Knesset Speaker Working Toward Genocide Recognition

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin

JERUSALEM—Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Monday that he wanted to convene an annual parliamentary session of the full Knesset to mark the Armenian Genocide. “It is my duty as a Jew and Israeli to recognize the tragedies of other peoples,” Rivlin said.

Rivlin added that diplomatic considerations, important as they may be, should not deter us from recognizing a tragecy experienced by another people, reported the Haaretz newspaper.

In recent years the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry have applied heavy pressure to head off such sessions of the Knesset out of concern that relations between Israel and Turkey would be harmed. Turkey denies that it committed genocide against the Armenians.

Since 2008, the full Knesset has allowed the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to hold sessions that have been closed to the media about the Armenian genocide. Last week, for the first time, the full Knesset approved the convening of an open, public session on the issue by the Education, Culture and Sports Committee, at the request of Meretz Knesset member Zahava Gal-On. This represents a complete change in approach on the issue.

As part of the Foreign Ministry’s attempt in recent years to block pro-Armenian genocide commemorations, in 2007, ministry staff expressed dissatisfaction with plans to hold a session in the Knesset plenum on the issue. The prime minister at the time, Ehud Olmert, intervened to have the session canceled.

In October of 2008, in an unprecedented move, the Knesset voted to have a parliamentary committee convene on the Armenian genocide at the initiative of then-Meretz chairman Haim Oron, paving the way for the sessions in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Over the past two years, however, after relations between Israel and Turkey deteriorated, the Foreign Ministry s opposition to the issue abated, though Rivlin s latest move was at his own initiative.

The recognition of the Genocide and issues related to commemorating April 24 will be debated in coming weeks by the relevant committees of the Knesset, said Armenian National Committee of Jerusalem chairman Hagop Sevan, saying that the legislature has reconvened following a long summer break.

Sevan also said that representatives of the ANC Jerusalem will be holding meetings with Knesset members in coming days and weeks.

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16 Comments

  1. Hye said:

    Oh how quickly Israel changes it’s tune.

    Was it not Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon that in May, 2011 said “We can not afford damaging relations with our main strategic partner Azerbaijan because of some controversial historical issues relating to the events which happened a century ago,” IzRus website quotes Ayalon.”

    Here are some more choice quotes that highlight hypocrisy at its best.

    – Deputies of the “Israel is Our Home” party spoke against putting the genocide recognition issue on the agenda. This party unites Jews that emigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union, particularly from Azerbaijan. Prior to the voting Yosef Shagal, a member of that faction, chairman of the parliamentary association of Israeli-Azeri friendship, said:

    “Supporters of the recognition of the so-called “Armenian Genocide” are just a small bunch of Israeli marginals, to whom that issue is perhaps the only opportunity to remind of their political presence.”

    – The other important issue here is that the perception of the “exceptionality of the Holocaust” is quite strong in the European mind. Back in 2002, Israeli Ambassador to Georgia Rivka Cohen stated in Yerevan: “The Holocaust is an unprecedented phenomenon, and nothing, including the tragedy of Armenians, can be compared with it.”

    – Quite recently, one of the Education Committee members, commenting on the prospect of the bill recognition, said:

    “If we recognize the Armenian Genocide, we will be asked to do the same for the massacre in the Balkans, Holodomor, they will even remember Pol Pot (a politician from Cambodia who committed genocide against his own people and annihilated several millions in three and a half years) and Idi Amin, the president of Uganda, founder of one of the cruelest authoritarian regimes in Africa). And we believe that the only case of genocide – a systematic and intended extermination of a people – occurred during the Second World War.”

    – The position of Israeli President Shimon Peres is also unambiguous. He expressed his view on this issue in 2001. “It is meaningless to say that Armenians underwent genocide like the Jews. Comparison of Armenians with Jews in the genocide issue is inadmissible,” he said.

    I wonder how Jews would feel if Armenia denied the Holocaust and labelled it as “some controversial historical issue.” The yehuds cannot be trusted. Statements like the ones above make me doubt their own genocide, since they try so hard to disprove ours.

    • stelliko said:

      My dear for them we all are jus GOYMS. israeli-turkish government ties are verrrrrrrrrrrryyyy deep, this is all just a show.

    • Raffikian said:

      You have a point there, should Israel deny Genocide, all Armenians should spread around the globe that Holocaust is “some controversial historical issue¨ it’s Historical merits has a lot of questions and inconsistencies, a lot of doubt on Holocaust already exist.

  2. Norin Radd said:

    It’s great that some Israelis and Jews finally have decided that they should endorse truths regarding the AG as a means to “share others’ pain” much like their own systematic elimination.

    However, it is also imperative that Armenians step up to the plate and really expect these issues to either be dealt with sensitivity and respect, otherwise, it’s best that they are not dealt with at all. The Armenian Genocide the memory of our people that suffered are not meant to be used as poker chips for Jews and US foreign policy every time they want to reign in their “ally” Turkey. Both the Diaspora and the Armenian government should demand the matter to be treated with more respect.

    It’s getting ridiculous already, the AG is becoming a sack puppet that is thrown around every time the Jews want to stick it to Turkey, I wonder how idle they would be if the memory of the Holocaust was used as political capital on the world stage, HEY LOW LIFE HYE LEADERS SPEAK UP, LAL EK? Kamak metnelov voch mi tex chek hasni.

  3. fuzzywzhe said:

    “It is my duty as a Jew and Israeli to recognize the tragedies of other peoples” … now that Israel killed 9 people on the Mavi Marmara, confiscated all the video evidence, only released OBVIOUSLY DOCTORED video evidence, was caught in at least one lie about the event, and now that Israeli/Turkish relations have soured.

    Yes, it’s my duty NOW.

    • stelliko said:

      unfortunately the government of israel and turkey do not represent the people of those countries…

  4. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    The Israels ( which are mixed of many races)
    by not recognizing Armenian Genocide
    They are not recognising their clever honest DNA
    Who defined to the world… the word Genocide…,
    Which was applied on many nations
    Specifically meant for Armenians…to vanish their genes
    As another Jew said, Henry Morgethau,Sr. (1856-1946)
    USA Ambasador for Ottoman-Turkey…during his time where he saw all the slaying by Turks
    He wrote his book “ The Murder of a Nation”
    He described the massacres of Armenians
    as a Campaign of race extermination…

    They respected Turkey to fall in their trap…
    Now Ottoman cohorts want to vanish their genes
    as they wanted to vanish genes of Armenians
    There is a poverb in Arabic, which say,
    “Who made a hole in the ground for his brother, he will fall in”
    I am sure many Jews who know Arabic will remember this proverb…
    “ Mn hafar hufran le akhehe waka fehe”

    SP

  5. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    The Israelians (which are mixed of many race)
    by not recognizing Armenian Genocide
    They are not recognising their clever honest DNA
    Who defined to the world…word Genocide…
    He was real human, Raphael Lemkin ( 1900-1959)
    Which was applied on many nations
    Specifically meant for Armenians…to vanish their genes
    As another Jew said, Henry Morgethau,Sr. (1856-1946)
    American Ambasador for Ottoman-Turkey…
    He wrote his book “ The Murder of a Nation”
    He described the massacres of Armenians
    as a Campaign of race extermination…
    They respected Turkey to fall in their trap…
    Now Ottoman cohorts want to vanish their genes
    as they wanted to vanish genes of Armenians
    There is a poverb in Arabic, which say,
    “Who made a hole in the ground for his brother, he will fall in”
    I am sure many Jews who know Arabic will remember this proverb…
    “ Man hafar hufran le akhehe waka fehe”

  6. Haik Azad said:

    Thank you, thank you,thank you,my dear israeli brothers and sisters,all armenians are deeply moved by yer larger than life,highly principled,deeply moral and humanistic stance on this issue-with friends like these armenians are sure to start a new renaissance in their history.Now I am gonna call my rabbi to circumsize me so that I may support even more vehemently god`s chosen people in their future moral quests and I think all armenians should follow my example.We are all israelis now.Alleikum sallaam.

  7. Simon Dedeyan said:

    Israel, since decades, with its immoral attitude against the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by USA damaged very much the Armenians. Simon Perez was big responsible.
    Let us see How Human Moral attitude will have now Israel, Israel, who had the same historic destiny.
    We expect this time that will prevail the Business and Opportunist attitude.

  8. Simon Dedeyan said:

    Israel, since decades, with its immoral attitude against the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by USA damaged very much the Armenians. Simon Perez was big responsible.
    Let us see How Human Moral attitude will have now Israel, Israel, who had the same historic destiny.
    We expect this time that Moral will prevail the Business and Opportunist attitudes.

    Reply

  9. John MInassian said:

    The Armenian church should sell the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem to the Israelis. In return , they could get the Merkava tank which will give Armenia a true advantage over the T-72 that the Azeris have.Armenia needs a heavy armoured personal carrier like the Namer which the Azeris are buying from Israel. It is time to end this silly nostalgia and pride for the Armenian quarter because it has gotten the Armenians zero. We have suffered through genocide and masscres and what has this silly Armenian quarter gotten us. Enough with this stupid nostalgia and pride.The survival of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh is at stake.

  10. Armen said:

    Armenian Genocide is not a political tool for Israel. They can shove their recognition, as it’s no doubt a pure ploy to blackmail Erdogan. I much rather trust the current Turkish leader than anyone associated with Israeli government. Sooner or later Erdogan will expose the real ‘leaders’ responsible for the Armenian Genocide.

  11. Hamasdegh said:

    It does not make any difference any more as to who recognizes the Armenian Genocide, USA, UK or Israel.Frankly, we should stop courting any of these recalcitrant countries if they are unable to make up their mind on their own and instead continue to use our grief and pain to play political games. Of all the nations Israel should have been the first to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but it has not done so and will not do so because it has “national interests” that trump its considerations of morality.I think we have succeeded in the last twenty years to bring the issue of the Armenian Genocide to the forefront of international debate and consciousness. Whether Turkey likes it or not, whether it accepts moral responsibility for the Genocide or not,the issue of the Armenian Genocide has become part of the internal national debate in Turkey and determines the attitude of other nations towards Turkey.So it is time for us to move to another stage or phase of activism . The recent legal case brought against Turkey with regard to the ownership of Incirlik property is a great move if it is part of a broader strategy and plan.We must sue Turkey to return to Armenian ownership all the historical monuments in Western Armenian provinces occupied by Turkey and engage UNESCO in ensuring that these properties are safeguarded and protected for posterity. If Armenians of Turkey are able to seek before international courts the return of community owned and confiscated property in Istanbul , why should not the diaspora seek the return to Armenian ownership monuments in Western Armenia that belong to its cultural heritage ? We can be practical , imaginative and resourceful in ways we have not been so far in pursuing our cause for justice and truth have mysterious ways of moving people and cases.

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