TEL AVIV, Israel (Times of Israel) — The Israeli Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee on Monday, August 1 announced it recognizes the Armenian genocide and urged the government to formally acknowledge the 1915 mass slaughter of 1.5 Armenians as such.
“It is our moral obligation to recognize the Armenian Genocide,” said Committee Chair Ya’akov Margi (Shas) at a committee meeting
Margi expressed regret that the State of Israel does not currently recognize the genocide by Ottoman Turks 101 years ago, and called on Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to do so.
Israel’s refusal thus far to formally recognize the Armenian slaughter as genocide is based on geopolitical and strategic considerations, primary among them its relations with Turkey, which vehemently denies that Ottoman Turks committed genocide. Israel and Turkey signed a rapprochement deal in June, upgrading their diplomatic relationship after years of frosty ties worsened by a fatal melee between IDF soldiers and Turkish activists aboard a Gaza-bound ship in 2010.
During Monday’s meeting, Meretz MK Zehava Galon, Zionist Union MKs Zouheir Bahloul and Nahman Shai, and Joint (Arab) List MK Dov Khenin voiced support for the measure.
Earlier this month, Edelstein (Likud) urged Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide, despite the friction it might cause with Turkey.