(ACF) The Education, Culture and Sports Committee of Israel’s Knesset held a session today to discuss about the possibility of setting a memorial day commemorating the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in 1915, by Turkey.
According to Israeli Press the Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) pointed out that the timing has nothing to do with the tension between Israel and Turkey. “We believe that as humans, as Jews and as citizens of the State of Israel – along with members of Knesset that are not Jewish – we must put the subject on the national agenda. We stand before the world with the utmost moral demand,” he said and added that “even the Turks understand that we cannot ignore our commitment as people, as Jews and as citizens of Israel.”
MK Zahava Gal-On who is the Chairwoman of the Meretz faction and a vivid supporter of the Armenian Genocide’s recognition commenting on Erdogan’s statements said that Turkey will find a way to preserve its diplomatic ties with Israel based on common interests. “For many years, Israel’s government has refused to recognize the genocide for cynical, strategic and economic, reasons, connected to its ties with Turkey,” said Gal-On.
National Union MK Ariyeh Eldad, one of the initiators of the discussion, said that “in the past, we were always told that we cannot discuss this subject because of our good relationship with Turkey. Now we are told we cannot discuss this because of our bad relationship with Turkey. We cannot erase a chapter in history. We cannot ignore this subject because of our interests.”
Former member of Knesset Haim Oron, who has been dealing with the subject for many years, added: “We don’t want this to end with this discussion, but with a statement that expresses the Knesset’s recognition in the Armenian genocide.”
National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror asked Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin to postpone the discussion, but Rivlin refused, saying: “As a nation that has suffered through a holocaust, we cannot ignore this issue, and therefore the hearing will be held as scheduled.”
Among others present at the meeting were members of the Armenian National Committee of Jerusalem and renowned Genocide expert Israel Charny, who were given the opportunity to address the Committee.
The discussion about setting an Armenian Genocide memorial day was postponed until the next hearing, whose date hasn’t been yet specified.