Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to land in Israel on Sunday for a four-day trip, marking the first visit by a Philippine president since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1957.
Duterte is slated to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin and will visit Yad Vashem. In addition, Duterte is expected to take part in the inauguration ceremony Wednesday of a monument commemorating the rescue of Jews by Filipinos during the Holocaust.
In 2016, the Philippine president compared his campaign against drug dealers to the Holocaust, and said he would kill dealers like Hitler killed Jews. "Critics compare me to Hitler's cousin," he said. "Hitler massacred 3 million Jews ... there's 3 million drug addicts. There are. I'd be happy to slaughter them."
"If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...," he said, pausing and pointing to himself.
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Duterte later apologized for his words, and followed up with a visit to a synagogue in the Filipino city of Makati during a celebration of the Jewish New Year.