What started off as a community interested in Israel and Middle Eastern news turned out to be a significant platform that brings nations together, rallying support for the Jewish state.
Known on social media as Mikey Peres, entrepreneur Michael Peres could not believe that the community he started would help bridge old ties between Israel and other sovereign nations, just like the Southeast Asian country, Philippines.
When Peres, a software engineer operating multiple start-ups in Seattle Washington, launched the Facebook community Israel Now / Israel Breaking News in December 2019, among its first active members were people from the Philippines.
“When engaging with voices from all around the world, I was surprised to learn that the most passionate supporters of Israel weren’t even Jewish, and from the least expected corners of the world,” said Peres.
Today, the news system got over 3 million views and the Facebook community group ballooned to 19,000+ members, rising to the top 8 biggest support groups on Facebook, in less than three months after its launch.
According to Peres, he created the page to provide an avenue for people like him who share a similar passion for Israel and Middle Eastern politics to come together.
Peres, created the FB community group along with the news website israelnow.news, which provides independent reporting and commentary on a diverse range of Israel, middle-eastern and Jewish issues; and the news aggregator site israelnow.app that streams real-time news reports about Israel and the Middle East.
These three platforms compose the novel news company Israel News Now, a non-political and non-partisan American-based broadcasting network covering Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.
For the Filipinos of the Philippine islands in Asia, it is surprising that people of Malay descent would be among the most vocal to express favourable sentiments for Israel.
“We love Israel and we stand with Israel,” said Emilita Famor who is currently an overseas Filipino worker in Tel Aviv.
“I love and support Israel, the chosen people of God,” said Rodolfo Cruz from Metro Manila, the Philippines’ capital.
“We have the same God, we are their spiritual brothers, said Elsa Lincuna Claver from Southern Philippines, noting the religious background that Israel is the people of God written in the Bible and the Philippines being a majority Christian country recognizes the Bible as the basis of faith.
Filipinos were friends of the Jews even during the time of the Holocaust.
It is worthy to note that the Philippines and Israel share a special bond of friendship dating back the Holocaust era when the sovereign country opened its doors to accommodate Jews from Europe fleeing the brutality of the Nazis.
Historically, from 1937 to 1941, the Philippines saved over 1,200 Jewish refugees, some of whom are still alive today. Then Philippine President Manuel Quezon even planned to bring in 10,000 more Jews but plans were spoiled by the impending Asian war.
As recognition of the Philippines’ compassion to the Jews, Israel has granted visa-free entry to Filipino tourists since 1969 and erected the Open Doors Monument in Tel Aviv as gratitude to Quezon for giving refuge to the Jews.
Moreover, the Philippines are considered an ally of the Jewish state for being the only country in Asia that signed in favour of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which paved way for the creation of the State of Israel in 1947.
Today, this friendship reverberates in many corners of the social media. Filipinos will always be supporters of Israel even in this present generation.
A Facebook video of vlogger Hananya Naftali summarized the love and support of Filipinos for Israel on the Jewish states celebration of 71st Independence day.
The Philippines blesses Israel for its Independence Day! 🇮🇱🇵🇭
Δημοσιεύτηκε από Hananya Naftali στις Τετάρτη, 8 Μαΐου 2019
Hundreds of Filipinos, young and old alike, also wrote their independence day wishes at the comment section of the video post, saying they will always stand with Israel.