Knesset to Discuss Genocide Bill Tuesday

Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On initiated the effort in the Knesset

JERUSALEM—The chairperson of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on Sunday has permitted the discussion of a bill recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The debate is scheduled for Tuesday, reported the Haaretz newspaper.

Knesset chairperson Reuven Rivlin decided to permit the debate for Tuesday after Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On asked for the issue to be discussed in the Knesset last week but it was delayed due to deliberation on another bill.

Israel’s foreign ministry asked to postpone the discussion until after the Knesset hears a report on Israel’s interception of Turkish ships bound for the Gaza Strip. Gal-On refused and pressed for the Armenian Genocide bill to be placed on the agenda.

Gal-On said she did not want to cause problems with Turkey and she wanted relations with the country to improve. But she said she believed the Foreign Ministry was using the comptroller’s report as an excuse to avoid dealing with the controversial Armenian issue, reported the Jerusalem Post.

In December, the Knesset’s Education Committee hosted an unprecedented discussion of the Armenian Genocide and the need for Israel to officially recognize the matter.

At the time, a representative of the Foreign Ministry relayed the ministry’s opposition to the bill. “This subject, given the current atmosphere, could deteriorate our ties with Turkey. Our relationship with Turkey is very fragile and sensitive right now, and we cannot cross the line – we must approach the subject intelligently. Such a decision could have very serious strategic consequences,” said the representative.

Rivlin also commented during the discussion in December. “The subject doesn’t come up in the Knesset because of events that take place between Israel and Turkey, nor because we are trying to take advantage of the political situation to get even. I first entered the Knesset in ’88, and a year later we made a suggestion for a day concerning the Armenian tragedy. We were prevented from speaking about it as a ‘holocaust,’ though we most definitely felt that as humans, as Jews, as citizens of Israel that aren’t Jews, we must bring this subject up, and flood the public with the questions that arise, because we are obligated to prevent denial of the tragedy,” said Rivlin.

“We are standing in front of all the peoples of the world, and saying that denial of a holocaust is something that Humanity cannot agree with. We didn’t come to discuss something political, rather moral,” continued Rivlin.

Gal-On said at the time that “this is an exciting moment, in my opinion, that the Education Committee is holding an open discussion, with a great deal of participation. For years, Israel always considered relations with Turkey. That is the central issue in terms of recognition of the murder of the Armenian people, which has yet to take place in Israel’s Knesset.”

“Unfortunately, relations with Turkey are very tense, and I think that it is in our interest not to make them worse. Israel’s government must advance relations regardless of the Armenian issue; it is a historic and moral obligation,” said Gal-On.

Otniel Schneller, also among the upcoming discussion’s sponsors, was the only one who expressed outright opposition to an official recognition by Israel of the Armenian genocide in December. “We cannot disconnect the discussion from the fact that we must rehabilitate our ties with Turkey – it’s an existential necessity,” he said. “We need to fit in the Middle East even if it is difficult,” said Schneller, in December.


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  1. Zareh said:

    The Jewish State will do the right thing. If there is one nation on Earth that understands our pain, that nation is Israel.
    Jews and Armenians share so many qualities including hard work, love of arts and sciences, love of education, commerce, trade, innovation,and most of all the determination to survive against all odds.

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      After so many Decades, finally Israel realizes and understands what Turky Truly is! I regret to say about our United States Government!

    • Morin Radd said:

      Dropping your pants and sucking up every time Israel says they will discuss the AG in the Knesset did not get Armenian leaders any progress, so please give it a rest with the whole “we are similar to Jews routine”. We bothay have suffered genocidal campaigns against our people but the similarity stops there, stop begging, it’s embarrassing to the rest of us Armenians!!

    • Armanen said:

      Yep, they will the do the ‘right thing’ like all the other times… No they will do what is in their best interest. Nothing more, nothing less. The Israeli officials and some Jews wish to have a monopoly on suffering and genocide.

    • Hratch said:

      All you listed are true, but precisely the same reasons why they refuse to recognize. They understand and know what is best for their national interest. Besides, there is no room for two victims in this world !

    • Viken Karapetian said:

      Respectfully, you couldn’t be more wrong. If the Isrealis had a moral backbone they would have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide many decades ago. This is simply political theatre, making the Turks sweat.

    • Ani said:

      So far, Israel and not the “Jewish State” has been doing all the wrong things since its violent inception in 1948. Israel will not recognize the Armenian Genocide. They believe that their holocaust is unique and no other can be paralleled to it. Alot of BS will come out of that discussion. Think about the timing of this discussion also. It was scheduled right after Turkey indicted those Israelis for the killing.

      You are only fooling yourself, Zareh.

    • German_in_Yerevan said:

      Those obsessed with a formal recognition of the genocide have stooped to a new low if they have made Israel their bed partner.

      As the old saying goes: “If you go to sleep with dogs, don’t be surprised if you wake up with fleas”

  2. The Truth said:

    The Neo Nazi ruler of Azerbaijan and his propaganda minstry are declaring every single Armenian as enemy – this means: killing of Armenians is “halal “, since Azerbaijan president discovers Islam , whenever Islam serves its interests- , Armenian civilians and soldiers being killed while Israel is arming Azerbaijan. 1915 Turks did relay on German Empire for the implantation of their annihilation program against Armenian people. Today, the regime in Baku being armed with deadly weapon who is not hiding that is going to use them to go war against NKR and even Armenia

    I would say it is high time that officials in NKR and even Armenian organizations write to Israel politicians and inform them that Israel is arming a criminal regime therefore Israel is partially responsible for war mornings of ruler in Baku and killed Armenia solders and civilians- What Israel is doing , as if Armenia would sell atom bomb to enemies of Israel!

  3. Parsik said:

    you Armenians are so naive and simple, and that makes me wonder how in the world a people with a long and extended history of culture and statehood even going back to the dawn of civilization acts so credulously in modern times , it seems you never learn anything from your past, the tallest obsticle on the way of Armenian Genocide inevitable universal recognition has been Jewish lobbies and institutions all over the world, and you expect childishly that state of Israel who represent the Jews all over the world will do exactly against their will and interests, by the way any of you wise Armenians anytime asked yourself that in horrible events of 1915-18 in Ottoman Empire why all minorities got persecuted and massacred(Christian Armenians, Assyrians, Pontic Greeks and pagan Yezidis and some instances muslem Arabs) but Jews were spared and not harmed in anyway?

  4. Christo said:

    Before, even discussing the Armenian genocide, the Knesset should read Model Citizens of the State by Rifat Bali, then apologize to the Armenian diaspora and the Armenian nation and then discuss the Armenian Genocide.

  5. Arman said:

    “………….Our relationship with Turkey is very fragile and sensitive right now, and we cannot cross the line – we must approach the subject intelligently. Such a decision could have very serious strategic consequences,” said the representative.

    I didn’t know Israel’s recognizing the Armenian genocide is “crossing the line.” If Israelis can’t accept this simple aknowledgment of the facts without being told by a foreign (and criminal) government that they are “crossing the line” then they are moral cowards and hypocrites, and need to show Turkey more backbone.
    Regarding the Israeli need to “approach the subject intelligently” my recommendation to them is to read and re-read the many excellent books on the Armenian genocide and know the facts without fear of Turkish anger. A great need exists to transform several of the most powerful books into film, so the WORLD will learn of this crime against humanity.
    And as for Israel’s recognizing the Armenian genocide having “very serious strategic consequences”, the fact is Turks are only digging themselves deeper and deeper into their hole of lies, denial, and blackmail. Does Turkey REALLY believe it will actually get away with mass-murder??? Turkey is at the end of its rope. It will not escape justice. Better for them to come clean and get it over with as painlessly as possible. The Near East and Middle East are structured by the West so that Turkey is their patsy in the region. Turkey’s power is built on the ashes of the Armenian nation, and the stolen territory of the Armenian Highlands. That’s the only reason Turkey is so big and borders Iraq, Syria, and Iran….precisely the countries the West wants to keep in check with Turkish threats and pressure. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide will be a massive blow to Turkey’s power and influence and this is undesirable for the West.
    I agree with the Israeli Foreign Ministry representative………….yes, there are very serious strategic consequences.

  6. bigmoustache said:

    it wasnt a “tragedy” or a “murder” it was GENOCIDE. it was HOLOCAUST.
    you can tell how genuine they are..

  7. Zareh Sahakian said:

    Turks believing in the Israeli psyche clearly expressed in the article, which is the ongoing wrong belief that alienating Turkey could be an “existential” consequences. I think this “fear” is made up, if any harm could come to Israel it is in the business domain and is not an existential issue. The Israeli posture, supported by so many American Jewish associations, is first and foremost not to harm business opportunities.

    Turks, however, must have miscalculated how much they can push the Jews and get away with the notion that Israel would not dare to go against turkey in such a way that it would hit below the belt, so to say. The Armenian genocide issue is just that, a damning strike against Turkish “pride”. This has come about in the Turkish arrogance of indicting three past high ranking officials of a total 18,000 years in jail (I did not mistype the figure).

    Israel now is saying enough is enough.

    Interesting fallout is to see the reaction in the US. After the Israeli official recognition of the Armenian genocide (which looks pretty much much like a done deal) what would be the position of the very American Jewish organizations who have always opposed the Armenian genocide resolutions in the US House out of the fear of harming Israeli national interests.

  8. lilit said:

    The Jewish State will do the right thing! I’ve known many Jewish people that support the Armenian cause and understand the sufferings of the Armenian people. I think this will not only make Armenians proud of the Israeli’s but also the Israelis will be happy about this decision.

  9. AraK said:

    Israel is using our genocide as a sword of Damocles on Turkey’s head. They should be ashamed to use our tragedy as a bargaining chip.I doubt they would have considered the AG if their relation with Turkey was friendly. On the other hand contrary to Europe and the US Israel sold to Azerbaijan the most sophisticated weaponry. Money talks. I will believe to this phony attempt of recognition only if it passes in the Knesset otherwise let’s not become suckers so easily as usual! Jews want to stay unique because the Holocaust industry is doing well…

  10. Aram said:

    Israel will not formally recognize the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks. I have no hope.

  11. Arto said:

    It will never happen. There are some very honourable and righteous people in the Knesset but in the end the interests of Israel will always trump all others—including the Armenians and the Genocide.

  12. Karnig said:

    Israel must be made to feel shame for not recognizing the Armenian Genocide throughout the years. It is high time they did.
    Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment and imagine the indignity and outrage they would have should any other country or individual for that matter say or write any derogatory statements about the Jewish Holocaust.

    Insurmountable pressure must be placed on every single Jewish organization throughout the United States and throughout the world by any and all means, Officially and non officially as well as the social media.
    Armenians must shout through the roof incessantly until Israel relents .
    SHAME on you Israel.

  13. George said:

    97 years from Genocide and there is always a reasons, Israel should not and can not postpone any more, the human decency requires that.

  14. zohrab said:

    if you dont recognize the armenian genocide it means really maybe the haulocost never happend now u see my point.haulocost happened medz yeghem also happened it has nothing to do with politics its with humanity all over the world

  15. John-Emmanuel Shirajian said:

    Principled and moral issues will supersede and triumph over political considerations one day. Israel which was born out of horrible genocide should be the first country to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Let us not forget that many of those Germans who perfected the Holocaust honed their genocidal skills advising the Turks how to get rid of the Armenians. I want to salute Ms. Zehava Gal-On the leader of the Meretz Party for her principled position. I hope more Knesset members do the same.

  16. arziv said:

    We shall see. They have kept themselves on the fence all this time. Are they afraid of the turks ? I don’t think so. Are they afraid of the truth ? I don’t think so.
    Have they something to gain ? We don’t know. Do they adhere and champion the high moral ground, justice, ethics, ? We shall see.

  17. AraK said:

    I was right. We have to stop being the village fools and feel happy every time when the recognition of our genocide is considered by the jews.

    Israeli MP: no new Genocide-related issues raised at Knesset discussion

    June 12, 2012 – 19:09 AMT
    PanARMENIAN.Net – A public discussion about the Genocide of the Armenian people is ongoing at Israeli Knesset.
    As Israeli MP and public figure Ze’ev Elkin told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter, “nothing new has been said at the discussion.” As the politician said, the issue has already been submitted to Knesset’s Education and Culture Committee for consideration. “The discussion was purely ceremonial. No new Genocide-related issues were raised, the sitting being a plenary one,” he noted.
    The public discussion was initiated at the request of MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) and supported by Knesset chairperson Reuven Rivlin.

  18. peter megerdum said:

    If the Armenian church sells the Armenian Quarter to Israel in exchange for Armenian genocide recognition along with selling Israeli tanks and missles to Armenia , this would be a great deal for both sides. Israel will not recognize the Armenian Genocide unless it will gain politically or financially from the deal. We Armenians need to realize that Israel does not care about morals but cares about it’s own interest first and foremost.

  19. Armenian said:

    Yes of course and in meantime Israel sell weapons to Azerbaijan!

  20. Alex Postallian said:

    The Middle East wouldnt be a bad place to live; if you got rid of the two snakes in a vase.israel and turkey.