Israel's Armenian Genocide recognition dilemma, truth or political convenience
Israeli President recognized the Armenian genocide infront of UN assebly today "Distinguished guests, in 1915 Armenian genocide occurred"
"In Jerusalem nobody denied the murder occurred"
"One hundred years of hesitation and denial"
Israel's Armenian Genocide recognition dilemma, truth or political
Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:16 PM
Israel's Armenian Genocide recognition dilemma, truth or political convenience
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Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:17 PM
Rivlin tells UN: Don't falsely accuse Israel of genocide, fight the real thing
President implicitly recognizes Armenian Genocide during General Assembly Holocaust memorial; says clashes on northern border represent Israel's fight against 'global challenge of terrorism.'
President Reuven Rivlin told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that "cynical" accusations against Israel of genocide and war crimes harm the world body's ability to fight the real thing. Speaking at the assembly's ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Rivlin mentioned the 1915 Armenian Genocide – the killing of more than one million Armenian nationals by Turkey – which is not recognized as genocide by Israel.
Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:18 PM
do i need to change back to my old medicine ?? i'm i seeing thinks now ??
Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:21 PM
Did Israel’s President Recognize the Armenian Genocide at the UN? NO!
UNITED NATIONS—In remarks in front of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin seems to have recognized the Armenian Genocide.
As the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, Rivlin recognized the Armenian Genocide during the General Assembly’s Holocaust memorial while he was defending Israel against what he called “cynical” accusations of genocide and war crimes in his country’s dealing with Palestinians.
Rivlin called on the UN to set boundaries beyond which it would intervene to stop acts of genocide. He then said:”At the same time we must remember that the setting of red lines requires us to stop diluting and cynically exploiting them in the name of pseudo objectivity, as is done in the rhetoric of human rights with the use of terms such as ‘genocide’ for political purposes,” reported Haaretz.
“Nonetheless, absurd comparisons… which we as Israelis are exposed to constantly… not only confuse the ally with the enemy, but they undermine this house’s ability to effectively fight the phenomenon of genocide,” said Rivlin according to Haaretz.
Yaron Weiss, an Israeli human rights activist and an advocate of Genocide recognition, shared with Asbarez a translation, by Yoav Loeff, of Rivlin’s remarks, which were made in Hebrew at the UN General Assembly.
Rivlin said: “In 1915, the days of the Armenian Genocide, Avshalom Feinberg of the NILI underground [A Jewish spy network in Ottoman Palestine] wrote the following: ‘My teeth have been worn away by anger, who is next? I have walked on sacred and holy ground, on the road to Jerusalem, and asked myself if it is this time that we live in—1915–or in the days of Titus or Nebuchadnezzar? And I asked myself whether I may cry for the hurt of the daughter of My people alone and if Jeremiah did not shed his tears of blood also for the Armenians?’”
Rivlin added: “Feinberg wrote that exactly 100 years ago. 100 years of hesitation and denial. In the Land of Israel of the time, in which I was born, no one denied the murder that occurred. The residents of Jerusalem, my parents, saw them coming by thousands, starving, burning sticks snatched from the fire. In Jerusalem they found refuge and their descendants live there to this day.”
However, he concluded his remarks with the following statement: “On this day we must ask ourselves honestly, is our struggle, the struggle of this Assembly, against genocide, effective enough? Was it effective enough then in Bosnia? Was it effective in preventing the killing in Khojaly?”
In December, Asbarez, citing Israeli sources, reported that Rivlin, once an outspoken advocate of Israel’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, decided not to renew his signature on an annual petition calling for Israel to officially recognize the mass killings as Genocide.
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Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:23 PM
Rivlin calls on UN to do more to prevent atrocities
Speaking at UN Holocaust commemoration, president says mechanism needed for intervention in clearly defined cases of genocide
Read more: Rivlin calls on UN to do more to prevent atrocities | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofis.../#ixzz3QA4PUI7Z
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook
Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:13 AM
I will believe only when they do it in the Knesset, nothing else will do it for me. It seems AG is only mentioned when it helps their case against someone else which is hypocritical if you ask me. Nothing has changed, same old same old.
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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:41 AM
Maybe this is a trial balloon for the Turks (Erdogan), like more to come if you don't change your ways towards Israel.
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Posted 29 January 2015 - 05:54 PM
Yes, Egypt has done the same: threatening to recognize the Armenian Genocide when Turks accused the Egyptians of wrong doing for taking the government from murderous Muslim brotherhood.
Edited by Yervant1, 30 January 2015 - 09:46 AM.
Posted 31 January 2015 - 11:00 AM
Armenians and Jews: Natural Allies, Kindred Spirits
By Christopher Atamian
Armenians and Jews share many things in common: they are both ancient
Near Eastern people with a long and storied history. They have often
faced persecution, which culminated in the Armenian Genocide of 1915
and the Holocaust of the Jews in WWII. Adolf Hitler in fact modeled
the Holocaust on the Ottoman extermination of the Western Armenians.
The similarities between Armenians and Jews, and Armenians and
Israelis, go deeper in fact: both people are known for their prowess
in the arts and commerce and value education to an almost
preternatural extent. There is an Armenian quarter in Jerusalem that
dates back to at least the 4th century A.D. Armenia, broadly defined,
has known at last three historic migrations of Jews and was most
recently considered a haven for Soviet Jews, a land where
anti-Semitism was--and remains--virtually nonexistent. In fact when
you visit Armenia you will meet Armenians with names like Israel
Aharonian and Movses Kaplanian--the kinship has been lost over many
centuries of co-existence, but looking at names and even physiological
similarities, it is not hard to imagine how close these two people
have been historically.
Recent attempts by Azeri lobbies and right-wing writers in Israel to
portray Armenia as an anti-semitic country are abhorrent in the
extreme. Commentators such as Arye Gut--who is a member of the Board
of the Israeli-Azerbaijani International Organization--have recently
taken it upon themselves to deform the truth, openly lie and make up
incidents which simply don't exist in order to try to drive a wedge
between Armenia and Israel. Considering the denialist nature of the
Azeri government which will not even acknowledge the Armenian Genocide
and falsely accuses Armenia of starting the war in Nagorno-Karabagh,
none of this should be surprising. It won't work. Go to almost any
Armenian household in the Armenian Diaspora or the Republic of Armenia
and Jews are looked up to and even revered. Armenians are even known
in certain quarters as the "Jews of the Caucasus." In contrast, at the
recent Gezi Park demonstrations in Istanbul, Turkey--a close ally and
ethnic "cousin" of Azerbaijan--a policeman shooting at the
demonstrators was overheard shouting "You are not Turks, you are
Armenians and Jews."
In a recent open letter to world Jewry, the Head of the Jewish
Community in Armenia Rima Varzhapetyan Feller stated the following,
worth repeating in some detail: "...targeted efforts have been exerted
recently to cast a shadow on Armenian-Jewish relations...those
attempts cannot but fail. The history of the two ancient peoples -
Armenians and Jews - is full of similarities and mutual contacts, and
even with the utmost effort in the world, one can not derail those
relations....Can the restoration of the Jewish medieval cemetery in
one of the provinces of Armenia at the expense of funds allocated by
the Government, be considered as an expression of anti-Semitic
policy?...Armenians always treated Jews and the State of Israel with
admiration... one cannot even imagine holding anti-Semitic and
anti-Israel demonstrations in Armenia [such as those] which took place
in different towns of Azerbaijan a couple of years ago." "
Like Israel, Armenia finds itself surrounded by mostly hostile
states--in particular Turkey and Azerbaijan. Israel is in a difficult
position. It has been blackmailed by the Republic of Turkey into not
recognizing the Armenian Genocide, while oil rich Azerbaijan buys arms
by the bucket load from the tiny and imperiled Jewish state. But
Israel has recently learned during the Mavi Marmara incident that
Turkey and President Erdogan--and Azerbaijan by extension--are
fair-weather friends at best. And while it is true that Turkey let in
thousand of Jews fleeing the Inquisition into the Ottoman Empire, they
did so in large part because these wealthy immigrants helped them
finance their war against the powerful Republic of Venice and other
European states. Since then, Jews in Turkey and Azerbaijan have
regularly been persecuted. In 1915, as the Ottoman Empire's 3
million-strong Christian population was slowly extinguished, many Jews
saw the handwriting on the wall and emigrated. More recently as many
as 50,000 Jews were slaughtered and/or expelled from the Rumeli Region
alone. Hundreds of the Republic's wealthiest Jewish members were sent
to labor battalions along with Armenians during the wealth taxes
imposed on minorities in the 1950's.
In a recent piece in Ha'aretz cleverly titled "Baku to the future:
Azerbaijan, not Armenia, is Israel's true ally," Maxime Gauin and
Alexander Murinson repeat the same old canards about Karekin
Njhdeh--an Armenian revolutionary who fought the Ottoman Turks in
1915--and write about a supposed "Nazi" Armenian battalion in WWII.
Both writers are part of the extreme right-wing in Israel: for good
measure, the authors use a picture of the Presidents of Armenia and
Iran together at an official welcoming ceremony, implying that a
friend of Israel's enemy must be an enemy of Israel as well, an absurd
proposition in international relations. Armenians have a long history
of living in the Persian Empire and Iran is one of the only trade
partners Armenia has in the region as both Turkey and Azerbaijan have
blockaded the country--something that Israelis are all too familiar
with given long-standing Arab boycotts of their own country.
Unlike many countries in the region that have denied the Holocaust, on
January 27th the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan reiterated his
commitment to commemorating the event and recalled the similar
destinies of Armenian and Jew: "The genocide committed against the
Jews during the World War II was one of the most tragic pages in the
human history. January 27th symbolizes the liberation of the Auschwitz
concentration camp...This year Armenian people are commemorating the
Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, and we more than anyone empathize
with the pain of the Jewish people." You can't get much clearer than
Finally, I would like to recall that the Ottoman Turks led by Cemal
Pasha along with their Azeri allies planned to wipe out the entire
Lebanese and Jewish populations in Palestine after doing away with the
Armenians. If that, combined with the recent anti-semitic bile that
President Erdogan and Aliyev have both spouted is not enough to
convince Israel of who their true ally is, then nothing will. In fact,
most Armenians are not worried--everyone knows that Israel and
Armenia, and Armenians and Jews, are kindred spirits and friends. To
believe otherwise is simply to turn the world upside down.
Posted 31 January 2015 - 12:19 PM
Israel's president indirectly recognized Armenian Genocide - opinions
20:26 * 30.01.15
The mention of the Armenian Genocide by President of Israel Reuven
Rivlin during his speech in commemoration of the Jewish Holocaust at
the UN General Assembly was actually indirect recognition of the
Armenian Genocide, political scientist Hmayak Hovhannisyan told
The international community is making similar comments on the Israeli
president's speech as well.
"The Israeli president also clearly mentioned at the UN the fact that,
however hard one has to ignore the truth for political reasons, it
will inevitably require admission. His statement was a weighty one and
inspires hopes that the process of recognition of the Armenian
Genocide will gain new momentum on the threshold of the centennial, in
defiance of Turkish diplomatic cunning," he said.
Surrounded by Islamic states, none of which has so far recognized the
Armenian Genocide, Israel has had to remain passive, avoiding an
official recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
"It should be noted that numerous renowned Jewish figures both in and
outside Israel have repeatedly raised the issue of the Armenian
Genocide, drawing parallels with the Jewish Holocaust, especially in
the context of methods and purposes of annihilation of people. They
pointed out that Turkey-committed Armenian Genocide, inspired Hitler
and German Nazis to commit the Holocaust. By mentioning [the Armenian
Genocide], the Israeli president unequivocally said that that the
atrocity proved a precedent for the organizers of the Jewish
Holocaust," Mr Hovhannisyan said.
Asked whether the Israeli president's statement could cause any
problems in Turkey-Israel relations, the expert said that different
states interpret any global problem in their own interests.
"Certainly, the Armenian Genocide has now become a problem states are
seeking to use as a means of forcing Turkey into changing its behavior
in their own interests. They are also trying to make the problem a
touchstone of Turkey's readiness to adopt a policy of adopting the
western set of values. As a most important nation in the Middle East,
which plays a major role in the western civilization, Israel considers
it important to test Turkey's conduct and intentions," Mr Hovhannisyan
In remarks in front of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Mr Rivlin
said, in particular:
"In 1915, the days of the Armenian Genocide, Avshalom Feinberg of the
NILI underground [A Jewish spy network in Ottoman Palestine] wrote the
following: 'My teeth have been worn away by anger, who is next? I have
walked on sacred and holy ground, on the road to Jerusalem, and asked
myself if it is this time that we live in--1915-or in the days of Titus
or Nebuchadnezzar? And I asked myself whether I may cry for the hurt
of the daughter of My people alone and if Jeremiah did not shed his
tears of blood also for the Armenians?'"
Rivlin added: "Feinberg wrote that exactly 100 years ago. 100 years of
hesitation and denial. In the Land of Israel of the time, in which I
was born, no one denied the murder that occurred. The residents of
Jerusalem, my parents, saw them coming by thousands, starving, burning
sticks snatched from the fire. In Jerusalem they found refuge and
their descendants live there to this day."
Political scientist Ruben Mehrabyan points out that the Israeli
president's speech was actually indirect recognition of the Armenian
Genocide. He advises remembering that the issue has for years been
within the context of Turkey-Israel relations.
"It is sociological surveys conducted in Israel that show that most of
Israel's population views the events as nothing but genocide. I am
sure that Israeli society has no problem about it. Another question is
that it has not so far been legally formulated given the context of
Turkey-Armenian relations," he said.
Israel had for year been Turkey's ally - even until Recep Erdogan's
presidency. However, Turkey's Middle East policy has caused tension in
the bilateral relations.
"Their relations were affected long ago, with more and more problems
arising. Calls about the 1915 events are gaining strength in Israel
now, with even officials calling the events genocide - and the
president himself has uttered the word now, which is unprecedented,"
Mr Mehrabyan said.
As to the possibility of Israel officially recognizing the Armenian
Genocide, he said:
"Given the Israeli society's logic, one day Israel will officially
recognize it. It just needs some time and a way to pass. Regrettably,
Armenian-Israeli political and economic relations are at a much lower
level now than they could have been."
Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:15 AM
I'm not surprised because there is nothing new here, they (Government) were doing this for a long time.
Israeli President promises "a big step" to Armenian community
January 31, 2015 10:31
Yerevan/Mediamax/. Israeli Armenian community is outraged about
President Reuven Rivlin's attempt to equalize the Armenian Genocide
and Khojaly events during his speech at the UN General Assembly.
A few days ago, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed a speech at
the UN General Assembly touching upon 1915 Armenian Genocide:
"In 1915, the days of the Armenian Genocide, Avshalom Feinberg of the
NILI underground [a Jewish spy network in Ottoman Palestine] wrote the
following: 'My teeth have been worn away by anger, who is next? I have
walked on sacred and holy ground, on the road to Jerusalem, and asked
myself if it is this time that we live in -1915 - or in the days of
Titus or Nebuchadnezzar?", said the Israeli President.
He also said:
"Is our struggle, the struggle of this Assembly, against genocide,
effective enough? Was it effective enough then in Bosnia? Was it
effective in preventing the killing in Khojaly?''
Talking to Mediamax, Head of Armenian Cause National Committee of
Jerusalem Georgette Avagian said she was surprised that one of the
pioneers of Armenian Genocide recognition in Israel, Reuven Rivlin,
didn't call the 1915 events "Armenian Genocide" directly. Georgette
Avagian also noted that previously, as a President of Knesset, Rivlin
had repeatedly blocked Azerbaijani's efforts to submit a draft law on
Khojaly to the Knesset.
"It was Rivlin, as a Knesset Spokesman, that didn't allow such a draft
law to be submitted to the parliament. And now I am very much
surprised by the way he speaks about the events. It's obvious that his
stance has been influenced by the political interests and intentions
with Azerbaijan", said Georgette Avagian.
She said that the Armenian Cause National Committee informed the
President about being outraged with the speech. The President's Office
responded to Georgette Avagian that "the President will take a big
step toward Armenians.
Posted 10 February 2015 - 11:30 AM
Sheer politics, deny and apologize!
Prof. Auron Blasts Israel's President
For Calling `Armenian Genocide' a Massacre
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Israel's President Reuven Rivlin generated a major controversy after
his January 28 speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
As Speaker and member of the Knesset (Parliament), Revlin had led the
struggle for many years to have Israel recognize the Armenian
Genocide. But, after becoming President, like Pres. Obama, Revlin has
been reluctant to reconfirm his principled position on this issue.
Last month, Pres. Rivlin delivered a powerful speech at the UN General
Assembly's annual International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the
Victims of the Holocaust. Regrettably, Israel's President made two
serious errors. He called the Armenian Genocide a massacre and, to
balance those comments, referred to the Azeri deaths in Khojalu during
the (Karabagh) Artsakh war.
Here is an excerpt from Rivlin's UN remarks: `In 1915, when members of
the Armenian nation were being massacred, Avshalom Feinberg, a leading
member of Nili, the Jewish underground which cooperated with the
Allies during the First World War, wrote the following, and I quote,
`My teeth have been ground down with worry, whose turn is next? When I
walked on the blessed and holy ground on my way up to Jerusalem, I
asked myself if we are living in our modern era, in 1915, or in the
days of Titus or Nebuchadnezzar? Did I, a Jew, forget that I am a Jew?
I also asked myself if I have the right to weep over the tragedy of my
people only, and whether the Prophet Jeremiah did not shed tears of
blood for Armenians as well?'Avshalom Feinberg wrote that exactly 100
years ago -- 100 years of hesitation and denial! But in the Land of
Israel of that time, in the Jerusalem where I was born, no one denied
the massacre that had taken place. The residents of Jerusalem, my
parents and me
mbers of my family, saw the Armenian refugees arriving by the
thousands -- starving, piteous survivors of calamity. In Jerusalem
they found shelter and their descendants continue to live there to
Distinguished scholar Yair Auron, Professor at Open University of
Israel, was irate at his President's choice of words, despite his
personal friendship with him. Auron is a long-time advocate of
Armenian Genocide recognition by Israel and author of several books on
this subject. He is currently teaching at the American University of
On January 31, while I was delivering a lecture on the Armenian
Genocide at the newly-opened Komitas Museum in Yerevan, Prof. Auron
approached me and asked if he could address the audience. After
obtaining my consent, he read a personal statement, titled: `Apology
to my Armenian brothers':
`The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, made a remarkable speech with
very touching sentences, identifying honestly and profoundly with the
suffering of the Armenian people. But, intentionally, he did not use
the term Armenian Genocide, neither in Hebrew nor in English.'
Prof. Auron went on to disclose that Pres. Rivlin had told him
personally that `he had not changed his opinion, but that he cannot
declare it [genocide] as President of Israel. This, I can
understand. But, in the last minute before the speech, somebody,
probably from the Foreign Ministry of Israel, maybe even the Foreign
Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, told him to include this
terrible sentence: `Is our struggle, the struggle of this Assembly,
against genocide, effective enough? Was it effective enough then in
Bosnia? Was it effective in preventing the killing in Khojalu?''
Prof. Auron continued his criticism: `Mr. President, you used the name
of Khojalu in the context of genocide. You know well the difference
between genocide and massacre. ¦ Who proposed to you,
Mr. President, who asked that you make this terrible error? You do not
use the term genocide regarding the Armenian Genocide itself. Using
the term genocide, in the context of one village in Nagorno-Karabagh,
as if it was genocide, is unacceptable¦. You do not dare to use the
term genocide regarding the Armenian Genocide, and you define the
massacre of this village, that I am sure you did not know its name
just a few minutes before [your speech], as genocide. It is
sacrilegious, and by it, you betray the legacy of the Holocaust and
The righteous professor concluded his heartfelt remarks by pledging:
`Let me, my Armenian brothers, apologize in my name and on behalf of
many Israeli Jews. We are with you. We will not stop our struggle till
Israel recognizes the Armenian Genocide.'
Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:29 PM
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ARMENIA CALLS ON THE KNESSET TO RECOGNIZE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
The president of the Jewish community in Armenia Rima Varzhapetian
sent a message to the Israeli parliament (Knesset) on a forthcoming
discussion on recognition of the Armenian genocide.
The message says:
Dear Mr. Edelstein!
Dear members of the Knesset!
Members of the Jewish community of Armenia learned with great
enthusiasm and hope the next discussion on recognition of the Armenian
Genocide in the Knesset session.
The Knesset embodies a set of wise people to look and morally rights
of the Jewish diaspora.
We place great hopes on the positive decision of the Israeli
parliamentarians to recognize the tragedy of the Armenian people
If we want to build a future, we must honor the past and represent
an example to the new generation.
>From the onset of Genesis to the creation of the State of Israel and
until now, our people, the cost of enormous sacrifices, suffered the
greatest moral challenge to meet the main requirements of the Almighty
- the principle of justice.
Aware of this, the world's peoples, governments and parliaments in
many countries are closely watching the position of the State of
Israel and the Jewish Diaspora on this thorny issue - the recognition
of the Armenian genocide.
We, the Jews, have made the historic choice to make our universal
moral principles that can not bend to political contingencies of the
moment and an "opportunistic" misleading.
Looking straight into the eyes of Armenians, undergoing immense
suffering, we Jews, see, like in the mirror, the suffering of our
people. The hearts of most Jews and Armenians are waiting with
trepidation the most important decision for the future of both peoples.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015, StÃ©phane Â© armenews.com
Posted 22 October 2015 - 10:00 AM
JEWISH PUBLIC POLICY UMBRELLA CALLS ON US TO RECOGNIZE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
4 mins ago 21/10/15
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Jewish public policy umbrella called on the
U.S. government to recognize the World War I-era Turkish massacres of
Armenians as a genocide, a reversal of years of the Jewish community
treading delicately around the issue.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs at its annual meeting last
week called on Jewish community organizations to lobby Congress and
the White House to formally recognize the Armenian genocide. A JCPA
spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that the resolution was the umbrella
group's first recognition of the Armenian genocide.
The Reform movement has called the massacres a genocide, but many
other organizations have resisted such moves.
The JCPA decision, arrived at through consensus, reverses decades
of Jewish groups opposing any such recognition, largely to placate
Turkey, Israel's closest ally in the region until the last decade. Key
pro-Israel groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had lobbied against such
The deterioration in Turkey-Israel relations since Israel's war against
Hamas in the 2009 Gaza War -- Turkey backed Hamas -- has all but ended
lobbying by pro-Israel groups on behalf of Turkey. But because calling
the massacres a genocide has precipitated crises between Turkey and
other nations, until now there has been little appetite for actively
supporting such a recognition.
The resolution calls for the Jewish community to work with
Armenian-American groups to advance recognition of the genocide.
"We must not let the politics of the moment, or the U.S. government's
relationship with Turkey, sway our moral obligation to recognize the
suffering of the Armenian people," it says.
Posted 24 October 2015 - 10:52 AM
AFTER THE MUFTI, WILL NETANYAHU BLAME SWEDEN FOR THE HOLOCAUST?
Oct 23 2015
Revisionist attempts to deflect guilt away from the Nazis have a new
champion. If the Palestinian leadership was 'responsible' why not
blame the Turks and the Swedes too?
Stefan Ihrig Oct 23, 2015
Having been born and raised in Germany and living in Israel, this
week has been a strange one. As a historian dealing with Nazi
history and especially with its relations with the Muslim world,
it was even stranger. Holocaust revisionism and attempts to deflect
guilt away from the Nazis and from Germany are nothing new, but it's
more than a little surprising that they would find a champion in the
Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. If his remarks at the
37th Zionist Congress were strategy on Netanyahu's part, they betray
desperation. If they weren't, then once again we are forced to reflect
upon the intellectual abilities of the people we elect into office.
History and the past can be confusing territories. The recent years
have seen a growing body of research and literature illustrating just
how interconnected certain aspects of Nazi and German history were
with other parts of the world - including the Muslim world.
My own research, for example, uncovers broad and deep connections
between the history of Germany and Turkey as well as the importance
of the Armenian Genocide, for the Nazi road to genocide. This is
fascinating and indeed important, but the accepted wisdom on the
Nazis and the Holocaust seem to be so solidly established that any new
perspectives with a different and wider focus appears to disturb and
lead to confusion. Of course, Netanyahu is not alone in his confusion.
Many anti-Muslim groups and bloggers all over Europe and the
Americas abuse research such as mine as new canon fodder in their
war on everything Muslim. But then these activists are neither prime
ministers - nor children of famous historians.
If Netanyahu really believes that we should assign Hitler to a
secondary role and emphasize others who were allegedly involved in
the genesis of the Holocaust, why stop with the Mufti? What about
the Turks? The Nazis and Germany in general were well informed about
the Armenian Genocide (1915-1918) and surely drew conclusions and some
inspiration from it. Germany had been an ally of the Ottomans but after
World War I, Germany wanted to wash its hands of guilt by association
or even co-responsibility in the Armenian genocide. The early 1920s saw
a strenuous debate in the press centered on what had happened to the
Armenians during the war kickstarted by the publication of extensive
documentation by the German Foreign Office on the genocide. In 1921,
TalÃ¢t Pasha, former Grand Vizier and Minister of the Interior, was
assassinated by an Armenian in Berlin. And again the debate around the
Armenian Genocide flared up with surprising intensity and disturbing
conclusions, with commentators even justifying genocide as a 'normal'
When two former Ottoman leaders were assassinated the year after, again
in Berlin, German nationalist and hyper-nationalist papers spouted
hatred, now including "the Jews" in their attacks, and called for an
"ethnic surgeon" to cut away "the putrefaction-spreading pathogen"
mainly Eastern Jewish immigrants and other foreigners. There was
much that sounded exactly like Nazi discourse in these debates on
the Armenians and these were indeed important precursors. And yes,
the Nazis knew very much about the Armenian Genocide and took their
very own lessons away from it, too. Still, this does not mean that
the Turks can be held responsible for the Shoah.
Furthermore, Hitler admired Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as one of his
role-models for a host of themes and topics. In the midst of invading
Poland, Hitler even told the Turkish ambassador that he was copying
Ataturk. In Hitler's distorted dreams perhaps, but in reality the
two leaders had far less in common than Nazi discourse imagined.
And why stop with "the Muslims"? Why not blame the Swedes? As a
recent book demonstrates, Sven Hedin (1865-1952), the famous Swedish
"last explorer" and author of travel books that were international
bestsellers peddled ideas about how to solve the "Jewish Question"
to the Nazis. When visiting Hermann GÃ¶ring in 1939, with whom he
was on friendly terms, Hedin recommended deporting the Jews to the
Mesopotamian desert. To suggest the very same region to which the
Armenians had been deported during the First World War clearly implied
death by attrition - and Hedin knew exactly what he was suggesting to
GÃ¶ring. Hedin had travelled the region, the last time right in the
midst of the Armenian Genocide. But does that mean that the Holocaust
originated with Hedin in 1939? Are we to begin blaming the Swedes now?
Of course not - though it should change our image of Hedin.
All these new perspectives and foreign entanglements, influences, and
contacts cannot deflect guilt away from the Nazis. The Nazis simply
did not need the Mufti or Hedin. The Nazi path towards the Holocaust
was determined, if not over-determined, by all the German historical
actors and factors that we know and have known for quite some time.
New research does not, so far, question this, at least when it
comes to the authorship of and responsibility for the Holocaust and
the other atrocities and crimes committed by the Nazis. But still,
Sweden be warned, in this Russian roulette of the political abuse of
the Holocaust, you and Sven Hedin just might be next.
Stefan Ihrig is a historian and a Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer
Jerusalem Institute working on European and Middle Eastern history,
especially on entangled and transnational aspects. His books include
Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2014)
and Justifying Genocide - Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to
Hitler (HUP, 2016).
Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:12 AM
16:40 03/11/2015 » IN THE WORLD
First International Conference on Armenian Genocide is taking place in Israel
Yesterday, 02 Nov, the first international conference on the topic of the Armenian Genocide kicked off in Israel, Tel Aviv. The conference titled Marking one hundred years to the Armenian genocide, which is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide has been organized and hosted by the Open University of Israel, Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication.
The organizers of the conference are Dr. Yair Auron (Chairman), Dr. Isaac Lubelsky and Dr. Denis Charbit – professors who teach in a course on Genocide Studies at Open University of Israel (the only genocide course in Israel).
At the opening ceremony of the conference the President of the Open University Prof. Jacob (Kobi) Metzer, Dr. Yair Auron and Dr. Isaac Lubelsky made introductory speeches.
They said that the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was an important date for them; they spoke about the fact that Israel does not recognize the Armenian Genocide and emphasized that it is imperative for Israel to officially recognize it.
“It is my dream that Israel recognizes the Armenian Genocide. It won’t come soon but it will come… Almost 30 years I was struggling to have this event and because it is happening today, part of my dream is coming true. We are planning to make this an annual conference from now on”, - said Yair Auron to Panorama.am.
“The aim of the conference was to discuss the Armenian Genocide issue with academics in an open way… Overall the Open University deals with the issue of Genocide very seriously, that’s why this conference is important for us”, - Dr. Lubelsky told Panorama.am.
The conference also showcases exhibition Jewish Voices about the Armenian Genocide, which presents collections from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.
The opening ceremony was remarkable also because an Israeli choir conducted by Tomer Heiseg (Piano: Noam Ziggon) performed three songs for the audience one of which being famous Armenian song Erebuni Yerevan sung in the Armenian language.
At the end of the first day famous film Ararat about the Armenian Genocide by Atom Egoyan (starring Charles Aznavour) was shown.
The conference will last two more days. The participants include Jewish scholars as well as scholars invited from abroad (among them Turkish scholars as well).
On Wednesday a meeting of conference participants with President of Israel Reuben Rivlin is scheduled.
By Nvard Chalikyan
Posted 06 November 2015 - 10:37 AM
ISRAEL'S PRESIDENT RIVLIN ACKNOWLEDGES THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AGAIN
18:59 05/11/2015 Â" POLITICS
The President of Israel Reuven Rivlin said that his previously voiced
position on that the events of 1915 were Genocide of the Armenians
This is what the President told the participants of the international
conference Genocide: History and Memory - Marking one hundred years
to the Armenian Genocide whom he accepted in his residence on the
last day of the conference (04 Nov).
The meeting was not open to the press but Panorama.am interviewed
the conference participants who attended the meeting. They all said
that the President reiterated his previous position and that he is a
supporter of the Armenian cause; however for some reason he has to
refrain from making an official statement about it. The fact that
the President accepted the participants of a conference that was
on the Armenian Genocide, itself speaks about his support for this
cause and this fact was highly praised by everyone - the organizers,
the president of the Open University of Israel and the participants.
Israel officially continues not to recognize the Armenian Genocide
and remains in the camp of the deniers for one political reason or the
other. Many of the Jewish participants called this stance a "shame".
It can only be hoped that this conference, being the first of its
kind on this topic was a step forward.
Posted 11 November 2015 - 10:51 AM
Met with Israel's President, and
Spoke at Armenian Genocide Conference
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Last week I spoke at the first conference on the Armenian Genocide in
Israel, gave a lecture at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem, and
attended a meeting with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin.
Pres. Rivlin was a staunch supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition
while he was Chairman of the Knesset (parliament). As President, he is
now more circumspect, not wishing to contradict his government's
reprehensible silence regarding the Armenian Genocide. However, during
his meeting with the scholars attending the genocide conference last
week, Pres. Rivlin left no doubt that his position on the Armenian
Genocide has not changed. He even used the term `Armenian Genocide'
during the meeting. He also recalled his speech at the UN General
Assembly earlier this year in which he specifically referenced the
I reminded Pres. Rivlin that over two dozen countries have already
recognized the Armenian Genocide and that Israel should also
acknowledge it simply because it is the right thing to do! I expressed
the hope that with his continued support Israel would complete `the
missing page' of my book which lists the countries that have
recognized the Armenian Genocide!
I then handed Pres. Rivlin my book, `The Armenian Genocide, The World
Speaks Out: 1915-2015, Documents & Declarations,' a copy of the speech
I delivered at the conference, and my newspaper, The California
The Armenian Genocide conference was organized By Prof. Yair Auron and
the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at
The Open University of Israel. Among the distinguished speakers were:
Jacob Metzer, President of The Open University of Israel; Prof. Yair
Auron; Prof. Israel Charny; Prof. Elihu Richter; Prof. Dina Porat,
Chief Historian of Yad Vashem; Dr. Stefan Ihrig, author of `Ataturk in
the Nazi Imagination'; Ragip Zarakolu, a prominent human rights
activist from Turkey; Prof. Ayhan Aktar from Istanbul Bilgi
University; Ya'akov Ahimeir, Journalist and Editor of Israel
Broadcasting Authority's weekly international news survey on Channel
1; Benny Ziffer, Editor of the literary and cultural section of
Haaretz newspaper; and George Hintlian from Jerusalem's Armenian
In my conference presentation, I expressed regret that The State of
Israel has yet to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Here are excerpts
from my remarks:
`I must first draw an important distinction between the position of
the Israeli government and the people of Israel and Jews around the
world who have been some of the leading voices calling attention to
the Armenian Genocide and its recognition:
-- Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, during the
-- Franz Werfel, the Austrian Jewish novelist, who wrote in 1933 the
international bestselling novel, `The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.' His
book was translated into Hebrew in 1934 and was widely read by Jews
everywhere, particularly in the Warsaw ghetto, as a source of
inspiration for survival and resistance to the Nazis during the Shoah;
-- Raphael Lemkin, the Polish Jewish lawyer, who coined the term
genocide. He disclosed during a 1949 interview on the CBS-TV Program
Face the Nation: `I became interested in genocide because it happened
to the Armenians';
-- I would add to these historical figures the name of Yossi Beilin,
who spoke out on the Armenian Genocide as Israel's Minister of Justice
on April 24, 2000, and as Deputy Foreign Minister in 1994, despite
heavy pressures and criticisms from the Israeli government;
-- We also fondly remember Minister of Education Yossi Sarid who was
the keynote speaker in Jerusalem on April 24, 2000, the 85th
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He declared: `I am here, with
you, as a human being, as a Jew, as an Israeli, and as Education
Minister of the State of Israel.... Whoever stands indifferent in
front of it [genocide], or ignores it, whoever makes calculations,
whoever is silent always helps the perpetrator of the crime and not
-- I must include in this list of Righteous Jews, Professors Israel
Charny, Yair Auron, Yehuda Bauer, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie
Wiesel, and a large number of Jewish scholars who were the
trailblazers in writing articles and books on the Armenian Genocide,
even before Armenian scholars.
-- I must also commend Knesset members and former Knesset Chairman
Reuven Rivlin -- the current President of Israel -- who staunchly
supported Armenian Genocide recognition despite his government's
As it is well known, the Armenian Genocide was the `prototype' of the
Shoah in view of German complicity in the extermination of Armenians
in the Ottoman Empire. In the process of that criminal cooperation,
the German military learned from its Turkish ally practical evil
lessons on how to organize and implement the elimination of an entire
race! Hitler was emboldened by the silence of the world while
Armenians were getting wiped out, to confidently declare on the eve of
his invasion of Poland in 1939, `Who, after all, speaks today of the
annihilation of the Armenians?'
Consequently, The State of Israel should have been the first country,
and hopefully not the last, to recognize the Armenian Genocide! Who
should empathize more with the victims of a genocide than those who
have suffered a similar fate?
Those who give Realpolitik reasons to justify Israel's reluctance to
acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, should answer the following
question: Would they accept the denial of the Shoah by another
country, simply because it is in that country's strategic interest to
Equally illogical is the claim that now is not the right time to
recognize the Armenian Genocide! When is a good time to recognize a
genocide? Isn't 100 years of waiting long enough?
Moreover, for years, we were told that acknowledging the Armenian
Genocide would ruin Israel's good relations with Turkey. Now, we are
being told that Israel cannot acknowledge it in order not to make its
bad relations with Turkey worse!
It would be immoral to exploit the recognition of the Armenian
Genocide as a bargaining chip between Turkey and Israel. No political,
economic or military interest should override the recognition of any
Israel should recognize the Armenian Genocide for one reason only: It
is the right thing to do!'
Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:49 AM
YET ANOTHER CASE OF GENOCIDE DENIAL
November 12, 2015
By Garo Armenian
I was terribly disappointed last night listening to David Eagleman's
coverage of the topic of genocide in his widely acclaimed series on
the human brain on WETA.
Let me first say without any reservations that I am fascinated by the
quality of analysis and the superb presentation on the human brain
by Dr. Eagleman. He is a young and immensely erudite neuroscientist
providing a vital insight into the complex mechanisms of the human
brain, a window we all need to be able to deal with the complexities
of our everyday life in this chaotic society.
His segment last night dealt with the phenomenon of rejection and the
activity of the brain producing such destructive mental states leading
to fatal exclusion and genocide...A terrain which is yet to be fully
scrutinized by scientific research, and an imperative which definitely
must prevail in the line-up of priorities of our present era.
To prove his point, David Eagleman was quick to highlight the case of
the Jewish Holocaust characterizing it as "unprecedented". He then
covered the Srebrenica tragedy (of July 1995) in minute detail to
provide a recent model of genocide perpetration. Yet not a single word
about the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923). And not a single word about
Turkey, the first perpetrator state of this crime against humanity.
Eagleman spoke eloquently about the process in which fascism spreads
(through effective propaganda) and gets internalized by a whole society
making genocide a crime committed by not just a few in government,
but by an entire nation. The logical conclusion of his analysis being
that genocide is not just a historical fact and should not be treated
as such. It has a definite propensity to repeat itself.
A very disturbing prospect indeed! And in this context, Eagleman
pointed out that genocide still takes place in many places in the
world today making allusion to ISIS, but also specifically naming
Armenia...! That's right. Not Turkey, not Azerbaijan, not Sudan,
This is totally unacceptable.
Should this gross oversight by Eagleman be treated as a case of
utter ignorance? Could a top intellectual with encyclopedic knowledge
about the realities of the world claim ignorance about the Armenian
Genocide? How is it that Eagleman keeps using the term "genocide"
without realizing that the word was coined to characterize the
Armenian Genocide, in the first place? And what about the ongoing
criminal denial of genocide by Turkey, which is the most flagrant
form of exclusion and fascism shamefully tolerated by Turkey's NATO
allies and Israel to this date?
Dr. Eagleman, by considering the Jewish Holocaust "unprecedented",
you automatically place yourself on the side of the denial of the
Armenian Genocide by Turkey and, by so doing, you help perpetuate
exclusion, separation, rupture and polarization (my terms), the very
phenomena you have so aptly identified in your presentation. In fact,
shouldn't today's neuroscience be looking into the brains of genocide
deniers and their powerful accomplices everywhere? And, of course,
the brains of those who have been living with this sense of injustice,
it seems, forever.
Posted 22 November 2015 - 09:51 AM
Israel's President Rivlin Believes 1915 was Genocide but Refrains from
12:45 21/11/2015 ,WORLD
Panorama.am earlier covered the conference titled Genocide: History
and Memory ` Marking one hundred years to the Armenian Genocide that
was taking place in Israel from 02 to 04 Nov. Below are the interviews
of Panorama.am correspondent in Israel with the conference
participants (Prof. Marc Sherman, Prof. Elihu D Rchter, Dr. Israel
Charny, Chairman of the conference Yair Auron and California Courier
publisher Harut Sassounian) who met with the President of Israel
Reuven Rivlin on the last day of the conference. They share their
impressions from the meeting.
President Rivlin is well known to have expressed his views on that the
events of 1915 were Genocide. He advocated for the recognition of the
Armenian Genocide by Israel while he was a Member of Parliament.
However, after becoming the President he hasn't made a statement on
this issue in this capacity.
During the closed meeting with the participants of the conference
President Rivlin referred to his previously voiced views and said that
his position on this issue hasn't changed. However he noted that he
has to refrain from making an official statement on this issue for one
political reason or another.
Let us remind that in Israel the head of the state is the Prime
Minister (currently Benjamin Netanjahu), not the President, and even
if President Rivlin did make a statement this would not have amounted
to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Israel but would be of
a declarative nature. On the official level Israel continues to deny
the Armenian Genocide.
As to what extent Armenia needs the recognition of the Armenian
Genocide by the state of Israel is yet another question to be asked.
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