Israeli Parliament brings up ’Armenian genocide discussion’ amid Turkey political turmoil
While such a motion would not be considered an Israeli government move, it could worsen already tense ties with Turkey, which has accused Israel of “Nazism” over its killing of some 60 Palestinians on the Gaza border, Agence France-Presse reported.
Ahead of the vote on holding the discussion, Tamar Zandberg of the left-wing opposition Meretz party said the timing of her motion had nothing to do with the rise in tensions with Turkey.
A plenary discussion “would be a significant measure to the moral message Israel is sending the entire world,” she said.
The motion was approved 16-0, although a date for the plenary discussion has yet to be set.
Meretz has since 1989 tried to approve recognizing the century-old Turkish mass killings of Armenians beginning in 1915 as a “genocide,” with Israeli governments rejecting the efforts because of ties with Turkey.
Relations collapsed over the deadly storming of a Gaza-bound Turkish air ship by Israeli commandos in 2010, until a 2016 agreement normalized ties.
Violence on the Gaza border that resulted in the deaths of 60 Palestinians last week and the transfer of the US embassy to the disputed city of Jerusalem prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to lash out at Israel, accusing it of “state terror” and “genocide.”
The Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people were killed during World War I as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart, with almost 30 countries to date having recognized the killings as genocide.