Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau, accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission Adam Levene and Embassy Cultural Affairs head Jeffrey Yap, visited the University of the Philippines on January 21 to discuss joint initiatives between UP and Israel.
They were welcomed by UP President Alfredo Pascual, and met with Professors Ma. Bernadette Abrera and Ricardo Jose from the UP Diliman Department of History and Prof. Roehl Jamon, director of the UP Film Institute, at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
The parties talked about holding educational and commemorative activities on the Philippines’ acceptance of 1,300 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust and the country’s voting in favor of the UN Resolution establishing the Jewish state, for which the ambassador expressed Israel’s gratitude.
They also talked about a possible visit this February by and documentation of Margot Pins, a surviving beneficiary of President Manuel Quezon’s “Open Door Policy” to Jewish refugees, possibly at Quezon Hall, the UP building named after the Commonwealth president. Both parties agreed that this “unique” event in history can use new historical perspectives and studies which can offer valuable lessons and models to the world.
Ambassador Matityau also briefed Pres. Pascual on Israel’s global initiative promoting an “ecosystem of innovation,” including new agricultural technology. Israel, Matityau said, could also provide UP with models for innovation start-ups – Israel currently ranking number two worldwide in terms of number of start-ups – and research assistance in areas of water security and ICT.
Photos by Jonathan Madrid