JERUSALEM – Israel’s parliament voted down on Wednesday an opposition motion to officially recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

The Knesset rejected the bill introduced by Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid party, by 41 votes to 28 after a first-ever debate on the sensitive issue held on the Israeli parliament floor. “There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid said.

Lapid made a case for the passage of the measure in a 3-minute speech that preceded the vote. He said an official Israeli recognition of the genocide is “a matter of conscience for Jews and non-Jews.” Also, he said, the mass killings and deportations of Armenians inspired Adolf Hitler to mastermind the Jewish Holocaust.

However, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely voiced the Israeli government’s opposition to the measure during the heated discussion. She said a parliamentary delegation was sent to Yerevan to participate in the 100th anniversary event, but will not take an official stance on the matter, “in light of its complexity and diplomatic repercussions, and because it has a clear political connection.”

Successive Israeli governments have opposed Armenian genocide recognition lest it antagonize Turkey, a former security partner of Israel. Some Israeli politicians have openly challenged this policy in recent years. The Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, called the Armenian massacres a genocide and urged the Jewish state to recognize it in 2015.

The Knesset debate on the genocide issue coincided with a visit to Israel by a delegation of Armenian parliamentarians. The five lawmakers representing various Armenian political groups were offered to attend the debate but declined to do that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

Legendary Armenian Spy Gevorg Vardanyan Dies in Moscow (Revised)

MOSCOW — Legendary Soviet secret agent of Armenian descent Gevorg Vardanyan has…

What Is the Secret to Trump-Erdogan Close Relationship?

This week the long-awaited memoir titled “The Room Where It Happened” by…

France Tells Turkey to Remove Jihadist Mercenaries from Karabakh

YEREVAN — France expects Turkey to withdraw Syrian mercenaries recruited for Azerbaijan…

Ragip Zarakolu Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Swedish MPs

ZURIKH — Members of the Swedish Parliaments have submitted Turkish human rights…