17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Israeli minister calls to recognize Armenian genocide

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12 June 2012, Tuesday /REUTERS
An Israeli cabinet minister said on Tuesday that the Jewish state ought to change its policy and recognise the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as an act of genocide.    

Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, answered a motion in parliament by opposition lawmakers marking the massacre's anniversary.     

"I think it is definitely fitting that the Israeli government formally recognise the Holocaust perpetrated against the Armenian people," Erdan, Israel's environmental affairs minister said.     

Israel has long avoided acknowledging the mass killings of Armenians as genocide, in deference to already strained ties with Turkey which rejects that view.     

Relations with Turkey have been tense since the 2010 killings of nine Turkish activists in a commando raid on a Gaza-bound ship. Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel after that incident and suspended military cooperation.     

Erdan said the Israeli government had not formally changed its policy on the Armenian's past tragedy, adding: "we should definitely support holding an open and in depth discussion that analyses the data and facts."     

Armenia, backed by many historians and parliaments, says about 1.5 million Christian Armenians were killed in what is now eastern Turkey during World War One in a deliberate policy of genocide ordered by the Ottoman government.     

Successive Turkish governments and most Turks feel the charge of genocide is an insult. Ankara argues that there was heavy loss of life on both sides during fighting in the area.     

Israeli lawmakers voted that the issue would face further debate in the education committee. Any parliamentary decision on the issue would not be binding on the government.     

Yigal Palmor, a spokesman at Israel's Foreign Ministry, said Israel's formal position on the Armenian tragedy remained that the issue "must be decided by historians and not be subject to political deliberation."       

The Armenian issue has stirred emotions in Israel where many  feel that the Jewish people who suffered six million dead in the Nazi Holocaust during World War Two have a moral obligation to identify more closely with the Armenians' ordeals.     

"Those who demand recognition of the murder are not engaged in lobbying but are simply seeking historic justice," Israeli Parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin, a member of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, said.     

Nino Abesadze, a lawmaker with the centrist Kadima party, counseled against linking the issue to relations with Turkey.     

"We must not link our sentiments about the Armenian tragedy to considerations about other dangers in the region. Events such as genocide are above politics," Abesadze said.     


This is an excellent time to discuss and to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Until now, due to good relations Israel had with Turkey, the israeli government blocked this recognition and Israel preferred to be blind with this terrible crime. No more! Finally Turkey will have to apologize to armeni...
Why Toady s Zaman is unable to write this news and has to copy and paste it from Reuters. Don-t you have efficent journalists? or are you afraid to write the GENOCIDE word without preceding it with the "so called ..." denial expression? If these are the turkish intellectuals what can we Armenians re...
Not even one turk posted a descent comment here! The Armenian Genocide is a crime against Humanity and as so it is a matter of every human being may be turks are not that human? To Hakan, correct your information, in the Ottoman Empire there were 3 million Armenians and anyway the number of the vict...
Yehuda Just to enlighten you guys about the bogus Armenian genocide.The truth is Hitler didn't make such a statement.Armenians tries to use this fake statement as an evidence.Why is it a fake statement ? Just google it you will learn. Knesset or any other parliaments are not courts to make a decisi...
john the turk
@Johan, :D s.u. i know what i write, i picked my words with care, if you see anything contradicting with the law in the country i am living in, please contact the AIVD, otherwise just s.u. Wie de bal kaatst kan hem terug verwachten, aldus voor Israel.
I laugh when I see people finding out that genocide issue is being used for political ends. turkey has been doing that for 9 decades and feels free to continue doing it. Well Turks, welcome to your own sick game.
This is excellent plan by Israel. Of course the whole free world should be recognizing Armenian Holocaust. And Israel should be forming close alliance with Greece and Armenia, which are western democracy countries.
Is there no shame or embarassment on the part of these Israeli politicians who have only NOW discovered the Armenian Genocide after so many decades of vigorous lobbying, especially in the US, to shield Turkey from such accusations? Looking about the bookstore at Holocaust Museum several years ago i...
@dutchduck must know by now that denial the holocaust is a serous felony in the Netherlands. And Dutch law is imposed here.
this is showing the real face of israel against Turkey ( once upon a time she seemed to be the best friends of Turkey in the middle east. )
Israel should recognize the genocide of pontus greeks and origin cypress.
How important is Armenia? What is Armenia?
@musa, what you claim about my intention was done by Israel for the last 40 years. You guys are the biggest hypocrites out there. In that open debate we shall also question the deeds of the former Turkish ambassador to France.
@VTiger: poor prophet you are. You copy paste yourself on diverse turkish newspapers to predict something. Our PM will visit Revan to commemorate the Nagorny Karabakh genocide done by Armenians.
Yes, it is funny...it is the final joke
It would have been lot more kosher had Israel thought of the Armenians prior to the beginning of the tit for tat period in Turkey-Israel politics. "...Events such as genocide are above politics", it must be sheer coincidence, then, that this motion happened just days after a Turkish court indicted f...
it's funny to see the link between writers like dutch Turk and zynell to Hitler. suddenly, they turn into holocaust deniers thinking that they can evaporate one holocaust by denying the other.
can Turkey handle the truth? its only a matter of time
The time will come when the Turkish PM will pay his respects at the Genocide Museum in Yerevan
@ yehuda - What utter BS!!! The trouble is, you people (Israelis and Armenians) have been fed the same rubbish for years that you've come to believe it!! There is absolutely no evidence that Hitler EVER said that!! But then, Israelis also beleive that Ahmedinejad said that "Jews should be wiped out ...
Hakan C
Israel was so busy with their own genocide that they now decide to label others. Please take the Yad Vashem incident as an example. Some people in the world dont believe your rhetorics esp. Geo, Yaacov, BBBB and the other spin doctoring MK
the palastina genocide should recognized.
Arielle $haron
Wow, not many options left for Israel
@ Dutch Turk Your comment is really ridiculous, because it is actually Turkey who uses events for political radicalisation though knowing exactly that she has failed abominably to decide the flotillas case to her favour in global sight! The Armenians case too is a worldwide one and most of the West...
The poor armenians and their history became a cue ball for the desperates of this world...
How come they didn't recognize Armenian genocide in so many years and now to presure Turkey they do, This shows how desperate is Israel,
About time our government grew some and did the right thing-recognized this tragedy as genocide. We've done the politically expedient thing too long and look what it has gotten us.
There you have it. Politically one has to walk a very fine line of what to accept or not publically. But every Israeli and Jew knows that the Armenian Genocide was the precursor to the holocaust especially when Hitler is on record mentioning the events of WWI before attacking Poland. I would like to...
Historians job is to provide evidence, facts and figures. They are not trained or equipped to decide what tragic event amounts to genocide or not any more than they are qualified in establishing an accused person”s guilt or innocence. Leaving the matter to historians is a cop out!
Israel using historic debates for political purposes, it should force Turkey also to change it's stance on the Holocaust issue (or to have an open debate about it). All part of the game. Azerbaijan should also think twice who they are calling friends.
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