Parliament of Israel discusses ‘genocide’
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is seen at a parliamentary committee. AP photo
Israel’s Parliament on June 12 held a discussion marking the Turkish mass killings of Armenians, in a move likely to further strain already tense relations with Ankara.
“It is our moral obligation to remember and remind others of the tragedy that befell the Armenian people, who lost over a million of their sons during the First World War,” speaker Reuven Rivlin told lawmakers.
The discussion was the third consecutive year in which the Israeli Parliament has held such a hearing to commemorate “the anniversary of the killing of the Armenian people.” Rivlin said that recognizing the tragedy was not meant to cast blame on modern Turkey and was not “against the present Turkish government.”
“Perhaps the government of Israel will at last recognize, like 27 other countries around the world, the massacre of the Armenian people,” Agence France-Presse quoted Zehava Galon of the opposition Meretz party as telling parliament.
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, who represented the government during the discussion, said the Knesset should seriously debate the issue, and recognize it as genocide if it reaches that conclusion. National Union lawmaker Arieh Eldad called on Turkey to recognize its responsibility for its “historical crime,” which he said included children being “put into cellars and gassed.”
According to Jerusalem Post, Eldad quoted Adolf Hitler as having said “Who remembers what happened to the Armenians?” after he was asked what the world would say about his Final Solution against the Jews.