Knesset to Hold Session On Armenian Genocide

TEL AVIV (Haaretz)–Despite the diplomatic tensions between Israel and Turkey aroused by last month’s botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, the Knesset is scheduled to hold a session later this month to discuss the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923 committed by the Ottoman Turks.

But due to an agreement between the government and the Knesset, the discussion will be held not in the plenum, but in a Knesset committee – most likely the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi said yesterday that if, as expected, the Knesset House Committee selects the panel he heads to host the session, he will probably schedule the hearing for two weeks from now.

On Wednesday, several U.S. congressmen from both parties announced that they were reconsidering their own positions on whether Turkey’s deportation of its subject Armenian population and the massacre of 1.5 million of them during World War I should be labeled genocide. At a press conference, the congressmen expressed concern over Ankara’s deepening ties with Iran at the expense of those with its traditional ally Israel.

The Knesset session is the brainchild of Meretz chairman Haim Oron, who first suggested a debate be held on the matter a year ago. Oron said he does not intend to turn the discussion into a “settling of accounts” with Turkey over the flotilla incident, and plans to ensure that other lawmakers conduct themselves in a similar vein.

“I think this issue is deeply significant, and that’s why I don’t want it to turn into a denigration of our ties with Turkey at the hands of those who previously didn’t even want to hold this debate,” Oron said.

In an address to the Knesset plenum a month ago, Oron used unusually harsh language to denounce Turkey’s brutal murder of the Armenians. But he took pains to qualify his remarks.

“We must not be part of this denial, because we, the Jewish people, are hurt by this kind of thinking all the time,” he said. “I want to say this completely clearly: I am not making an analogy between the Holocaust of the Jewish people and the massacre of the Armenian nation, as tragic as the latter was. As a Jew, I can of course say that the Holocaust was unique. And that’s why I don’t use the same term in reference to the Armenians.”


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. john papazian said:

    They(Isreal) are caught in a trap of thier own making.They really don’t know what to do next.Loosen the blockade on Gaza and patch things up with Turkey or commit to princeples and historical truth.Niether of wich is very advantagous for Isreal.Besides why would we need thier stamp of approval anyway?

  2. hovo said:

    It is said that no two things are alike. Both cases are unique. They had occurred in different environment, in different circumstances. We are not suggesting that armenian genocide is the same as holocaust. You lost your exaggerated numbers. Unlike you we lost our land that money can’t buy. Now Turkey uses two justification theories: blaming the victims (us) and blaming the WWI.

  3. H said:

    I don’t think Israel will ever recognize the genocide until the US allows them; it’s all a show just to irritate Turkey.

    Can someone please explain to me what will happen exactly, that Turkey is so afraid of, when nations accept and recognize the Armenian Genocide? I don’t think the world will allow Armenians their historical territory at this point in time anyway. So what do they have to lose? Or did they reach a point in their lies that there is no turning back? Can someone explain, please.

    • john papazian said:

      Ireal is not at Americas beck and call,in fact it’s quite the oppisite.Yes the Turks are affraid of reperations and the court of world opinion.After three generations of denial ther is no turning back.

  4. Hratch said:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. This is just a ploy to snap Turkey back into the real world.

  5. stepan sargsyan said:

    While we’re trying to get other countries to recognize the Genocide, it is being denied in Armenia and the state structures seem to be condoning it. The ARARAT Center for Strategic Research has stated that it plans to pursue its case lawsuit against genocide denial in international courts:

  6. Vrej said:

    H. I will answer you of what will happen when nations accept the Genocide, The first obligation will be to an astronomical financial compensation,I can’t even comprehend an amount that will be due,second our historic land that they have robbed us from, there must be some kind of claim to reset our borders,all our historic Armenian land that they are occupying right now is in terrinle shape Turkey does not spend a dime to at least provide it’s people with the most basic services because they know one day that time will come where they will hand it over back to us, otherwise why do you think they keep denying the facts.The entire world knows about our unfortunate faith,The entire planet is still laughing at us like they did in1915,Israel to decide if it is was a Genocide,where were they all this time.

    • Random Armenian said:

      “… they are occupying right now is in terrinle shape Turkey does not spend a dime to at least provide it’s people with the most basic services because they know one day that time will come where they will hand it over back to us, otherwise why do you think they keep denying the facts.”

      That’s sounds like a wishful conspiracy theory. How about “it’s cheaper that way”, and “there are a lot of Kurds there so why care about them”, or “those is more rural areas have more kids and so a bigger Turkish population.”

  7. tom said:

    I agree with you H. I don’t think Armenia will ever get its land back. Who would force Turkey to give it back? Not the US. Who would go to war to force Turkey to give it back?
    I think it is more about financial retributions and Turkey having to admit that it was founded by murderers and Ataturk ignored those murderers’ past. Also, Ataturk got booty from genocide victims. I think the Turks are worried about their public finding out this because the whole Turkish state is founded on honoring this man.

  8. Christo said:

    What is the knesset going to discuss, yeah it might have been a genocide, but the jewish holocaust was unique? We marched into the deserts of syria barefoot, yet they were hoarded on trains!

  9. Random Armenian said:

    Regarding Turkish attitude towards the genocide, there are several reasons at play here. Aside from the material compensation issue, there is the personal nationalistic psychology. If you’re a proud Turk then the genocide is a stain on a proud history. If your nationalism is strong, even if it happened decades before you were born, it’s an attack on you personally since you identify yourself with Turkish history strongly. Another way to look at it is that the genocide makes Armenians victims instead of a group of people to be hated.

    There is also fear of minorities since Turkey was founded by conquering other peoples. I mean there is fear of the tiny Armenian community in Turkey. Completely irrational. Read it in this article:

    When you rule, when you’re on top, the only place to go is down, and this can be a source of fear. And there is a lot of fear behind Turkish nationalism.

    Here’s another interesting article on non-Muslim minority properties in Turkey.

  10. Abbe said:

    I don’t eather believe in this game but i HOPE !
    And that’s the least I could do. And I will fight untill everybody recognizes The ARmenian GEnocide “/. It is after all our hirtory !!
    And Turkey must be punished both terretorial and financial, because as I said before, what is the menaning then with the recognition if they don’t have to give back what they took ?!

  11. Krikor said:

    Who would trust either Israel of Turkey They are made of the same mold