Armenia’s Jewish Leader Criticizes Israel for Failure to Recognize Genocide

The Dzidzernagapert Memorial Monument in Yerevan

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—April 28 is a day of mourning in Israel. People all over the world pay tribute to the memory of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust during WWII.

In 1959, the Israeli Knesset passed a law officially establishing Holocaust Memorial Day in law and sanctioning official ceremonies throughout the country as well as a two-minute moment of silence, indicated by sirens.

On April 24, Armenians were commemorating the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and paying tribute to the memory of the 1.5 million victims. On this day 69 years ago, that crime against humanity recurred, claiming the lives of six million Jews.

“We must not keep silent, we must not forget; otherwise such crimes will repeat in the future,” the religious leader of Armenian Jews, Rabbi Gershon Meir Burstein, said Monday after lighting six candles for six million victims.

“Years have passed after those events, and it seems time had to have made us forget the crime. Should the Armenian Genocide, which we commemorated a few days ago, or the Holocaust, which the Jewish nation has been mourning for more than 60 years now, be forgotten? No, this cannot be forgotten, and the memory of the victims never fades,” he said.

Armenia is the land where Jews have lived for 1,500 years, Armenia is a nation that does not suffer from anti-Semitism, the religious leader said.

“I condemn the Israeli Government for its failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide. When Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger visited Armenia, he said there was a great difference between morality and politics,” Rabbi Gershon Meir Burstein said, adding that “political interests should never be put above morals.”

Head of the Jewish community of Armenia Rimma Varzhapetyan said “the number of the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust is more than 1.5 and 6 million respectively. The generations of all victims that could be born, were not born,” she said.

“We are grateful to Germany, because they demonstrated humanism by recognizing this tragedy. They did everything for the Jews to survive, to continue to live. I want to wish the same to Armenians, I wish that the whole world, and first of all Turkey recognize the Armenian Genocide. The Jewish community is doing its best to make this happen,” she said.


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  1. Hratch said:

    Apparently these Jewish leaders don’t understand geopolitics or they’re just in denial. There is a clear reason why Israel and its worldwide organizations have been reluctant and sometimes openly hostile to any notion of AG recognition. I think they’re simply playing the sympathy card to stay relevant in Armenia.

  2. zorik said:

    Shame on Israeli’s Government. They should have been the pioneers of recognizing Armenian Genocide nations. They know what happened to Armenians during WWI. But they decide to stay silent.

  3. Progrund said:

    Jews have lived in Armenia for 1500 years ?.? With assumed Armenian names, it would be very interesting to find out how they managed to escape the genocide by the Turks. How many Jews live in Armenia ? Armenian is a poor nation in resources, not fertile ground for Jewish speculators. And the gratuitous comment that there is no antisemitism in Armenia is out of place. Notwithstanding the Jewish state is in partnership with Azerbaijan and a supplier of weapons to that enemy nation. The fact that Israel has not recognized the Armenian genocide puts her beyond the pale of high morality and beyond any sympathy for their current state of Israel founded by the super powers on the dead bones of Palestinians.

  4. gregory batiste said:

    While both the Armenian and Jewish holocaust were horrific,little attention is paid to the African American,or the Germans killing of the Herero.

  5. Sokimag said:

    Great! It’s good to see some Jews that care about us Armenians. Even if Israel prefers to align with Turkey and Azerbaijan, I believe there is still hope that friendship can be obtained between our nations and that Armenia and Israel can fully cooperate together.

  6. Benjamin said:

    Israel will never cooperate with Armenia. Armenia is not important enough to warrant attention by the Jewish state. Armenia does not have neither oil, nor gold or diamonds or other riches and wealth in large quantities to rivet the desire and interests of the Israeli state. Armenia does not feature in the USA,EU,Israel geopolitical agenda. They may pay lip service to the genocide of armenians, but they will go no further. Their global interests are intertwined with those of turkey and as long as those conditions remain Armenia will suffer. Regrettably that is the nature of grand politics. But Armenia need not fear, this race has seen the worst of the worst catastrophes which can befell a race, and they are still standing firm. The Turks boasted gleefully that they were able to decimate a three thousand year old nation and wipe it off the face of the earth in the space of months .