As Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was en route to Jerusalem for a visit at the beginning of September, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livini called him a “very problematic man.”
The charge was interesting, though not in its description of Duterte. He’s waged wars in the Philippines, killing thousands in a supposed crackdown on drug users and dealers, and declared martial law in the region of Mindanao as part of the state’s ongoing war against rebels there.
In his version of the war on drugs, Duterte infamously embraced Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust (though underestimating its catastrophic death toll by half) when describing the level of violence he was committed to. “If Germany had Hitler,” he told reporters in 2016, “the Philippines would have … ” Duterte then pointed to himself.
“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews,” he continued. “There’s 3 million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”