Knesset Speaker pulls Armenian Genocide bill from agenda “to avoid embarrassment”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein pulled the bill on recognizing the Armenian Genocide item from the Knesset agenda to avoid an embarrassment to the Knesset, because it was unclear there would be a majority in favor, the Jerusalem Post quotes his spokesman as saying.

The vote on recognizing the Armenian Genocide was set for Tuesday, after a motion to do so by Meretz chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg was approved 16-0.

Zandberg accused Edelstein of putting politics ahead of morality, dismissing the Knesset Speaker’s words in favor of her motion.

“Holding this debate, with a historic vote to recognize, is the right thing to do. Some preferred politics to doing the right thing,”
Zandberg said at a Meretz faction meeting Monday. “The Knesset should do what it promised. This is a matter of historic justice.”

Recognizing the Armenian Genocide, she argued, “shouldn’t hurt ties with any country. This is a basic moral issue…. We, the Jewish people, know the value of recognizing national tragedies.”

The Foreign Ministry has not made any official statements about the Knesset recognizing the Armenian Genocide, including during last week’s vote, unlike in previous years, when it openly opposed such motions.

However, a ministry source confirmed that ties with Azerbaijan are important, and pointed out that last week both Edelstein and Zandberg said the matter of recognizing the Armenian Genocide should be discussed on its own, and not as a way to get back at Turkey.

Knesset vote on the Armenian Genocide has been postponed, Archimandrite Koryun Baghdasarian from the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem earlier told Public Radio of Armenia that the vote had been postponed, but provided no further details on the causes of the delay.

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