Hundreds remember Genocide victims at Jerusalem ceremony

Hundreds remember Genocide victims at Jerusalem ceremony

PanARMENIAN.Net - Some 300 people gathered on Saturday, April 23 in St. James Monastery in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem and held a ceremony commemorating 101 years to the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, The Jerusalem Post reports.

The ceremony was held after a mass that was led by Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian, and was attended by the leaders of Armenian community in Jerusalem. The service honored the memory of some 1.5 million Armenian victims whom Ottoman forces killed between 1915 and 1923, mainly in Syria.

Harut Baghamian, one of the organizers of the ceremony, a member of the Homenetmen youth movement and a descendant of Armenian Genocide refugees, told The Jerusalem Post that the Armenian community is disappointed from the way Israel deals with the memory of the Genocide. “It’s not that they are denying like some countries, they are just not talking about it,” he said.

However, Baghamian sees in the Jewish people a partner of the Armenians. “There were some Israeli politicians that have expressed their feelings about the Genocide in the past, and we appreciate that.

But we expect from the government to honor their values before politics,” he said.

On Sunday, members of the Armenian community and social activists will protest in front of the Turkish Consulate in Jerusalem and the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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