Very few Jews survived the horrors of World War II in Europe. One of the reasons was that there was simply no place to go. But, there were some exceptions. The Philippines was not the only exception. The Dominican Republic also took in a few thousand German refugees. There were hundreds who found refuge in Shanghai, and thousands who were hidden in France, Germany, and Poland. There were indeed righteous gentiles. But, the vast majority of the countries – including the United States, shut their doors. The excuses that were given were pathetic. It may be difficult to stomach, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have done many great things to help win World War II, but his record on helping the Jewish people who were searching for refuge before and during World War II is atrocious.
Manuel L. Quezon, second president of the Phillipines, was one of the few world leaders to open his country’s doors to European Jewry desperately trying to escape the clutches of the Nazis. The relationship between the Jewish Nation and the Phillipines has remained mutually warm and respectful until this day. The Phillipines was one of 33 countries that voted for the creation of the State of Israel in the UN. There have been constant economic, military and cultural connections between the two countries. In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the IDF sent 150 soldiers and doctors to take care of the millions of displaced and hurt Phillipine residents. It seems that for Israel and the Phillipines, kindness and doing the right thing just comes naturally.