ASIA/ISRAEL - After tensions with Turkey, the Knesset puts the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on the agenda

Friday, 18 May 2018 armenian genocide   geopolitics   middle east  


Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - The relations between Israel and Turkey have escalated recently in connection with the ongoing events in Gaza. As Turkey opposes Israel’s actions and strictly criticizes them, Israel, as a political step, put into circulation the bill on recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The proposal for this recognition - the Israeli media reported - was presented to the competent offices of the Knesset by center-left MP Itzik Shmuli, a member of the "Zionist Union", supported by at least 50 parliamentarians belonging to both the governing Parties - including Likud - and to those of the opposition. The draft law presented by Itzik Shmuli also provides for the establishment of an annual commemoration day in Israel for the Armenian Genocide. The same Shmuli, in statements relaunched by the Israeli media, pointed out that there is no reason "to treat the Turkish with particular delicacy, given the instigation against the State of Israel unleashed by Turkish President Erdogan". The same President of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, stated that he will do everything possible to facilitate the approval of the proposed law.
As reported by Fides (see Fides, 20/2/2018), three months ago, the Israeli Parliament had in fact rejected a bill sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, which would have recognized the "Armenian Genocide" by Israel. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, declared that Israel will not take an official stance on the matter of the Armenian Genocide, "in light of its complexity and diplomatic repercussions".
On April 26, 2015, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted a commemorative event at the Presidential residence in Jerusalem to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the planned extermination of Armenians that had occurred a century before in Anatolia. During that ceremony, President Rivlin recalled that the Armenian people were "the first victims of modern mass exterminations", but he had avoided using the word "Genocide" to indicate the massacres in which more than one million and 500 thousand people died. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 18/5/2018)