Knesset to discuss Armenian Genocide again

Knesset to discuss Armenian Genocide again

Knesset will weigh all pros and contras before naming the Armenian massacre in Ottoman Empire as genocide, and dismiss the recognition.

The initiative of the Israeli Meretz party on recognition of the Armenian Genocide emerges with every case of deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey, which seems to be the worst ever now. On June 12, by decision of Speaker Reuven Rivlin the Knesset plenary session will discuss the topic of the Armenian Genocide. This, however, does mean that the Israeli authorities are going to recognize the Genocide, Haaretz paper reports.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli MP Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) was the initiator of the discussion. In addition to consideration by the plenary session, the subject of the Armenian Genocide will further be raised by one of Knesset’s commissions. Naturally, this discussion will not turn into a recognition move; this is rather a demarche against Turkish authorities.

It is worth noting that this Knesset session comes a day before State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss issues his report on Israeli army’s raid against the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in 2010. The ship had Turkish radical activists on board who prepared a break-through into Gaza; nine of them were killed during this incident. Official Ankara holds trial, in absentia, against high-ranking Israeli officers involved in the case.

According to IzRus portal, despite increasing deterioration in Israeli-Turkish ties, Israel is not ready to acknowledge the fact of mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

In early February 2012, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said: “We support the idea of presenting all facts and tragic pages of the history the way they really are. No other country, except for France, has legislatively recognized the Armenian Genocide... We are not going to interfere. A historic event has turned into a political dispute now. Hence, I believe, Israel should not interfere with this issue,” Lieberman said in an interview with RTVI TV channel.

In response to Lieberman’s statement, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian mentioned that the term “Holocaust” has never been used to describe the Genocide of Armenians. According to the minister, Armenians always called the events of 1915 in the Ottoman Turkey Genocide. “The genocide of Armenians is characterized by the “Armenian Genocide” term,” Nalbandian emphasized.

No doubt, the parliamentary hearings will be a mere talk, and no resolution will be passed. On the one hand, this is good since it is another manipulation on the Genocide, sacred to any Armenian; on the other hand, this is the only way to keep Turkey under permanent pressure. This time Azerbaijan will perhaps undertake the role of Turkey, perceiving personally everything relating to Armenians and pouring threats at any independent state in this regard.

Until recently, Ankara was much favouring the Azerbaijani “support” in the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Still, the situation has changed now. Turkish diplomats no longer view Azerbaijan as a country fit for stability and peace talks. On the contrary, some reports claim that Turkey is considering Baku as a major “disturber of peace” in the region.

However, if Knesset suddenly opts for a historic ruling, this will come as a hard blow for the military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel. Besides, Israel will lose the Baku oil accounting for 30% of its total hydrocarbon supply. So, prior to naming the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide, Knesset will weigh all pros and contras… to dismiss the recognition. Politics sees no wonders, especially in such highly explosive and unpredictable region.

Nevertheless, the fact of discussing the Armenian Genocide in Knesset over the past years is already a step forward, in comparison with the past.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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