TEL AVIV—A motion by the Meretz party to direct the Israeli Knesset’s education committee to discuss a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide was unanimously approved on Wednesday, reported the Armenian National Committee of Jerusalem.
The motion presented by Meretz delegate Zahava Gal-On also received the support of government representatives who voted for the proposal.
In the past the Knesset said that a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide should be debated by the parliament’s defense and foreign relations committee. That committee holds its meetings behind closed doors and concerns have been voiced that under such circumstances, the committee could propose to not consider the motion.
During the more than 30 minute debate on the Knesset floor, various party members expressed their views on the resolution. On behalf of Israel’s foreign ministry, Religion Minister, Yakkov Marki expressed ministry’s position, which was to leave the issue on the defense and foreign affairs commission, adding that Israel must support the Armenia-Turkey dialogue process.
However, Marki expressed his personal conviction affirming the Genocide and added that time has come for Israel to make a clear decision on the matter. He then proposed that the Knesset’s education committee address the matter.
Also speaking at the debate was the ruling Likud party representative, Ze’ev Elkin who supported the motion to task the education committee with the issue. Elkin’s role in the fruition of this motion was considerable.
All Knesset members who spoke, including Speaker Roven Rivlin, supported the motion and stressed that Israel’s relations with Turkey should interfere with Israel recognizing a historic fact.
ANC Jerusalem members Hagop Sevan and Georgette Avakian were joined by Armenia’s Honorary Consul Tsolag Momdjian, representatives of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and community members at the Knesset hearing.
Last month, an ARF delegation headed by Bureau member Hagop Der-Kachadourian met with party representatives to discuss, among other issues, the Knesset’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The delegation met with Ghaleb Majadleh of the Labor party and discussed the parliamentary debate for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Knesset, the role and intentions of Turkey in the region, and Israeli-Armenian relations. Majadleh, the first Arab minister in an Israeli government, emphasized his sympathy with the Armenian Cause and agreed that meetings between the representatives of both parties are important and should be frequent.
The delegation also met with the chairman of the Meretz party, Chaim Auron, who demonstrated a profound knowledge of the Armenian Cause, and appreciation for the contribution of Armenians to Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.
A meeting tool place with Elkin, following a conference on the Armenian Genocide at Hebrew University organized by the Honorary Consul of Armenia.
Elkin, who was a speaker at the conference, publicly declared that the Israeli Foreign Ministry should change course and support the resolution. The main topic of discussion between the delegation and Elkin was the process for the Armenian Genocide resolution in the Knesset and its committees.