Knesset Discusses but Does Not Recognize Armenian Genocide

Armenian community members in front of the Knesset on Tuesday (Times of Israel photo)
Armenian community members in front of the Knesset on Tuesday (Times of Israel photo)

Jerusalem Armenian community members in front of the Knesset on Tuesday (Times of Israel photo)

JERUSALEM—During a debate in the Israeli legislature, the Knesset, on Tuesday, on the Armenian Genocide, its speaker, Yuli Edelstein joined other Knesset members in calling for Israel’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, however, as has been the case in the past, the issue was deferred to the body’s education committee.

Edelstein said in his remarks that the Knessed did not shy away from the issue in the wake of recent deal for détente between Israel and Turkey, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“We cannot ignore, dwarf or deny this terrible genocide,” Edelstein stated. “We must disconnect current interests of this time and place from the difficult past.”

Knesset Speker Yuli Edelstein

Knesset Speker Yuli Edelstein

Edelstein quoted Nobel Prize-winning author, philosopher and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who died on Saturday, as saying apathy to suffering helps the enemy.

“We cannot remain apathetic, even if it’s late, to the suffering the Armenians experienced. Recognizing the Armenian genocide is important to us as human beings who carry the moral responsibility and constantly hope to improve the world and society,” Edelstein stated.

Meretz party chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, who initiated the discussion, also quoted Wiesel, in an open letter his foundation published in 2007 calling to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Jerusalem Armenian community members attend the Knesset discussion on the Armenian Genocide Tuesday (Times of Israel photo)

Jerusalem Armenian community members attend the Knesset discussion on the Armenian Genocide Tuesday (Times of Israel photo)

“Children and grandchildren of survivors must know what genocide looks like and how one tragedy turned into another giant one. But here, in the Knesset, the elected parliament of the state in which the memory of the Holocaust is constant and ‘never forget’ is a moral commandment – we haven’t heard about it,” she said.

Gal-On said that despite the agreement with Turkey making recognition more difficult, Israel must do it.

“This is a decision Israel must make. Sometimes there is a price to doing the right thing, and sometimes the right choice is not the easy one. We are tested when we have to pay a price,” she stated.

Tzachi Hanegbi presented the government’s position, saying that he understood the emotions behind the Knesset members’ speeches, but did not use the Hebrew phrase for “genocide,” simply saying “tragic events.”

The Members of Knesset present at the legislative session approved Gal-On’s motion to the agenda, and the discussion will be moved to the Knesset Education Committee.

In a searing rebuke to the Israeli government published in the daily Haaretz  on Tuesday, Prof. Yair Auron, a leading voice for Israel’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, said, “When we [Israel] deny the Armenian genocide, we are desecrating the memory of its victims. In my opinion, in so doing we are also desecrating the memory and the victims of the Holocaust.”


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  1. Ararat said:

    Did you really expect they would recognize the Armenian Genocide? I certainly did not.

    Turkish terrorist-in-chief and ISIS collaborator Erdogan just mended ties with Israelis since the relations between the two soured back in 2010 because of the Turkish Mavi Marmara terrorist incursion into the Mediterranean to break the Gaza blockade and as a result of which ten Turkish terrorists disguised as humanitarians were killed. Israel has her good old Turkish criminal collaborator back now and it is time for their lobbies in the United States and their agents within the US government to get busy fighting against Armenian Genocide resolutions on behalf of their Turkish con men.

    I wonder how much the price of this transaction was between the two self-serving scoundrels. Erdogan wanted an apology and a hundred million dollars per dead Turkish terrorist for a total of one billion dollars WHILE denying the Armenian Genocide and warning the Germans for adopting and passing the Armenian Genocide resolution and issuing death threats against the German-Turkish politicians for introducing and sponsoring the resolution.

    The Israeli government is playing ping-pong with the Armenian Genocide while turning the Jewish Holocaust into a big business. As long as the Turks behave and are in their camp the Armenian Genocide is a non-issue. When the Turks misbehave the Armenian Genocide will be used to blackmail the Turks but will never pass because Israelis need to have monopoly on genocide, as sick as it sounds, to continue to be subsidized at three billion plus dollars annually by the US tax payers.

    • ara said:

      well said- if we deny what they went thru-they probably would not care-but we do not-they will regret if on their own-watch

  2. Janine said:

    They just made a new deal with the Turks. For some reason it appears that Erdogan can control Hamas.

    • Raffi said:

      For Israel now the holocaust is nothing more or nothing less but a business matter, as usual for them everything is for sale, just pay the money.

  3. Serop said:

    Exactly as I predicated in my previous comments.
    Israel will never recognize the Armenian Genocide, yet we are fed a fabriacted lie by them with thosuands of movies about the so called tragic events in Europe which they call Holocaust..
    Jews & Israel are not our friends and we should stop supporting them

  4. Shay said:

    What a disgrace!!
    These overpayed, corrupt and incompetent MK’s continue to ashame my country and the whole jewish people!!
    They’re just moved by turkish threads!!

    Ugh, I deeply apologise to all the armenians, you went through the same hell as us and these idiots continue to their useless and offensive discussions, please be aware that the israeli people do recognise it !!!

  5. vartan said:

    weapons deal . gas deal , tourism , secret relation, spying .and controlling isis not to attack Israel , and other deals prevents Israel to recognize Armenian genocide, but this is not a loss, they are not important country anyway……..

  6. Krikor said:

    What is human rights when it comes to Turkey. Shame on Israel which should be the first one to recognize .

  7. PA3OT said:

    Watch Israel conclude additional several billion dollar sophisticated weapons deal with Azerbaijan.

  8. Tavit said:

    Knesset again acts as good cop and bad cop. Who cares if they recognize the Armenian Genocide or note?

  9. Hratch said:

    just for a moment imagine if the Armenian diaspora and Armenia ,got it together and paid the Kenasset 1-2 billion$ a year for awhile (5yrs) for them to recognize the genocide. DOES ANYONE think they would refuse? it has always been about deals and money. it is the 800lbs gorilla in the room nobody wants to mention. Israeli government has always been about Money.they have a price for everything genocide or not we are just a number $$ number to them.

  10. hagop said:

    choosing which peoples suffering to remember & ignoring others will never serve its purpose which is (never again).

  11. Raffi said:

    I always said, Turkey will recognize the Genocide before Israel does, Israel wants to continue milking the world by keeping in check other Genocides. for Israel now the holocaust is nothing more or nothing less but a business matter.

  12. Raffi said:

    Armenians should start selling weapons to Palastinians, same way Israel is selling to Azerbaijan

  13. Greg said:

    What goes around comes around … The turkey/ Israel relationship is historic, don’t expect anything any real attempt from the latter to recognise the Armenian Genocide. Look west to the US for the answer…perhaps one day it will be convenient for them to accept the truth.

  14. mike said:

    Tel Aviv is a close friend of Baku and has just become friendly with Ankara. It does billions of dollars of business with Baku… imports fuel, sells weapons and technology… and wants to import water from Turkey. Why would it offend these two countries? What are the benefits of recognizing the Genocide?
    When Israel was established, its promoters said it would be “light into other countries”–a different country, a country which would observe morality, religious ethics and commandments. It would be a special state. Yes, it is a special state: a state more unruly, violent, mendacious, self-seeking than most others. Remember it was an ally of racist South Africa. It armed various vicious dictators in Central America. Assassination is state policy. It stole uranium to build its nuclear bombs. When its leaders feared Egypt would win the 1973 War, it ordered bringing out the nuclear bombs to drop them on Cairo and Damascus. It wanted to bomb Iranian nuclear reactors but was stopped by the U.S. Some special state! Remember when the Israeli forces occupied southern Lebanon and Beirut, they ransacked Palestinian offices and finding the names of Armenian fighters against Turkey, handed the list to Turkey. Ankara then assassinated several of these Armenian fighters.
    Righteous Israelis and some Israeli media will demand Genocide recognition but beyond that nothing will happen. The current debate is the usual drill. It’s ironic because if Israel moral, it would have been the first state to have recognized the Genocide.

  15. hagop said:

    choosing which peoples suffering to remember & ignoring others will never serve its purpose which is (NEVER AGAIN)

  16. David said:

    It should be noted that shortly after the Knesset discussed the AG, Netanyahu flew off to Rwanda where he was greeted by 100 honor guards and taken to the Genocide Memorial there. He gave a long speech about genocide survivors having a shared history, settlements and defense (published in the Times of Israel).
    He had no problem recognizing their Genocide because unlike the AG, he (Israel) stands to gain a lot of money in trade in Africa.
    The US is no different in that given the choice between integrity and profit, money always wins.
    The US (and Israel) no longer stand for principles of human rights and justice unless, of course, they can ” turn a profit” from it- so “never again” has now become “again and again”.