The Philippine Embassy in Israel, in partnership with the Municipality of Rishon Lezion, this weekend organized a special screening of Quezon's Game, a feature film that uncovers the story behind Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon's decision to provide safe haven for Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Europe.
The presentation was held in Rishon Lezion's Cultural Hall, and attended by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Rafael Harpaz and Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog Alberto.
The screening came following the recent announcement that Rishon Lezion, located along the central coast of Israel just south of Tel Aviv, signed a Sister City Agreement with Quezon City in the Philippines in recognition of the latter's "open door" policy during the Holocaust. From 1937 to 1941, the Philippines welcomed close to 1,300 Jewish refugees. In 2009, Rishon Lezion decided to honor Quezon's legacy by constructing the "Open Doors Monument" in its Holocaust Memorial Park.
Ambassador Alberto gave opening remarks at the weekend screening.
"It is my sincere hope that this story will not be forgotten ... so that [the next generations] will remember what our forefathers did, learn from it and let it guide their actions in the future," he said. "I see that the seeds of hope and kindness planted by the previous generations have grown into great trees, that bear the fruits of solidarity. May the bond between the Philippines and Israel remain strong."