On July 5 the Israeli Knesset held an hour long debate on the Armenian genocide, but did not vote on a motion presented by Meretz party chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, sending it to the Education Committee.
Head of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau’s Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Giro Manoyan says it was done to avoid further aggravation of relations with Turkey, which have been normalized with great difficulty.
He says, however, that the bill is an additional lever in the hands of Israel to show Ankara its place.
MP Tevan Poghosyan does not see grounds for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Israel. He’s confident, however, that the number of supporters of recognition will gradually increase, which will finally lead to the acknowledgement of the fact.
The discussion at the Knesset was accompanied by rallies in front of the parliament building. Speakers at the rally included Israeli historian Yair Auron, Members of Knesset.
“Israel remains an unjust country,” Head of the Armenian National Committee of Jerusalem Hagop Seven said, commenting on the decision of the Knesset.
During Tuesday’s special plenary debate Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said, ”It is no secret that [in Israel] as well this event has been controversial, at least with regards to the publicity it should be given. I am reiterating this year as well, and from this podium: We must not ignore, diminish or deny this terrible genocide. We must differentiate between our current interests and the difficult past, which this dark chapter is a part of.”
”This is the correct and appropriate thing to do, seeing as we are part of the family of nations and a nation whose values of morality and compassion towards every human being are paramount. Let us not remain indifferent, albeit a bit late, to the suffering the Armenians experienced,” Edelstein said.
“We cannot remain apathetic, even if it’s late, to the suffering the Armenians experienced. Recognizing the Armenian genocide is important to us as human beings who carry the moral responsibility and constantly hope to improve the world and society,” Edelstein stated.