Israel parliamentary vote on ‘Armenian genocide’ scrapped
An Israeli parliamentary vote scheduled for June 26 on recognizing the World War I killings of Armenians in the hands of the Ottomans as “genocide” has been cancelled because of government opposition, the lawmaker behind the initiative said.
Last month the Knesset had approved a motion penned by Tamar Zandberg of the left-wing opposition Meretz party to hold a plenary debate and vote on “recognizing the Armenian genocide.”
Turkey had expressed its opposition and to try to ensure the support of the governing coalition for her motion, Zandberg agreed to postpone the vote until after the Turkish elections on June 24.
On June 25, it became clear that the coalition was still opposed to Zandberg’s initiative, even after the elections won by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Despite the promises and delays and despite the Turkish elections being behind us, the government and coalition are refusing to recognize the Armenian genocide,” Zandberg said on Twitter late on June 25.
“I am therefore forced to cancel the vote,” she said.
The Israeli foreign ministry would not comment on Zandberg’s initiative since it did not involve legislation, Agence France-Presse reported on June 26.
It did however recommend the government postpone a vote on the bill earlier this month, over concern its advancement could benefit Erdoğan ahead of the elections.
Zandberg’s motion would not have been considered an Israeli government move, but could have worsened already tense ties with Turkey, which has accused Israel of Nazism over its killing of dozens of Palestinians on the Gaza border.
Relations collapsed over the deadly storming of a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship by Israeli commandos in 2010, until an agreement in 2016 normalized ties.
However, Erdoğan has slammed the Israeli government after fresh violence on the Gaza border earlier this year.