The Municipality of Rishon Lezion held a ceremony to sign a twin city alliance with the city of Kazon City from the Philippines. The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Kazon City, Joy Belmonte, Ambassador of the Philippines to Israel, Mr. Machiarog Alberto, Ambassador of Israel to the Philippines, Mr. Ilan Plus, Honorary Consul on behalf of the Philippines in Israel, Mr. Boaz Waxman, Mr. Ron Doron Vice President of the Israel Asia Chamber of Commerce ” R. Israel Chamber of Commerce Philippines as well as employees of the Philippine Embassy.
Mr. Raz Kinstlich, Mayor of Rishon Lezion: “The cooperation with Kazon City has a special and exciting meaning for me. During the Holocaust, about 1,200 Jews were saved after the then President of the Philippines opened its doors to them. I am sure we will deepen our ties now With the two cities, as is happening between the countries. ”
The ceremony opened with a speech by the Mayor of Kazon City, Joy Belmonte, followed by a speech by the Mayor of Rishon Lezion, Raz Kinstlich, and congratulated those present and the cooperation between the cities.
The states of Israel and the Philippines have maintained deep friendships for many years. During the Holocaust, as mentioned, the President of the Philippines, Manuel Kazon, after whom the city of Kazon City is named, opened its gates to about 1,200 Jews and saved them. As a sign of appreciation and a symbol of deep and long-standing friendship with the Philippines, the Rishon Lezion Municipality inaugurated in 2009 the “Open Doors” monument – the only one of its kind in the country – designed in the form of three open doors symbolizing the courage and humanity of the Filipino people. The Philippines was also the only Asian country to support the United Nations Partition Plan in 1947, recognizing the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.