Failure to recognize Genocide will backfire, Armenia tells Israel

Failure to recognize Genocide will backfire, Armenia tells Israel

PanARMENIAN.Net - Israel will not win the battle against antisemitism until it recognizes the Armenian Genocide, President Armen Sarkissian said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Sarkissian, who was in Israel over the past week for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, which marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, said that most of the Armenian population does not understand the logic behind Israel’s refusal to officially recognize the mass killing of more than 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children by the Ottoman government between 1915 and 1917.

The Armenian Genocide is recognized by more than 30 countries, including the United States as of October 2019, but Israel has resisted formally naming the Genocide for what it is.

“A lot of Armenians ask, ‘Why on earth would Israel, a country whose people have seen their own huge tragedy, not recognize the Armenian Genocide?’” Sarkissian said. “There is no logical answer. I cannot say that Israel has relations with Turkey and that is why – I cannot say that.”

But he acknowledged that Israel-Turkey relations, which were formalized in March 1949, are likely the catalyst for Israeli silence.

The President also said he believes that Israel’s failure to commiserate with Armenia over their comparable tragedies – the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide – is harming Israel and the Jewish people’s efforts to combat an ever-expanding epidemic of antisemitism.

“It does not matter to me personally whether this country or that country will or will not recognize [the Genocide]. It will not change my life or the lives of the millions of Armenians who lost their homes and are scattered all over the world in the Armenian diaspora. But it is going to backfire.”

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