, in that year compared his campaign against drug dealers to the Holocaust, and said he would kill dealers like Hitler killed Jews, Haaretz reported.

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Elaborating on the apology, he said: "If it is (in) your heart to forgive, you forgive".

Historically, the two countries have a special bond.

It was the first time Duterte acknowledged publicly Israel's help in ending the Marawi siege in 2017. Filipino officials have said the Philippines has recently acquired Israeli-made arms such as Galil assault rifles and pistols for its 120,000-strong police force, which is on the front line of Duterte's battle against illegal drugs and other crimes.

"Ito lang ang bisita ko na (This is the only visit where) maybe I will do it again".

Tough-talking Duterte said during a speech in Israel that he was sorry for how he had addressed the former U.S. leader in 2016.

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Duterte went to the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem for a bilateral meeting that also saw the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Temporary Employment of Home-Based Filipino Caregivers, Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation and Memorandum of Intent on the Collaboration on Promotion of Bilateral Direct Investment.

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