Armenia’s Hon. Concul in Israel Tsolag Momchian expressed disappointment with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s failure to call the killings of Armenians in 1915 a “genocide,” during a joint event on Sunday, the Jerusalem Post reports.
“We are morally obligated to point out the facts, as horrible as they might be, not to ignore them. The Armenian people have been the first victims of modern mass killing,” Rivlin said, obviously tiptoeing around breaking precedent and calling the event a genocide. “We do not ask to put the blame on a certain country. But rather, identify with the victims and the horrible results of the massacre.”
Israel does not formally recognize the genocide diplomatically, nor is the historical event taught in Israeli schools. Turkey, one of Israel’s few peaceful friends in the region, vehemently denies that the deaths were part of a “genocide.” Although Israel does not diplomatically recognize the genocide, the country boasts a large Armenian population, which held numerous memorial events to commemorate the 1915 Genocide this past Friday.
“To be frank, I myself am disappointed and I believe with the committee of the members of the centennial of the genocide, they are disappointed for your use of the ‘mass killings,’ rather than the word ‘genocide’,” Momjian retorted.