The exchange of messages between Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Rody Duterte in their first meeting boiled down to a discussion of Israelis and Filipinos exchanging a show of humanity.
The topic was in contrast to the prevailing images of the two leaders who are considered ruthless in the pursuit of their goals of protecting the interest of their respective nations.
Rody’s order to invalidate the 2010 amnesty given to his chief critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by yellow President Noynoy Aquino was a show of determination amid the attack dog’s past unresolved transgressions on the country, mainly the Oakwood mutiny and the Manila Peninsula siege, which were both failed attempts to take over the government.
Trillanes is now the source of all contrived allegations against Rody.
The Israeli leader, similar to Rody, is being falsely accused of genocide in their pursuit of policies on security and public order.
The two leaders, however, chose the sharing of acts of humanity as a connection.
Netanyahu recounted “remarkable phenomenon in Israel with thousands and thousands of families have taken heart from the support given by Filipino care workers” to the elderly of the nation.
He revealed that his father who died at the age of 102 received the care of a Filipina caregiver “who has exceptional compassion and intelligence.”
“She took care of my father everyday and when he passed away, she took care of his brother’s needs until he (too) passed away,” he said.
As a show of gratitude, Netanyahu said the Israeli government is removing the $12,000 placement fee for a caregiver to enter Israel under an agreement that Rody signed.
That is equivalent to P600,000 that Filipinos had to put up to work in Israel.
Netanyahu said the gesture was in recognition of the clamor of “Israeli families who so want their service.”
Rody said Israel hosts 28,000 Filipinos who are mostly caregivers and “they have been very happy working here, taking care of the aging population of Israel.”
The other night Rody met with the Filipino community where he was moved to tears. He shared to Netanyahu that the jubilation shown by his countrymen reflected the way that “they have been received here.”
Israel was a major contributor to the anti-Islamic State campaign during the Marawi City siege last year which was unknown to many until Rody mentioned it at the meeting with the Israeli leader.
The President said the Israeli assistance was “very substantial” in terms of “crucial equipment which I am not also at liberty to say now.”
Rody had taken to an analogy in his and Netanyahu’s pursuits, saying “we share the same passion of not allowing our country to be destroyed by those who have the corrupt ideology and who do nothing but to kill and destroy.”
Both Rody and Netanyahu also take the independent foreign policy path in maintaining relations with the US while keeping close ties with Russia and China.
Like Netanyahu, Rody has a rocky relationship with former US President Barack Obama but considers President Donald Trump as a friend.
In a break from his predecessors, Trump has refrained from criticizing Israeli settlement activity and delivered Netanyahu two major international gifts, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump has also won Israeli praise for drastically cutting funding for aid to the Palestinians.
The US government, however, has little success in drawing in Rody due to the pretensions on rights coaxed by the liberal sectors of the American society backed by yellow Filipino Americans who can draw strong political and financial support.
The two leaders share the commitment of assuring the survival of their nations.
Israel which is lodged in the middle of a region where most nations are hostile to it has to depend on a strong security force to defend it from constant threats.
Rody had to fend off the recurring threat to Filipinos of drug syndicates that has proliferated with the help of his yellow foes that are now the sources of endless attacks on him.
Both are leaders with a mission who take the necessary steps to see to it that the greater interest is protected.