Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch
Knesset Speaker Yoel (Yuli) Edelstein said Wednesday that “Israel must recognize the Armenian Genocide,” signalling a potential departure from years-long Israeli policy to refrain from granting recognition to the Ottoman government’s systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians, YnetNews reports.
It is, Edelstein said during a speech in the Knesset, “the right thing to do as human beings and as Jews.”
The Knesset approved a proposal by Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg for an order calling on Jerusalem to recognize the genocide of the Armenian people between 1915 and 1917, with 16 supporting the move, and 10 opposing it in the sparsely-filled chamber.
Edelstein also rejected political voices urging that the recognition be granted solely as a retaliation against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who in recent days has intensified his rhetoric against Israel against the backdrop of violence on the Gaza border.
“I am ashamed to hear that elected officials and public figures are talking about the recognition of the murder as an ‘appropriate Zionist response’ to the despicable actions of Turkey after the recent events on the Gaza border,” he lamented.
Edelstein continued to attack the notion that something so morally obvious as a recognition of the American historical plight should be granted only to spite the bellicose Turkish president.
“Since when does Ankara appeal to our moral codes? Is history changing according to the nature of relations with a ruler like Erdogan?” he asked.