A BABY BOY NAMED ISRAEL was born two hours after the Israeli Rescue Mission became functional in Northern Cebu, Philippines, last November 15, 2013. The parents, Emylou and Audrin Antiqua, said they named their baby Israel "out of gratitude."
One week after super typhoon Haiyan devasted large parts of Central Philippines, 150 medical members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) set up a field hospital in Bogo, Northern Cebu, an area badly hit by Haiyan though largely ignored.
Bogo City is located 47.49 miles from Cebu City, a remote area with around 250,000 people in and around its vicinity. The medical team has been treating an average of 300 patients a day, dealing with a host of problems as a result of Haiyan, including amputations, infections, chronic illnesses aggravated by the current harsh conditions, and other medical issues. The Israeli team are sharing their expertise with the doctors at the Bogo hospital.
MEMBERS OF the Israeli Rescue Mission are most likely unaware they are repaying a debt to the Philippines. In 1940, when no other country would take them, the Philippines, under the leadership of President Manuel Quezon, welcomed 1,300 German and Austrian Jewish refugees.
Quezon said, "It is my hope and indeed my expectation that the people of the Philippines will have in the future every reason to be glad when the time of need came their country extended a hand of welcome."
Paul McNutt, then-Army Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Herbert Frieder and his sons (owners of Helena Cigar and Cigarette Factory) reportedly came up with the plan to save Jews, while playing poker and smoking cigars. Frieder provided transportation, housing, and jobs for them.
When the Japanese occupied the Philippines in 1942, they released many of the Jews whom they mistook as Germans.
In 2009 Israel dedicated a monument to honor Filipinos and Quezon. "Open Doors" monument is in Rishon Lezion Memorial Park just off Tel Aviv.
Alex Frieder welcoming 1,300 Jewish Refugees from Europe in Manila
photos courtesy of the Embassy of the Philippines, Israel defense forces site, Wikimedia, and Filipino Jewish Roots site
History of the Jews in the Philippines
Jews honor Manuel Quezon on his 134th birthday
United with Israel
IDF First-Person Account re Philippines
Rescue in the Philippines excerpt -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msH2H0K7RvE
Childhood in the path of typhoons
Aftermath of Haiyan, Update Nov.20, 2013
Typhoon Aftermath by David Page, member of the Mammoth Medical Mission that helped Tanauan
- These links give you the names of organizations helping the victims of Haiyan:
How to help Typhoon Haiyan Survivors
How to help Typhoon victims
How to help: Organizations offering relief to Typhoon Haiyan Survivors
- I like Doctors without Borders, Catholic Relief Services, Red Cross - but designate your donation specifically for Haiyan Victims
tags: Philippines, Haiyan, Yolanda, Cebu, Bogo, Israel Defense Force, IDF, Jews, Manuel Quezon, World War II, World War 2, Nazis, Japanese