Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will reportedly face opposition from Israeli politicians and NGOs during his visit to Tel Aviv. Member of Knesset Avi Dichter from the Likud Party said in an interview with radio station Kan Bet that it would have been easier to receive a president who does not have the reputation that Duterte has. He also suggested that people should take "a pill against nausea to receive" Duterte without discomfort.
"It would have been more comfortable to receive a president here who had not made the kinds of comments we have heard, and it might be that we have to take a pill against nausea to receive him — in any event he is here, and we cannot ignore it," Dichter said.
The head of the opposition party Zionist Union, Tzipi Livni, told the radio station that the four-day visit of such a "very problematic person" should be "very low profile." Tag Meir, an Israeli human rights NGO, went even further and sent a letter to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with a call to drop the meeting with Duterte, who, as the NGO claims, is "racist and anti-Semite who is suspected of murder and other grave crimes."
Rodrigo Duterte came to Israel on September 2 on a four-day official visit. In a speech at a Jerusalem hall, he said that he seeks to ensure the protection and security of the 24,000 Philippine citizens who live and work in Jewish state.
The Philippine president is known for his aggressive campaign against drug trafficking in his country, which has resulted in numerous deaths, some of which, human rights activists claim, have been unlawful. He is also famous for his comment that he would be happy to "slaughter addicts" like Adolf Hitler "massacred Jews."