What Would Happen If an Armenian Diplomat Questions the term Holocaust while in Israel?

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Ben-Zvi places a flower at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial on Tuesday
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Ben-Zvi places a flower at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial on Tuesday

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Ben-Zvi places a flower at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial on Tuesday


“The tragedy of the Armenian nation has never been questioned. There is a historical question of what to call it, but what has happened is a fact that everyone accepts. It’s not a matter of political discussion. Let historians decide what to call the tragedy.” This is what Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Ben-Zvi said on Tuesday when visiting the Dzidzernagapert Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex.

Upon reading this I thought what would happen if one of Armenia’s deputy foreign ministers visited Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, and paid tribute to the victims of Nazi Germany’s systematic annihilation of Jews and pussyfooted around using the word Holocaust.

Most likely, all hell would break loose.

I envision Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decreeing the immediate expulsion of the said diplomat from Israel and freezing the already cool diplomatic ties with Yerevan. World leaders would then chime in with their condemnation of Armenia’s insensitive and tone deaf approach to the Holocaust, while Jewish organizations, some of which just recently decided to call the events of 1915 “Genocide,” would be in an uproar renewing their lobbying to discredit efforts to pass a Genocide recognition bill in Congress. More important, the Israeli press would quickly pick up on the diplomatic gaffe and would mold Israeli public opinion against Armenia and Armenians. Not to mention the Israeli academicians, such as Israel Charny and Yair Auron to name a few,

Instead, according to the foreign ministry’s press office Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan “presented Armenia’s ongoing initiatives directed at prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity, noting that the third Global Counterterrorism Forum will be held in Yerevan on December 9 [and will be] dedicated to the role of education in the prevention of genocides. Referring to the process of international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, the Foreign Minister mentioned that it is a moral responsibility and a tribute to the memory of innocent victims, while at the same time it is an important contribution to international efforts to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.”

Yet Ben-Zvi stands on the grounds of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex and spits on the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Genocide with no recourse or admonishment and walks away with the continued pledges of improving ties between Armenia and Israel.

And let’s look at those so-called “improving” ties.

Netanyahu, once again, halted the debate of a bill to recognize the Genocide in the Knesset in June, after the Israeli political apparatus, once again, decided to play the Genocide card when Turkey threated Tel Aviv after Israel attacked a Palestinian settlement in Gaza in May. The fact that the Genocide issue comes into play in Israeli politics only during spats with Turkey is proof enough that Israel does not necessarily want to become “a partner” with Armenia.

Then there’s that pesky issue of the estimated $5 billion in arms sales to Azerbaijan, whose army commanders urged a military contractor to “live test” an armed suicide drone directed at Artsakh military targets. While that military contract was allegedly suspended, again there has been no firm posturing from Armenia. Mnatsakanyan told Ben-Zvi that “our partners should abstain from all actions that could potentially result in arms race, as well as provoke instability in the region.”

Mnatsakanyan’s statements signal a more resolute tone toward Israel in comparison to his predecessor, Edward Nalbandian, who met with Netanyahu last fall with nary a mention of these thorny and contentious issues blocking normal ties with the Jewish State.

I am not suggesting that Mnatsakanyan should have started a diplomatic row with Israel, but he and other officials should consider what Israel would do if the situation were reversed and say Armenia were supplying arms to the Palestinians and disrespecting the Holocaust all at the same time.

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. State of Emergency said:

    The difference is that Israel is strong and can command respect. Armenia on the other hand is a vassal of Russia and therefore toothless in world affairs. Without power not much can be said or done. Israel worked diligently to achieve its place on the world stage. Armenia squandered it opportunity for the last 25 years and now finds herself having to start all over again. Darwinism is alive and well even in the twenty first century.

    • hye said:

      never thought would agree with State Of Emergency. Armenia’s government(russian controlled) has been a cancer for Armenians. Unfortunately ARF supported the Armenia’s government since 1996. Keep in mind that Greeks and Persians played the same politics(making Armenia weak) like Russians and turks did/do with Armenia and see what happened to Greece.

    • Raffi said:

      You get what you negotiate, it is better to have Israel as an enemy than as a friend, at least they won’t be able to use the Armenian Genocide by blackmailing Turkey and Azerbaijan for their own interests.

    • Ara said:

      Israel’s history is not the same as Armenia’s. Armenia’s actually accomplished quite a bit in 25 years, given that the republic was birthed in the middle of an earthquake, a war, and an economic blockade. Though Israel was always surrounded by enemies, none were as militarily powerful as Turkey.

    • Yezidism said:

      Israel powerful??? Since when? 100% of Israeli “power” comes from the outside and that includes its military fighters. Don’t make me laugh at now denying Russian and Ukraine holocausts and Jews selling their own kids makes these psychopaths powerful. They can be destroyed and they will be soon

  2. Serop said:

    The blame soley with the Armenian government allowing a Genocide denying Jew to visit our sacred remberence memorial
    At least historians have the choice regarding the Armenian Genocide, but with the Holohoax, oopps sorry the tragedy of the Jewish experiance during WW2 relocating Jews out of Europe or the so called holocaust is a crime to deny the term
    The vast amount of data that clearly demostrates the impossiblity of killing 6 Million people can only be termed Holohoax, an industry to rapoe Europe & USA and hold the wolrd hostage, more movies in Hollywood have been madre the so called Holocaust than the actual number killed.. Now how do our Jewish friends feel about that?

  3. Serop said:

    Armenian shoiuld also provide military arms discounted prices to the Palestenian freedom frighters and lets see how Bibi will react from the arpathied state of Israel

    • Raffi said:

      It was long due that Armenians sell weapons to Palestinians as well to other parts of the world where Israeli interests are located. “With friends like this, who needs enemies?

  4. minas minasian said:

    I am sick to my stomach, the minister should have been asked to leave the country immediately. I like Jewish people but hate Israeli state policy regarding the Armenian Genocide. Where is Mr. Nikol Pashinyan this is unacceptable? “Leave it to the historians” sound like text out of Mr. Erdogans disgraceful history books. Shame on you “new” Armenian government this is unforgivable in my book. No Armenian should allow this to happen, EVER!!!

  5. GB said:

    Israel should come to their sober understanding, for what Raphael Lemkin described the truth of the Armenian Genocide at UN in 1948.

    • Raffi said:

      They don’t care, they’re just interested in $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€ and Azeri military contracts.

  6. Andrias Grigorian said:

    Armenian government at same time at Dzidzernagapert should ask this Mr. A. Ben Zvi leave Armenia immediately and stop any negotiation with Israel. Past showed that Israel is not our friend. This guy was in Armenia only for to show Turky and Azarbayjan that Israel is their friend and Armenia means nothing to Israel.

    • Raffi said:

      Armenia should stop relations with Israel, this situation acting like a friend and working with the enemy is hurting Armenians worldwide, STOP RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL. all they are doing is to use their friendship to blackmail Turkey and Azerbaijan.

  7. Nerses said:

    What Would Happen If an Armenian Diplomat Questions the term Holocaust while in Israel? A lot more than what happened in Armenia. And because we are not Israel. Simple as that. But before we concentrate on Israel, her diplomats and try to run with them, we have to learn how to stand up first. Let’s not forget how Pashinyan is leading us to do just that today and how Dashnak leaders not only avoid to help us, they side with Kocharyan to bring back the old crawling way of life.

  8. Artun said:

    Չգիտես ինչու Հայերը մեկ դարից ավել է որ Սուտ բանի համար իրար սպանում , կիզում և հիմա էլ իրար ծնկի են բերում։ Բայց երբ հարցը գալիս է օտարներին նրանց հանդեպ ոչխարի դեր են խաղում նամանավանդ երբ դա մեր տնումն է պատահում և նրանք մեր նահատակներին սրբապղծում են Եղբայր ինչից եք վախենում Փոխարինելը մեր իրավունքն է —-Տեսեք ադրբեջանը Գերմանացիների հետ ինչպես է վերաբերվում։ Մեր նոր վարչապետը խիզախ է մենք հավատացած ենք որ նրանց էլ անպատասխան չի թողնի ԱՄՆ

  9. Raffi said:

    Turkey will recognize the Genocide before Israel does, they want to keep a monopoly on the Genocides, Armenians never questioned how come they claimed that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust when in Europe Total Jewish population was 6 million, furthermore, According to the census of June 16, 1933, the Jewish population of Germany, including the Saar region (which at that time was still under the administration of the League of Nations), was approximately 505,000 people out of a total population of 67 million, or somewhat less than 0.75 percent. That number represented a reduction from the estimated 523,000 Jews living in Germany in January 1933; the decrease was due in part to emigration following the Nazi takeover in January. (An estimated 37,000 Jews emigrated from Germany during 1933.)

  10. Levon said:

    Well said! However, I’m shocked and surprised to the lack of stronger response in our collective condemnation in our press and from our government to set this man straight, or the very least have him clarify his ignorant statement!

  11. Satenik said:

    This question should have been posed the second he uttered those unforgivable and highly insulting sentence and then he should have been asked to leave the country immediately. I think we must write about this and similar incidents as often as possible to open the eyes are those who are still in fantasy land….

    • Raffi said:

      Armenians should be more aggressive, had this idiot been asked to leave it would have brought world wide FREE media coverage, that’s how Jewish mind work, that’s how Armenians should have acted, SMARTLY. I do not understand how come Armenia haven’t started selling weapons to Palestinians, if Israel keeps selling weapons to Azerbaijan without remorse and without shame.

  12. Ray said:

    I don’t understand how Armenians can accept the Holocaust but the Jews don’t accept ours. How is their pain any more than ours? I blame the Armenian government, they should reverse their opinion on the Holocaust until Israel does the same.

    • Raffi said:

      @Satenik: If possible they should reverse, furthermore Armenians should also question the reality of the numbers of the victims they claim 6 million, how can that be true if in Hitler’s Europe Jewish population was in total 6 million.

  13. Bob Yoder said:

    Armenians were the first victims of the “Holocaust”, beginning with Edessa in 1895 or so. Since then, the term has been expropriated by others for their own purposes.

  14. Urardatsy said:

    I would say that the least that should have been done was to expel the history ignorant Alexander Ben-Zvi from Armenia on the spot, declaring him persona non grata. Enough is enough. Israel has been playing dirty political games with the Armenian GENOCIDE using it as a negotiating pawn with Turkey. I know for a fact that the majority (if not all) of the Jews whether in Israel or in North America do not agree with Israel’s dirty and immoral policies.

  15. Serge Kesisian said:

    Good start for Pashinian’s Government! I wonder what will be next? Trump, as he said he would like to meet?

  16. hye said:

    Comes to your house, poops in your house and says f u. Armenia says THANK YOU.
    Put him back to airplane ASAP

  17. Harout Markarian said:

    Cool heads should prevail. The fact is Israel treats most other countries in the same way. Just because the Israeli lobby more or less controls the USA congress, they feel like they can get away with anything, and they do. Example look at NATO member Turkey. If Turkey was on friendly terms with Israel, and accepted the reality that Israel will be the superpower of middle east, then Turkey would not be going through all the current problems. So please don’t blame the Armenian leaders, they are smart and doing their best under these world realities.

  18. Zorik said:

    I truly believe that we should cut the ties with Israel and stop inviting these dirty politicians to Armenia .

  19. Mabubalah said:

    I wonder whether Israeli transport planes en route to Baku are in reach (from Artsakh)?

  20. Rosik Assatourian said:

    Any diplomat coming to Armenia if they don’t beleave in the Genocide should not be allowed and should be informed they don’t deserve for the visit of Genocide memorial,as for Israel also we should stop this nonsense of wanting them to recognize ,they are playing dirty and refuse with majority in their parliament ,countries that respect human life Israel is not one of them .

  21. Bambeloni said:

    So many internet warriors here!! Some suggest that we should cut our ties with Israel and some even say we should provide Palistinians with weapons!! Looks to me these people need a politics 101 course. The Israeli government approach to the Armenian Genocide issue is not much different from 90 percent of countries out there which is “It is not our problem” This is the position of Uk, US, Iran and many other countries. Are we going to cut our ties with all these countries? When was the last time when an Iranian high ranking diplomat said something about the Armenian Genocide or condemned it? So why all this criticism against Israel? True that they sell weapons to Azerbaijan but so does Ukraine, Belarus and recently even Slovakia. You people really need to grow up and understand that there is no room for emotions in politics. Israel, just like Armenia, does what serves its interests. If you want to do something, make Armenia a stronger country in the region. Do you know how many Jews sell their assets and move to Jerusalem, sometimes living in extremely tense environment just to make Jerusalem a Jewish city? Many do. Now how many Armenians have sold their belongings in Glendale or Paris and moved to Artsakh? Probably not even a dozen families. That is the difference between Israel and Armenia. The more powerful you are, the louder your voice is.

  22. GB said:

    Seems to me the State of Emergency collected enough money from oil man, in order to put a radicule Turkic style comments in Jerusalem Post.

    Israelis keep forgetting there were no single Muslim Turk saved a Jewish life in Europe during the Holocaust, where Armenian with their small population has 24 in Yad Vashem ranking.

    Shame on Jerusalem post who accepted this anti-Armenian article and pro-Axeri radical comments! Israel should thanks to Armenia, while they can draw more free oil and give deadly weaponry in return who are bombarding Armenian border villages and towns including Artsakh.

    I am sure most Israelis are fully aware of Raphael Lemkin 1949 interview, where the State of fake Azerbaijan never existed yet. Turkey wiped out the entire Armenian population including Jews from Anatolia or Western Armenia, and Uncle Joe gave away Armenian lands to Turkic herds as a gift. Until today 29 countries accepted Armenian massacres as Genocide but not Israel, what a shame!


  23. Ariana said:

    Article represents the sad reality of Armenia -Israeli diplomatic relationship. The main problem is the Israeli’s money addiction from Azeri and Turkey, because of which the truth and moral values are ignored. We should forbid Israel to talk any more about Armenian genocide each time when gets tention with Turkey. I agree with author 100% especially with last statement: “I am not suggesting that Mnatsakanyan should have started a diplomatic row with Israel, but he and other officials should consider what Israel would do if the situation were reversed and say Armenia were supplying arms to the Palestinians and disrespecting the Holocaust all at the same time”.

Leave a Reply to Therese Mastikian Cancel reply