ISRAEL is willing to work with the Philippine government in its campaign to rid the country of what it has termed as a widespread drug menace that is affecting millions of Filipinos.
Israel Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau said no country is spared of the illegal-drugs problem and that they are willing to cooperate and share their know-how in handling the issue with the administration of President Duterte.
“The illegal-drugs trade is global. It is an industry that is present and being distributed worldwide. It is a constant struggle against its supply and infrastructure. We are willing to share information and best practices. We can all learn from one another,” Matityau said.
He added: “Socially and economically, illegal drugs combine to make a disaster. It is a major destabilizer of society. It can destroy families.”
Matityau even said in the Middle East, the spread of illegal drugs can even be directly related to terrorist groups.
However, Matityau said the problem of illegal drugs differs from one country to another and that there is no singular solution to the menace.
“The nature of illegal drugs varies in every country. You cannot copy what is being done in another country but you can learn elements, methodology and techniques from them,” he said.
Matityau said the best solution toward controlling the illegal-drugs problem is through education, as he believes it can act as a preventive measure in its use spread.
He also said to reduce the number of drug users, there has to be a deep level of cooperation between the government and non-governmental organizations.
Still, Matityau said they are able to control the drug menace from spreading in their country through good police work.
“We are a small society of just 8 million people. It is not a major epidemic. Still, law-enforcement operation is vital and gathering of intelligence is a serious issue,” he said, while adding that in principle they do not have a death penalty in their country even for terrorists.
According to Matityau, the youth in Israel are the most vulnerable to the drug menace.
“They young are very impressionable young people. It is not a major percentage but it can get serious from time-to-time,” he said.
After drawing the anger of the international Jewish community, President Duterte has apologized for drawing a parallel to how Adolf Hitler massacred 6 million Jews during World War II and his plans to kill 3 million Filipinos who use or are involved in illegal drugs.