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Israel's Armenian Genocide recognition dilemma, truth or political

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#21 Yervant1


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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:23 AM

Genocide! What Genocide? I have no idea what you're talking about. (Sarcasm intended)

Agence France Presse

December 18, 2015 Friday 4:27 PM GMT

Neighbourhood tensions push Turkey to Israel rapprochement

Istanbul, Dec 18 2015

Seeking to make up for drastically worsening ties with neighbours Iran
and Russia as well as bolstering its energy security, Turkey is moving
to restore full relations with Israel after falling out more than five
years ago.

NATO member Turkey was for years seen as the main Muslim ally of the
Jewish state, but ambassadors were withdrawn following the deadly
storming by Israeli commandos in 2010 of a Turkish aid ship bound for

But in a surprise announcement, Israeli officials said Thursday that
initial understandings had been agreed with Turkey at secret talks in
Switzerland on normalising ties.

Turkish officials said no agreement on reconciliation had yet been
reached but confirmed for the first time that the discussions were
making progress.

The talks -- led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen for Israel and Turkey's
powerful foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu -- have
also been accompanied by a conspicuous change in tone from Turkey's
outspoken President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan, a stout defender of the Palestinian cause, in July 2014 was
accusing Israel of "keeping Hitler's spirit alive" over its offensive
in the Gaza Strip that summer -- incendiary comments that infuriated
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But this week he said: "We, Israel and the Palestinians and the region
have a lot to win from a normalisation process."

- 'Changing dynamics' -

The about-turn has come amid a drastic worsening of ties between
Turkey and Russia following Ankara's downing of a Russian warplane
over Syria on November 24, which has wrecked several joint cooperation
projects including on energy.

In a rapidly-changing regional context, mainly Sunni Muslim Turkey's
relations with mainly Shiite Iran -- Israel's arch foe -- are
deteriorating as Tehran assists Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who
Ankara wants ousted.

"During the past few years, we heard a number of times that Turkey and
Israel were about to mend their relations, but each time the process
collapsed," said Marc Pierini, visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe.

"This time around, there are a number of reasons for both countries to
make a fresh effort," he told AFP.

He said Turkey was confronted with "a largely stalled Middle East
policy... It needs some real positive news."

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu coined the phrase describing
Turkish foreign policy as "zero problems with neighbours", a comment
that is now roundly mocked as Ankara faces troubles on almost all its
borders amid the Syrian civil war.

With President Vladimir Putin in no mood for forgiveness, the dispute
with Moscow is of major concern for Ankara, which relies on Russia for
over half its natural gas imports.

Despite delays, Israel is set to become an important supplier of
natural gas once its 18.9 trillion cubic feet Leviathan gas field
begins production, a development Turkey is closely watching.

"Israeli gas could be a serious game changer while Turkey is having
problems with its biggest gas supplier Russia," said Ozgur Altug,
chief economist of BGC partners in Istanbul.

Verda Ozer, foreign policy commentator at the Hurriyet newspaper, said
the sudden progress was due to "the changing dynamics in the region
and the new balance of power".

"The gas dispute with Russia and joint energy projects that could be
halted forced Ankara to seek alternatives," she wrote Friday.

- 'Tangible progress' -

According to Israeli officials, the start of talks on gas exports to
Turkey is a one of the key points in the plan for a deal on
normalising ties.

Israel will also compensate victims of the 2010 raid on the Mavi
Marmara ship that left 10 activists dead, but Turkey will drop all
legal proceedings over the issue, according to Israel.

Meanwhile, Turkey will prevent senior Hamas operative Salah Aruri from
entering its territory.

The reconciliation is not yet a done deal. A senior Turkish official
said Friday the two sides had not signed an agreement but were nearing
a final framework.

"There is tangible, positive progress," said the official.

Relations were damaged but never entirely broken. Trade doubled in the
period from 2009 to 2014, while Israeli tourists are again returning
to Turkey.

The reconciliation will also please the European Union, NATO and above
all the United States, which in 2013 brokered an Israeli apology for
the Mavi Marmara incident but not a final deal.

Pierini said that in 2016 Turkey could also be seeking "good news" on
ending the four-decades division of Cyprus and the dispute with
Armenia over whether Ottoman-era killings constituted genocide.


#22 Yervant1


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Posted 25 January 2016 - 10:52 AM


14:08, 25 January, 2016

YEREVAN, JANUARY 25, ARMENPRESS. January 27 is the remembrance day
of Holocaust victims. In over 30 countries of the world, including
Armenia, numerous memorial events are organized on that day. The
Jewish community of Armenia, together with the UN office in Armenia,
will organize a memorial event on January 27. The Head of the Jewish
Community of Armenia Rima Varzhapetyan told about this at "Armenpress"
media hall.

"Like the previous years, this year again we will gather at the
memorial dedicated to the Genocide of the Armenian people and the
Holocaust, and put flowers to pay tribute to millions of Jewish
martyrs", Rima Varzhapetyan said.

Referring to the developments in the Middle East and other parts of
the world, Rima Varzhapetyan mentioned that today Nazi forces are
emerging, maybe forgetting the vicious realities of the 20th century.

"We are witnessing painful developments in the Middle East and other
countries. And if we do not say today "never again", recurrence of
Holocaust years cannot be ruled out", Rima Varzhapetyan said.

In the words of the deputy head of the Jewish community in Armenia
Karen Hovhannisyan, unfortunately, the world took no lessons from
the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and later the Holocaust. "Inhumane
developments go on. We witnessed what happened in a number of
African countries, today the situation is tense in Europe. I think
all these must foster sober-minded people to recall the past and
do everything to exclude the black pages of the past to reoccur",
Karen Hovhannisyan said.

To the question why Israel has not recognized the Armenian Genocide
till now, Karen Hovhannisyan mentioned that politics matters here.

"According to a survey conducted in Israel, the majority of the
public favors Armenian Genocide recognition. Unfortunately, often
the opinion of the public and politicians differs. Many politicians
promise during their pre-electoral campaign that they will recognize
the Armenian Genocide in case of being elected, but as soon as they
are elected, they forget their promise", Karen Hovhannisyan said. The
representatives of the Jewish community highlighted the role of public
diplomacy for that issue.


#23 Yervant1


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Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:37 AM

Mighty dollar at work again!


13:36, 19 Feb 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Meretz chairman MK Zehava Galon charged Wednesday that Avigdor
Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party is getting financial support
from Azerbaijan government officials in return for advancing Baku's
political and financial interests in Israel, Haaretz reports.

According to Galon, Yisrael Beiteinu is supporting the interests
of the Azeri national fuel company and has been actively working to
prevent Israel from officially recognizing the Turkish genocide of
Armenians during World War I, because of Azerbaijan's territorial
feud with Armenia.

Galon said that she has filed a complaint on the matter to Attorney
General Avichai Mendelblit, along with evidence of her claims. Party
chairman Lieberman vehemently denied Galon's allegations, saying
"not a word of what Galon said is true."

Galon made the statement in the Knesset Wednesday while condemning
Yisrael Beiteinu's support of the so-called "transparency bill,"
which primarily targets left-wing NGOs that get funding from foreign
governments. Galon charged that Lieberman's own party benefited from
Azeri government money.

"You are the foreign agents of the Azeris," she said. "You are getting
benefits from them; you have set up organizations through which
you get money from them. You set up the organization called AZIZ,
you are part of the management of AZIZ.

"Knesset colleagues, the AZIZ organization, the Israel-Azerbaijan
International Association, serves as a financial and organization
platform for Yisrael Beiteinu, and is funded by Azeri government
officials. You are party of AZIZ's management in a revolving
door fashion; whoever isn't an MK or a minister is part of AZIZ's

"Avigdor Lieberman, when he was foreign minister, attended a conference
funded by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, the same
company that a year before Lieberman helped get involved in oil and
gas drilling off the Israeli coast. This company got a five percent
share, and it's funded by a foundation headed by the president of
Azerbaijan," said Galon.

She added that former Yisrael Beiteinu MK Faina Kirschenbaum "named a
street in Israel after the father of Azerbaijan's great dictator." The
Meretz leader also accused Lieberman and his party of "working to
prevent the recognition of the Armenian genocide because you are
envoys of the Azerbaijan government and because of Nagorno-Karabakh.

You are getting millions from Azeri sources through the fund you've
set up and you dare to speak of and demand transparency from civic
society groups. You are a corrupt gang and now you are seeking to
work against civic society organizations."

Lieberman categorically denied Galon's claims, saying, "In this case,
as usual, there is not a word of truth in what Zehava Galon is saying.

MK Galon, who was questioned for hours by the police [in 2001 on
suspicion of financial irregularities in a peace center she ran]
and whose case was closed for lack of evidence, has turned lies and
libel into a way of life. Even Meretz doesn't deserve such a shallow
and deceitful leader like Zehava Galon. In any case, every lie by
Zehava Galon against me and Yisrael Beiteinu is a big compliment."




#24 Yervant1


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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:09 AM


09:24, 22 February, 2016

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 22, ARMENPRESS. In the near future it will be clear
when the bill on the Armenian Genocide will be included in the agenda
of the plenary session of the Knesset, the Chairman of the Armenian
National Committee Hakob Sevan said during a phone conversation with

"We are currently working on determining the exact date. We expect
this to be clear in the nearest future. As we know, the bill on the
Armenian Genocide was discussed in Knesset's Education, Culture and
Sports Committee and now we are waiting for it to be included in the
plenary session' s agenda and discussed, "Hakob Sevan said.

He noted that positive changes are observed in Israel regarding the
Armenian Genocide issue. "There has been considerable progress in
the approach of Israel's Knesset towards the Armenian Genocide issue
in recent years. We are carrying out works on different levels. In
particular, we are working with those MPs who have a positive stance
regarding the Armenian Genocide, "Hakob Sevan said. According to
him, their number is growing. Hakob Sevan also positively evaluated
the conferences and initiatives which were organized in scientific
institutions on the issue of the Armenian Genocide.


#25 Yervant1


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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:02 AM

Why Israel's Alliance With Azerbaijan Is So Shortsighted

Christopher Atamian

May 1, 2015

Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, took two steps forward when he met with Israeli Armenian leaders on April 24 but one step back when he failed to characterize the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks for what it was — genocide. As many Jewish scholars have pointed out, this sets a dangerous precedent as it trivializes the Armenians’ deaths, encourages denial and emboldens future dictators to commit genocide once again.

Living in a country that is home to so many grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, Israelis should be ashamed of their president’s lack of boldness on this issue. It is time for Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide and press Turkey to apologize and consider the issue of reparations in a serious and fair way. A recent editorial in The Jerusalem Post noted: “Founded in the shadow of the Holocaust, the State of Israel is a living testament to the failure of the international community to prevent genocide… Israel has an obligation to live up to that legacy by using its political sovereignty to prevent genocide not just against Jews but against any group…. Pope Francis has publicly recognized the Armenian Genocide. Now it is Israel’s turn.”

But there’s another problem. In addition to failing to recognize the past crimes committed against the Armenians, Israel has formed a strange alliance with Armenia’s enemy Azerbaijan, selling billions of dollars in arms to an authoritarian regime that is fueling regional conflict. This is the same country that attempted to wipe out the entire Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh in 1991 before losing a bloody war against the Armenians.

In 2012 alone, Israel sold Azerbaijan $1.6 billion in weaponry that included advanced drones and anti-missile launchers. As the Israeli Holocaust scholar Yair Auron has recently characterized it in Haaretz, “The sale of weapons to a government committing genocide is like the sale of weapons to Nazi Germany during World War II.” Azerbaijan’s long time president, Ilham Aliyev, has on numerous occasions sworn to “wipe Armenia off the face of the earth.” Sound familiar?

It’s worth noting here also that the Azerbaijanis are close allies with Turkey, a country that has committed numerous acts of violence and murder against its Jewish populations going back to the killing and expulsion of 50,000 Jews earlier this century in the Rumeli region, and deporting the wealthiest Jews and Christians in Turkey to labor camps during the infamous wealth tax episodes in the 1950s. As far back as the early 1900s, Azerbaijan’s minister of the interior, Behbud Khan Javanshir, an ally of the Young Turks, was part of the leadership responsible for carrying out the Armenian Genocide. Some historians believe that after killing the Armenians, the Young Turks planned to annihilate the Lebanese and the Jews in Palestine, but after World War I the allies stopped them. In the past several years alone, Hezbollah has opened offices in Turkey. Also several public anti-Semitic rallies have been held in Azerbaijan. As the rise of open anti-Semitism in Turkey and Azerbaijan continues, it should be clear that these countries are no friend of Israel or of the Jews.

The arms that Israel provides Azerbaijan will only help to increase a regional arms race that will benefit no one: Russia (which has also sold arms to Baku) will continue to counter Israeli sales and support Armenia. Does Israel really want to have another anti-Semitic state to the North with sophisticated weaponry? And fomenting trouble on the Iranian border of Azerbaijan — which seems to be the main reason for Israeli arms sales to that country — is simply goading a very large regional power into war rather than seeking peace.

Jews and Armenians are kindred spirits and, throughout their respective diasporas, the best of friends. For 70 years during the Soviet era, Armenia was a haven for Soviet Jews fleeing Russian anti-Semitism. It remains so today, with two active synagogues. Armenia’s first president, the Syrian-born Levon Ter-Petrossian, was proud to have a Jewish wife. Two Armenian world chess champions, Garry Kasparov and Levon Aronian, are half Jewish. And all you have to do is look at Armenian names such as Movses Israelian and Isaac Kaplanian to realize that the two people are intimately linked. Moreover, Armenians biblically consider themselves to be the sons of Noah and the grandsons of Japheth. How much more Jewish can you get? Finally, in Israel itself 3,000 Armenians live mainly in Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter and in Tel Aviv. Here as elsewhere, although they are the tiniest of minorities, demographically they have contributed to Israel’s success, providing leading businesspeople and artists. Jerusalem’s Armenian pottery, for example, is famous the world over.

So the takeaway for Israel and its leaders should be simple: Help Armenia, do not harm it. Begin to show the moral courage that you expect the rest of the world to show your own great country. Stop selling arms to Azerbaijan. Recognize the Armenian Genocide, and help this struggling country to grow and thrive. It may not seem so to some myopic politicians and right-wingers, but in the end such an alliance can only benefit both nations.

Christopher Atamian is a writer whose work has appeared in the Huffington Post. His paternal grandparents are Armenian Genocide survivors.

Read more: http://forward.com/o.../#ixzz45EH6CshT

#26 Yervant1


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Posted 02 May 2016 - 09:56 AM

Israeli Professor: Process of recognition of Armenian Genocide
proceeds brilliantly with outstanding results

11:38, 2 May, 2016

YEREVAN, MAY 2, ARMENPRESS. Israeli researcher, Executive Director of
the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem Israel Charny
had his significant contribution in the development of genocide
studies throughout the world. Professor Charny gave an interview to
“Armenpress” on the issues of the Armenian Genocide and the denialism
over it.

-Professor Charny, you have long been a staunch advocate for the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide. What is your assessment of that
process at the moment?

-The process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide has proceeded
brilliantly with outstanding –though still incomplete—results around
the world. I think our efforts should continue, especially towards
the two stubbornly disturbing countries of the USA and Israel. But I
also agree with Harut Sassounian (Editor-in-Chief of “California
Courier” journal) that the times has come when there is a basis for
Armenians suing through legal channels for reparations and not only
seeking recognition.

-Do you think that the recognition of this genocide by the
international community might force Turkey to face its history?

-It certainly won’t hurt. The image and status of Turkey
internationally is falling progressively, in my opinion. However, who
knows what the next developments in Turkey will be. To maintain his
fascist controls. Erdogan has persecuted so many people on charges of
revolting that one can pray he himself will yet bring about popular

-As a genocide scholar how would you explain the phenomenon of
denialism on the Turkish side?

-For me it is a mixture of motives—beginning with continuation of the
very dark motives (such as claims of ethnic superiority) that made the
genocide to begin with that have not passed, continuing with a
desperate collective psychology of guarding against being shamed as a
nation and culture, and add to those the dynamics in many an
organization in this world that fight against change of any entrenched
idea. Ultimately, the denial makes the Turks look like fools – and

-What role could the recognition play in the prevention of future
genocide, while we witness genocides and mass atrocities in Syria

-The more human civilization establishes codes of honest history and
clear recognition of acts of destruction, the better life could be on
our planet—which tragically still acts like a psychiatric hospital
that has spun out of control.

-You have also advocated for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide
by Israel, though it never came true yet. How would you explain this?
What are the main reasons for Israel to refrain from the recognition?

-Oh, dear God. Our shame as a country indeed continues and even
deepens despite the fact that we have demonstrated overwhelming
support for recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Knesset, also
by our fine President Rivlin, and by the people at large. For example,
today’s Haaretz again publishes a prominent article calling for
recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and I have been informed by the
electronic newspaper Times of Israel that they will be publishing a
piece by me protesting the sale of Israeli arms to an enemy of
Armenia. The culprit in our system is the government including the
Foreign Ministry. And they remind me so clearly of the US State
Department’s deep resistance to helping Jews in Europe during the
Holocaust. (My bad luck is that these are the two countries in which
I hold citizenship.) The realpolitik considerations of the Israeli
government are of course the benefits of relationships with Turkey and
Azerbaijan – both of which in my opinion are untrustworthy, let alone
that in a matter of genocide I am convinced that moral principle
should prevail over any realpolitik interests.


#27 Yervant1


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Posted 03 May 2016 - 03:32 PM

Israel’s siding with Turkey means betraying Armenians, Kurds: JPost

May 2, 2016 - 14:49 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - There are currently 2,000 open investigations and
court cases in Turkey against individuals suspected of and charged
with “insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” political adviser and
writer on the Middle East Annika H Rothstein says in an article on the
Jerusalem Post.

“After recently having a Dutch journalist arrested in her home after
criticizing Erdogan on Twitter and demanding of Germany that a Turkish
satirist be arrested and extradited (a demand that was granted by
German Chancellor Angela Merkel) there is little doubt that the
Turkish government is serious about playing offense against foreign
media daring to stand up to the regime,” Rothstein said.

“This is happening on top of the ongoing and persistent violence
toward and oppression of Kurds in Turkey, something that, much like
theArmenian Genocide, is vehemently denied by Erdogan and his

Citing Erdogan’s recent remarks that the Armenian Genocide never
happened and that “anyone who claims it did is an enemy of Turkey,”
the author analyses the reasonability of Israel’s moves to mend ties
with the Muslim nation.

“This development is worrisome for many reasons, and Israel should
think twice before getting in bed with the likes of Erdogan,”
Rothstein says.

Remembering the millions of Armenians, Greeks, Kurds and other
minorities murdered by the Ottoman Empire in the Genocide of 1915, the
author says that Israel has great friends in the Kurds, and standing
with Erdogan and his AK Party means actively selling them out, and to
a larger extent selling out the values that “Israel alone champions in
the region by not using its voice to condemn the anti-democratic
Islamist regime in Ankara that goes beyond laws, borders and decency
to oppress its people.”

“Whatever short-term gains could come from not speaking truth to
Erdogan’s power will surely be counteracted by the long-term harm of
warming up relations that are better kept deep-frozen,” the writer


#28 Yervant1


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Posted 04 May 2016 - 08:47 AM

So called Israeli allies, can't understand how can the Israeli government help the Turkish government when these young historians are future Turkish leaders praising Hitler, go figure!

2 Turkish students may be imprisoned for 2 years for “Heil Hitler!” in Auschwitz

22:52, 03.05.2016

Two Turkish students have been detained in Poland for their fascist
greetings by the memorial gates of Auschwitz concentration camp .
Moreover, the students turned out to be historians.

The law breakers were noticed by the security guards and museum
workers, Polish TVN24 TV channel reports.

According to the spokesperson for the Polish police Mariusz Ciarka,
the security guards noticed a young man and a girl by the main gates
of the camp. They showed Hitler’s gestures, including the so-called
greeting “Heil Hitler!” The police arrived at the scene and detained
them. The detainees turned out to be 22-year-old students from Turkey,
who study history in one of the European universities.

“We detained them for a night. We [also] listened to witnesses. Photos
are available. Besides, we plan to listen to the museum director and
file charges on the basis of all the materials. These actions contain
apparent elements of fascist state order propaganda. This violation is
punished by up to two years of imprisonment,” Ciarka noted.



#29 Yervant1


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Posted 09 May 2016 - 09:30 AM

Haaretz, Israel
May 8 2016
Aznavour Belatedly Sings Praises of His Family, Who Saved Jews From Nazis
Charles Aznavour's family hid Jews in their home during the German occupation of Paris in World War II, French-Armenian singer reveals in new book.
Avner Shapira

“I knew the chains/I knew the wound/I knew the hate/I knew the hurt/ the thirst and hunger/I knew the fear/from one day to the next.”

So go the lyrics to Charles Aznavour’s song “J’ai Connu,” from his 50th studio album, released in 2011. The song, told from the perspective of a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps, doesn’t describe the singer’s direct experiences during World War II. But Aznavour, who will celebrate his 92nd birthday later this month, did have some personal awareness of some of the horrors depicted in the song, as the son of refugees who survived the Armenian genocide and rebuilt their lives in Paris after losing most of their relatives.

Although Aznavour’s life has been extensively chronicled, up to now he has said very little about an especially humane and heroic chapter in his and his family’s life: Their decision to shelter and save Jews, Armenian deserters and underground activists in their home during the German occupation of France during the war, and their involvement in anti-Nazi activity.               


Now Aznavour has decided to tell the whole story, in Hebrew, in a self-published book, “Matzilim (Tzadikim) Ve’Lohamim” (“Righteous Saviors and Fighters”), by genocide researcher Prof. Yair Auron. The latter spoke at length with Aznavour and his sister, Aida Aznavour-Garvarentz, who told him about their lives under the German occupation and what led their family, especially their father, to take part in rescue missions despite the many risks. The book, which will also be translated into French and Armenian, recounts a specific case, but offers a moral lesson on human behavior under conditions of widespread terror, and political and ideological violence. Above all, it is the moving story of survivors of one genocide who, at great personal risk, felt compelled to help victims of another.

In an interview conducted by email, Aznavour emphasizes the common threads that bind the Armenians and Jews.

“We come from the same pain and the same suffering, and without the annihilation of the Armenians in 1915-1918, the annihilation of the Jews in the Holocaust would not have been possible, because the Germans learned from their predecessors,” he writes.                

He cites what Hitler told the commanders of the German army in August 1939, on the eve of the invasion of Poland, as he tried to dispel their anxiety over the use of extreme violence: “Who talks about the annihilation of the Armenians anymore?”

Auron says German officers who were involved in the command of the Turkish army in World War I and signed orders to expel the Armenians later served in high-ranking positions in the Nazi leadership and took part in the annihilation of the Jews.

Aznavour say he knew many Jews when he was a child in Paris.

“We grew up together in the Le Marais district, where many refugees and immigrants – including many Jews and Armenians – lived in the period between the two world wars. My father’s stall in the market was next to the stalls of some Jewish vendors.

“Armenian peddlers, including my father, looked after the stalls of the Jews after they were arrested in the mass deportation of Parisian Jews [“the roundup”] in July 1942. So taking in and hiding Jews in our home during the war was a very natural thing for us to do: they were our neighbors and friends,” he adds. “We had a life together. We were there for them and they were there for us. We had to try to help them, just as it was natural for us to try and help the Armenians who were drafted into the German army and deserted.”

In his three previous autobiographical works, Aznavour made very little mention of these acts of salvation. He told Auron he didn’t think they were so special and didn’t want to be perceived as immodest. But the professor convinced him of the importance of telling the story. Now the singer says, “I’m very proud of my family’s story and the beautiful, noble humanity of the act of rescue. Nothing makes me happier than to think that my dear parents saved people’s lives.”

1895962933.jpg A portrait photograph of the Aznavour family in the 1920s. Charles' father, Mischa (center), is next to his wife, Knar. Aznavour family

Burning the uniforms

Aznavour was born in Paris on May 22, 1924, not long after his parents first arrived there. His father, Mischa Aznavourian, was born in Georgia in 1895 and lost his entire family in the Armenian genocide. His mother, Knar Baghdasaryan, was born in Izmir in 1904, and only she and her grandmother out of her entire family survived the genocide.

The couple fled Turkey on an Italian ship that brought them to Thessaloniki, Greece, where their eldest daughter, Aida, was born in 1923.

The family had many Armenian friends in Paris, among them a couple named Mélinée and Missak Manouchian. The latter was the military commander of the underground group known as L’Affiche Rouge (The Red Poster), which was the first to carry out armed resistance actions against the Nazis. Aznavour’s family aided the group on many occasions and also hid the Manouchians for several months while they were being hunted by the French police and Gestapo.

The first time the family hid someone during World War II was when a friend of Aznavour’s father brought his brother to them – a Romanian Jew who lived in Germany, was accused of subversion and sentenced to death. He had managed to escape to France disguised as a German soldier, and he knew that the Gestapo was after him. He found refuge in the family’s three-room apartment at 22 rue de Navarin, in Paris’ ninth arrondissement.

At the start of the war, Aida recounts in the book, “We understood that the Jews were going to be the victims of brutality. We looked upon the Jews with sadness and sorrow. We knew what genocide was.” She says her parents showed no hesitation in taking in the Jewish refugee, “even though it was clear that if the Nazis found this man in our house, they’d kill us right away. We told him that our home was his home, and we treated him warmly, like a good friend who had to extend his stay. For a few days, he even slept in the same bed as Charles.”

Sheltering 11 refugees at a time

The two Aznavour children, who were 16 and 17 at the start of the German occupation in 1940, pitched in to help, not knowing then that they would go on offering shelter to strangers. But then a woman came to the family, asking them to hide her Jewish husband, whose name was Simon. He had escaped from the Drancy internment camp, where the Jews of Paris were sent before being sent to the concentration camps outside of France.

For a while, the family also sheltered another Jew, and later on their apartment also served as a hideout for Armenians who’d deserted after being forcibly drafted into the Germany army.

Aznavour and his sister say there were days when 11 refugees were all hiding in the family’s apartment simultaneously. They hid in different corners of the house, and at night had to sleep on the floor.

The family prepared false papers for them, and one of the tasks assigned to the two children was to burn the deserters’ German uniforms and dispose of them far from the house.

How aware were you of the political significance of hiding wanted people in your family home? How aware of the danger were you?

Aznavour: “My parents knew the danger was there every day, but my sister and I only grasped it later. We were ‘crazy’ young people. We were living out our youth and we followed in our parents’ footsteps. Only after the war did we realize how great the risk really was.”

Auron dedicates a large part of his book to the activities of L’Affiche Rouge – whose story is barely known in Israel, despite significant Jewish participation in it.

The group, which was associated with the French Communist Party and whose members were mostly immigrants without French citizenship, was active in 1942-1943 as part of the French Resistance, and carried out armed attacks against the French police and Gestapo, inflicting casualties among the Germans.

It was named after the red propaganda poster the authorities distributed against it, which included photographs of 10 members who were apprehended.

The group had about 200 members; 67 were arrested, including 34 Jews and three Armenians. Of the 23 who were sentenced to death, 12 were Jews and two Armenian, including Missak Manouchian.

When Manouchian was arrested, his wife found refuge with her friends the Aznavours, after other friends refused to take her in. Aznavour says his parents’ close friendship with the Manouchians was part of the special kinship shared by Armenian survivors. He has vivid memories of the couple from his childhood – “Missak taught me to play chess,” he recalls.

He says that although his parents didn’t officially belong to the Resistance, they aided much of the underground’s activity. His mother helped a group transport weapons that were hidden in a baby carriage.

When Manouchian was arrested, he sent a postcard to Aznavour’s mother, telling her that her son would bring honor to the Armenian people and glory to France. His words helped reassure his mother and planted hope for her son’s future success.

Auron says there were many other Armenian families, like the Aznavour family, who saved Jews during the Holocaust. Twenty-four of them have been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations, but there were even more.

Because of this connection between Armenians and Jews, both Auron and Aznavour are upset by Israel’s stance on the Armenian genocide. “I’m very sorry that Israel does not recognize the Armenian genocide,” says Aznavour, “because it was the model the Nazis used for the Jewish genocide.”



#30 Yervant1


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Posted 10 May 2016 - 03:30 PM

President of Israel says it is impossible to ignore events of 1915


21:46, 10 May, 2016

YEREVAN, MAY 10, ARMENPRESS. President of Israel Reuven Rivlin visited Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem on May 9 to convey his greetings to the leaders of different Christian Churches located on the Holy Land. Prelates of the Dioceses of Armenia Apostolic, Greek-Orthodox and Latin Churches were present at the meeting with President Rivlin at the Armenian Patriarchate.

“The Nazi regime succeeded in its plans against the Jewish people as the world kept silence and did not voice about the Armenian Genocide”, “Armenpress” reports, citing Nouvelles d`Armenie, Nurhan Archbishop Manoogian said, hoping that Israel will recognize the Armenian Genocide during the presidency of Reuven Rivlin.

President of Israel Rivlin stated that Israel has a moral obligation to recognize the first genocide of the previous century, the Armenia Genocide, though he avoided using the term “genocide, adding that “it is impossible to ignore what happened”.

“We are obliged to speak out about facts, but not to deny them”, Rivlin said. The President of Israel congratulated the Christians on May 9 and the past Easter holidays, adding that human rights defense is a priority issue for Israel.

“Armenians were killed in 1915, and my relatives can recall thousands of Armenian refuges. No one denies in Israel that an entire nation was massacred. Today, together with all of you, I will pray for the souls of all the victims here, in Jerusalem, in the Armenian Patriarchate”, Rilvin concluded.

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 07:25 AM

Malevolently Mendacious MealyMouthed Murinson



A hack by the name of Alexander Murinson has finally gone far enough
(a la Donald Trump) to elicit a response, hopefully so scathing as to
cause him to disappear from the public sphere… yes, I know, that’s
wishful thinking.

This guy, who got a PhD from the School of Oriental and African
Studies, University of London, otherwise a highly respected, is
effectively accusing us, Armenians, the government in Yerevan, of
plotting to use a “dirty bomb” against Azerbaijan. A dirty bomb is
one that uses conventional, not atomic/nuclear, explosives but
contains radioactive materials which act to poison/kill people.
Murinson claims the Medzamor power plant would provide these dangerous
substances. His ludicrous assertion appeared under the title “The
other nuclear threat” in “The Washington Times” on May 3. Perhaps
some of the depleted Uranium coming out of that power plant should be
used to wash out Murinson’s lying mouth, soap would not be sufficient
to that task!

This is not Murinson’s first offense, nor am I the first to criticize
his perfidy (see Harut Sassounians “Armenia’s Jewish Community Leader
Lashes out at Pro-Azeri Propagandists” in the January 30 issue of
Asbarez). He seems to have decided to be Azerbaijan’s white-washer,
especially in the realm of that country’s relations with Israel.

So he has a puff piece appear about Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan who
have lived there for 2500 years (Jews in Azerbaijan: a History
Spanning Three Millennia) in an Azeri propaganda publication. Isn’t
that nice? But most readers in the non-Armenian, non-Azeri,
non-Turkish world would never realize how irrelevant that is since
Azerbaijan is a recent, artificial, construct. But his writings go
far beyond mere history-used-to-make-murderers-look-nice pieces.

We have Baku to the Future: Azerbaijan, Not Armenia, Is Israel’s True
Ally, co-written with Maxime Gauin appearing in Israel’s “Haaretz”
newspaper, and many more including Armenia And Azerbaijan Adapt To A
New Geopolitical Reality In The Near East – The Daily Caller, Op-Ed:
Strategic Realignment and Energy Security for Israel – Israel National
News, BTK Railway Project to Improve Economic Climate in Region, “Iran
Targets Azerbaijan,” “A Welcome New Stage In Azerbaijani-Israeli Ties”
– JerusalemPost, “The Ties Between Israel and Azerbaijan,” “Good
Relations between Azerbaijan and Israel: A Model for Other Muslim
States in Eurasia?” co-written with Soner Cagaptay (another Turkish
apologist). Some of these are analyses written through his
affiliation with the Begin Sadat Center. You can see Murinson is
steeped in the filthiest, sleaziest, of fields – Turkey, Azerbaijan,
and energy (oil and gas).

Plus, Murinson is cited copiously by others which magnifies the impact
of his delusional rantings. How did he get to be such an “authority”?
He published a book that got him started… “Turkey’s Entente with
Israel and Azerbaijan: State Identity and Security in the Middle East
and Caucasus” which caught everyone’s attention. At that time, he was
lauding Davutoglu’s policy prescriptions. Later, with Turkey and
Israel’s falling out, he changed his tune somewhat, but continues to
sing Azerbaijan’s praises.

This seems to consistently include lying to smear Armenia and
Armenians. He even asserted that the Armenian side started the April
hostilities! Of course, he uses the canard about “Armenia occupying”
Azeri territories, since it doesn’t suit him and his masters to
recognize NKR’s existence in any way. In fairness, he is credited with
revealing that on March 31, Azerbaijan got some anti-tank weaponry
from Israel. It’s easy to connect that with the attack against
Artzakh that started two days later.

All of this might even be “swallowable” in the context of nasty
politics but for the fact that his bio on the Tel Aviv University’s
Program in Ottoman and Turkish Studies describes his specializations
thus: “Modern Turkish History, Nationalism, Turkish Foreign Relations
(Middle East, Caucasus, Russia), the late Ottoman Period
(Pan-Islamism, pan-Turkism).” Anyone who has studied the late Ottoman
period and witnessed the rise of Pan-Islamism and its mutation into
Pan-Turkism and all the evil the latter connotes, MUST know and
understand Armenians’ situation. Yet, Murinson has cast himself
firmly on the side of the murderous bearers of that ideology in
today’s world. This man must be shunned and his worked exposed for
the mockery of scholarship that it is.

If it looks like I’ve given you a lot of reading to do, you’re right.
Look at those articles, then contact the publishers and inform them
that they are ruining their own reputations by providing a forum for
someone who can’t get the facts straight. He must be trashed and his
disreputability established so he can never work as an analyst again.
Let him go paint picket fences white instead!


#32 Yervant1


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Posted 26 May 2016 - 09:35 AM

Israeli MP calls Lieberman an Azerbaijani agent

20:38, 25.05.2016

Head of Israel’s Meretz party Zehava Gal-On accused head of “Our Home
Israel” Avigdor Lieberman of being a foreign agent. This happened at a
meeting of the Knesset Committee on legislation, which discussed the
draft law on transparency of NGO funding.

In response to the statement that “activists of these organizations
are foreign agents in Israel”, Gal-On said that “a foreign agent will
soon head the Ministry of Defense”, NEWSru reported.

A similar incident occurred in February 2016, when Gal-On said that
the representatives of “Our Home Israel” are agents of the Azerbaijani
government, and receive all kinds of benefits from Baku. According to
her, during his tenure as a foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman
promoted the interests of the companies owned by the Azerbaijani

"You are striving for non-recognition of the Armenian genocide,
because you are ‘agents’ of the Azerbaijani government. How can you
demand ‘transparency’ from the non-governmental organizations after
that?” she asked.


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Posted 29 June 2016 - 09:29 AM

The result of Jul. 5th debate is obvious after Turkey and Israel made peace. What Genocide? Never heard about it!


Knesset to hold debate on Armenian Genocide on July 5

On July 5 the Knesset will hold a debate on the Armenian Genocide,” Israeli historian Yair Auron said in an interview with the Zoryan Institute.

“Israel refrained from allowing a public debate to have a free vote on the subject of the Armenian Genocide for fear of alienating the Turkish government, a key ally to Israel and the United States,” Dr. Auron said.

“On May 15, 2016, Jerusalem Post, reported that the Knesset speaker, Yuli Edlstein, had called on the government to recognize the 1915 genocide of Armenian people, by the Ottoman Turks, at a special debate on the subject in the parliament. ‘It is no secret that Israel has taken too ambivalent of a stance on the Armenian Genocide,’ Edlstein said. ‘There are many reasons, diplomatic and otherwise, for the Israeli stance being too hesitant and restrained, which downplayed the magnitude of the historical event. We Jews who are still suffering from the impact of the Holocaust cannot minimize the tragedy,’ he added.

“This year, on July 5th, the Knesset will hold another debate on this subject. This debate comes almost a month after Germany’s parliament voted to recognize the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces as ‘genocide.’ The Bundestag resolution admitted Germany’s historic role, as a military ally of the Ottoman Empire, in aiding the ‘organized expulsion and annihilation of the Armenians’ from their ancestral homeland and failing to stop ‘these crimes against humanity.’ The resolution also acknowledged ‘the German Reich’s complicity in the events,’” Yair Auron said.

“When we look at the recent German recognition of the Armenian Genocide against that background, a few lessons stand out. The modern Republic of Turkey is not the perpetrator state of the Armenian Genocide, but it is the legal inheritor of all rights and responsibilities of the Ottoman Empire. Rather than acknowledge that genocide, every successor administration of the Turkish Republic has gone out of its way to obfuscate and deny it. Moreover, it has used its considerable geo-political, military and economic leverage to coerce and co-opt other countries to go along with its denial policy, the historian added.

“Two of the most notable countries that have acquiesced in this are the United States and Israel. United States officials so thoroughly documented the Genocide, and the American peoples’ response was a massive and unprecedented outpouring of humanitarian aid for the ‘starving Armenians.’ Furthermore, the US has gone out of its way to honour the memory of another genocide, the Jewish Holocaust. Unfortunately, even today, certain academics and governments insist on the uniqueness of the Holocaust. I cannot accept that because the Holocaust is not unique, and needs to be studied as one example of genocide and not in isolation. Israel, a state born out of the Holocaust, is expected not to barter with the memory of the genocide of another people. In fact, there are moral strictures in the Talmudic tradition against ‘standing idly by the blood of your neighbour.’ (Leviticus 19:16) Yet, Israeli officials have explicitly denied that what happened to the Armenians is anything like what happened to the Jews,” he said.

“American presidents have produced high-sounding statements for April 24 every year, ostensibly to acknowledge the memory and lessons of the Armenian Genocide, but studiously avoid using the word ‘genocide.’ Israel has gone even further, not only denying the status of the Armenian Genocide, but honouring the tragic killing of a small group of Azerbaijanis at Khojaly during the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at a commemoration in 1915, ‘We are gathered here today to talk about the necessity to combine the experience of Israel and Azerbaijan in order to prevent such tragedies in the future,’” the scholar said.

According to Dr. Auron, “when modern Germany admits the complicity of Imperial Germany in the Armenian Genocide, how can anyone go along with Turkish denial? Indeed, legally, this denial would make modern Turkey an accessory after the fact.”

He said “it’s past time that Israel officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide, if, as Foreign Minister Lieberman claims, we need to combine Israeli experience with that of others in order to prevent genocide in the future. Every year now, the Knesset debates this issue. The votes are there, but the government does not allow it to come to a vote. Let this year be different. Let the Knesset have a free vote on whether or not to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Dr. Auron completed his interview by stating: “Now that Israel and Turkey have mended fences and are about to renew their diplomatic ties, the Knesset must give a clear message that Israel’s relations cannot be held hostage to Turkey’s denial of these incontestable historical facts, especially after Germany’s admittance of its complicity, as an ally of Ottoman Turkey. It should further emphasize that Armenian Genocide recognition by Israel is not about friendship or enmity towards Turkey, but it is rather a moral responsibility of Israel. Furthermore, after Germany’s admittance of complicity, the failure of the Israeli Knesset to openly label the ‘events of 1915’ as ‘genocide’ is no longer only a simple moral issue, it is also a matter of credibility.”

Yair Auron is an Israeli historian, scholar and expert specializing on Holocaust and genocide studies, racism and contemporary Jewry. He is a board member of The Zoryan Institute of USA & Canada.




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Posted 04 July 2016 - 10:22 AM

No, Mr. Wiesel, you don’t speak on my behalf!

By Dikran Abrahamian BA, MD October 31, 2007

A Lebanese identity card written in Arabic states as follows:

Name & Surname: Joseph Abrahamian
Date and Place of Birth: 1916, Adana
Religion: Armenian Orthodox

That’s my late father’s identification in my hand. He passed away at the age of 69 back in 1985 in one of the prairie cities out west up north. There isn’t much joy in telling about his childhood. Misery and deprivation were his constant companions on the way of escaping from the Genocide in a boat. He landed in a Greek port with my grandfather and uncle. He was initially brought up without a mother; later his step-mother took over the upbringing of the two little boys. The whereabouts of my biological grandmother and her fate are not known. Like so many other grandmothers who were either raped, abducted, perished or lost, she ultimately “vanished”…Rumor has it that she was a beautiful woman and prior to the atrocities a certain Turkish Pasha was “attracted” to her.

I’ll stop there. The subsequent Odyssey of my grandfather and his two sons are not relevant to what I’d like to tell the distinguished Nobel Laureate Mr. Elie Wiesel. It is prompted by his recent bizarre statements that he made in an interview with The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Mr. Wiesel, I guess chronologically I should be considered as a second generation survivor. My question to you is very simple. You are a survivor of the Holocaust, and there is no doubt in my mind that you have told stories after stories about your horrible experiences to your family, friends and the world. Did anybody give you permission to do so? Were you told by anyone to remember? Why on earth then you give to yourself the cavalier attitude of speaking on my behalf. I require nobody’s permission, including yours, to remember, and ask others to remember.

Simply because you are a Holocaust survivor does give you neither the moral nor the legal right to tell me what I want and what I do not want. You must be deluded to think that I don’t ask the Turks to take responsibility for the horrible crimes that their ancestors committed. No, Mr. Wiesel, you are wrong when you assert that “seven generations separate us from the events that happened in World War I”. What, you think the likes of me are hares that procreate and multiply in no time? Was it a slip of the tongue, or an insinuation that it happened a long time ago and it’s not worth fighting over it?  I do remember well what I was told in so many vivid terms. Even Turkish scholars acknowledge that the Turks of today have to take responsibility by acknowledging the past; they differ only in what to call it.

What on earth was going through your mind when you stated, “The Armenians don’t want reparations”, and “they don’t even want an apology”? Shame! An apology is owed not only to Armenians, it is owed to humanity. I thought you would have understood that by now. I am disillusioned. I respected you as a scholar, a humanitarian, a Human Rights activist, and foremost as a survivor, because I never made any distinctions between an Armenian, a Jew, a Cambodian, a Rwandan or a Darfurian when Genocide was involved.

It was back in mid 1960’s when I was in my early twenties that I visited Adana. Unfortunately it was winter; not so pleasant roads hampered my short visit to go around and explore. I could not see much, specially the orchards that I had heard about. It was sort of a pilgrimage and I was somewhat content with what could be achieved under the circumstances.  My question to you Mr. Wiesel is why did I go to Adana? Explain it in whatever way and terms you want. The crux of the matter is that there is a yearning to go back, to see the land, kneel and honour the people who were sacrificed and loudly say, “This land belonged to my ancestors, it is my rightful inheritance, you stole it in the most fiendish brutal way!  I have come to reclaim it.”

One final point does exact your patience. Why is it that your friend prefers to use “tantamount to Genocide” and you try in an obtuse manner reminding that the word Genocide did not exist at the time the Armenians were massacred? You are well aware that your compatriot Lemkin had exactly the Armenian massacres in mind when he was deliberating what to call the tragic phenomenon and enact laws that would prevent such occurrences. He was fully aware that a calamity of the sort could be in the making, and his people would be the victim. Otherwise how to explain his pleas to his father, family and friends to leave their homes and move to safer countries? Another great compatriot of yours immortalized the heroic stand of Musa Dagh to tell his own people of what could happen, and inspire them to resist and fight. Have you forgotten Mr. Wiesel? It seems you have not followed your own advice to remember. I need not remind you of your other compatriot who was one of the first diplomats who talked about race extermination. You know it all too well, better than many.

Please, enough of this crippled game on words and twisting arguments. You are treading along a path which is not any different than what some “progressive” scholars in Turkey are trying to do.  To make things palatable to their respective audiences, some have even contemplated using translations of expressions in Armenian when the word Genocide was not coined yet.

No, Mr. Wiesel, you don’t speak on my behalf!


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Posted 04 July 2016 - 10:28 AM

“The discussion of the Armenian Genocide in the Israeli Parliament
will not produce any positive outcome.” Armen Petrosyan

July 4 2016

Almost one month after the adoption of the resolution recognizing and
condemning the Armenian Genocide in the German Bundestag, on July 5,
the Israeli parliament will discuss the Armenian Genocide issue. This
information was conveyed to the media recently by famous genocide
expert Yair Auron. In an interview with Aravot.am on this subject,
expert on Arabic studies Armen Petrosyan first stated that the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Israel is usually marked on
the days preceding April 24 but no such a thing happened this year,
“The reason is that there was quite an active process of normalization
of Israeli-Turkish relations. To avoid ruining it and the parties
eventually come to a reconciliation, also a traditional launching of
the Armenian Genocide recognition process took place by the
instructions of the authorities.”

Referring to the expected discussion, Armen Petrosyan said that it
cannot have any serious impact on raising the issue, “Presumably, a
general discussion will be held in Knesset, if of course, it takes
place, then the discussion of the issue might be instructed to any
parliamentary committee as it has been done in the past and the issue
will remain in this framework.” As observed by Armen Petrosyan, the
normalization of the Israeli-Turkish relations is in the initial
phase, consequently, Israel will refrain from causing new problems
with Turkey, as the parties were waiting for reconciliation for a long
time, “I think that the discussion of the Armenian Genocide issue will
be a formal process: in short and compressed procedure. When it was a
turning point in the Turkish-Israeli relations, Israel was not
preventing by the government level, on the contrary, it allowed to
raise the issue at least by the campaign level, and they were trying
to use it as a means of pressure against Turkey.”

As described by our interlocutor, since 2013 when the process of
rapprochement between Turkey and Israel commenced, the Armenian
Genocide recognition lost its political and campaign significance,
“Almost every year, an attempt is made to raise this issue at the
Israeli parliament but it does not get to the outcome. It is logical
and presumable that this year it will be the same.”


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Posted 05 July 2016 - 11:40 AM

Yair Auron: Yet Again, Israel Denies the Armenian Genocide

12:57, 05 Jul 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

By Yair Auron

On May 31, a few days before the lower house of the German Bundestag
recognized the murder of the Armenian people – an act that
reverberated worldwide – there was supposed to be a discussion of the
subject in the Knesset. However, it was postponed under pressure from
the Foreign Ministry (which is headed by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu). The discussion is due to take place in the Knesset on

This is a discussion of great importance for the battle that has been
waged for years for Israeli recognition of the Armenian genocide. In
the past year I hoped that if not the Israeli government, at least the
Knesset would finally recognize it. But apparently there is very
little chance of that, in light of the rapprochement agreement signed
with Turkey. After all, who would endanger the agreement because of a
negligible thing like whether or not there was a genocide of another

There’s no chance that the Israeli government will recognize the
Armenian genocide, but during the course of the year commemorating the
100th anniversary of the murder of the Armenian people, there was
nevertheless a hope that perhaps the Knesset would do so. But
apparently that hope is also evaporating.President Reuven Rivlin has
in the past expressed profound identification with the suffering of
the Armenians. When he served as Knesset speaker he even said that
Israel should recognize the Armenian genocide. It’s a shame that he
has refrained from repeating that since being elected president,
saying only “I haven’t changed my mind.”

In a discussion in the Knesset Education Committee in July 2015, in
which Edelstein participated, all the speakers from the coalition and
the opposition supported recognition. Only a representative of the
Foreign Ministry had reservations, claiming that the concept of
“genocide” has become politicized, and therefore Israel should not use
it. Imagine if any European government were to claim that the
“Holocaust” is a political concept, and therefore their government
should not use it.

At the conclusion of the discussion the Education Committee called on
the Knesset to recognize the genocide and on the Education Ministry to
teach about it, but nothing happened. The annual discussion to take
place in the coming days is the moment of truth: The thawing of
relations with Turkey and the weapons deals between the governments of
Israel and Azerbaijan, worth billions of dollars – weapons designated
for clashes with the Armenians – are not glad tidings for the chances
of recognition.

Even if people and institutions in Israel won’t be happy to hear these
words, they must be said: Israel denies the Armenian genocide. We are
one of the only democratic countries in the world, if not the only
one, to do so, and to support Turkey’s stubborn policy of denial. The
United States neither recognizes nor denies the genocide. When we deny
the Armenian genocide, we are desecrating the memory of its victims.
In my opinion, in so doing we are also desecrating the memory and the
victims of the Holocaust.

Because of this last sentence, which I refused to omit, the
administration of Yad Vashem rejected a scientific article that I was
invited to write for the institution’s newsletter, Teaching the
Legacy. But I will continue to say and to write that sentence until
the State of Israel, if only via the Knesset, recognizes the Armenian

Today it’s already known and has been proven: When we deny a genocide
that took place in the past, we are preparing the ground for a future

The discussion in the Knesset should arouse great interest in the
world, and of course among the Armenians in Armenia and in the
Diaspora, and hopefully here too. Those who are fighting for
recognition are requesting “a vote now.” Transferring the discussion
to the committee was an important step for years, but it has become a
cynical political means to conceal the truth. We continue to deny.

Israeli recognition (which is not anticipated, to my regret) would
probably lead to recognition of the Armenian genocide by the entire
world. If Israel recognizes it, U.S. President Barack Obama won’t be
able to continue to remain on the sidelines either. What is true of
genocide is also true of the battle against its denial: Anyone who is
not on the side of the victims is on the side of the deniers.

Prof. Auron is a genocide scholar who has been working for years for
recognition by Israel and the world of the Armenian genocide.



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Posted 05 July 2016 - 11:45 AM

Knesset Speaker: We must not ignore, diminish or deny the Armenian Genocide

20:44, 05 Jul 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

During Tuesday`s special plenary debate marking the Armenian genocide,
Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said, ”It is no secret that [in
Israel] as well this event has been controversial, at least with
regards to the publicity it should be given. I am reiterating this
year as well, and from this podium: We must not ignore, diminish or
deny this terrible genocide. We must differentiate between our current
interests and the difficult past, which this dark chapter is a part

”This is the correct and appropriate thing to do, seeing as we are
part of the family of nations and a nation whose values of morality
and compassion towards every human being are paramount. Let us not
remain indifferent, albeit a bit late, to the suffering the Armenians
experienced,” Edelstein said, while pledging that the Knesset would
continue to send representatives to memorial ceremonies in the
Armenian capital of Yerevan.

MK Zehava Galon (Meretz), who initiated the debate, said, ”For years
[MKs] have been coming here, to the plenum, in order to ask that the
genocide be called by its name. This year, after the agreement with
Turkey has been signed, I know that granting this request has become
particularly difficult. There was pressure from the Foreign Ministry
and from elements in the government – `why are we suddenly raising
this issue, with all the diplomatic sensitivity?` But despite this, I
am declaring that the Knesset must recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

”Over the years we have let the recognition of the genocide turn into
a toy that can be dangled when relations with Turkey are in crisis,
and then shelved to placate Erdogan,” she added. ”We have started
walking along the most dangerous path of politics, where everything is
for sale.”


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Posted 05 July 2016 - 01:41 PM

Once again the double talk is alive and well , I say this you say that and we're all happy job well done. Which is first the stick or the carrot?

Knesset doesn’t shy away from Armenian Genocide after Turkey deal


07/05/2016 20:22

“We must disconnect current interests from the past; we cannot remain
apathetic,” Edelstein says.

KNESSET SPEAKER Yuli Edelstein addresses the Bundestag’s Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee. (photo credit:BOAZ ARAD)

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and other MKs called for the government
to recognize the Armenian Genocide Tuesday, despite recently signing
an agreement improving relations with Turkey.

“We cannot ignore, dwarf or deny this terrible genocide,” Edelstein
stated. “We must disconnect current interests of this time and place
from the difficult past.”

Edelstein quoted Nobel Prize-winning author, philosopher and Holocaust
survivor Elie Wiesel, who died on Saturday, as saying apathy to
suffering helps the enemy.

“We cannot remain apathetic, even if it’s late, to the suffering the
Armenians experienced. Recognizing the Armenian genocide is important
to us as human beings who carry the moral responsibility and
constantly hope to improve the world and society,” Edelstein stated.

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, who initiated the discussion, also
quoted Wiesel, in an open letter his foundation published in 2007
calling to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

“Children and grandchildren of survivors must know what genocide looks
like and how one tragedy turned into another giant one. But here, in
the Knesset, the elected parliament of the state in which the memory
of the Holocaust is constant and ‘never forget’ is a moral commandment
– we haven’t heard about it,” she said.

Gal-On said that despite the agreement with Turkey making recognition
more difficult, Israel must do it.

“This is a decision Israel must make. Sometimes there is a price to
doing the right thing, and sometimes the right choice is not the easy
one. We are tested when we have to pay a price,” she stated.

Minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi presented the government’s
position, say he understands the emotions behind the MKs’ speeches,
but did not use the Hebrew phrase for “genocide,” simply saying
“tragic events.”

The MKs present approved Gal-On’s motion to the agenda, and the
discussion will be moved to the Knesset Education Committee.



#39 Yervant1


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Posted 06 July 2016 - 09:05 AM

Armenia MP: Knesset decision was predictable

13:00, 06.07.2016

YEREVAN. – What was predicted happened Tuesday at the Israeli Knesset

Tevan Poghosyan, secretary of the opposition “Heritage” Faction of the
National Assembly of Armenia, stated the aforesaid at a press
conference on Wednesday.

“The matter was discussed in the Knesset for the third time,” said
Poghosyan. “In the case when six [Israeli MPs] delivered remarks the
first time, this time—24.

“We need to step by step ensure that Israel recognize the Armenian
Genocide. I believe we will achieve [respective] results thanks to
consistent work.”

The Armenian lawmaker recalled, however, that it is very important not
to forget Turkey’s role in Armenian-Israeli relations.

On Tuesday, the Knesset was expected to vote on the matter of Armenian
Genocide recognition. The Israeli parliament, however, decided to send
the matter again for consideration by a special committee.


#40 Yervant1


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Posted 07 July 2016 - 08:54 AM

The Times of Israel
July 6 2016

Knesset speaker urges Israel to recognize Armenian genocide

In parliamentary debate days after Israel and Turkey reconciliation
deal, Yuli Edelstein says ‘we must not deny this terrible genocide’
despite Ankara’s opposition

By Marissa Newman

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) on Tuesday urged Israel to
recognize the Armenian genocide, despite the friction this might cause
in ties with Turkey, with which has recently normalized relations.

“We must not ignore, belittle or deny this terrible genocide,”
Edelstein declared as the Knesset marked the 1915 mass killing. “We
must disconnect the current interests, bound to this time and place,
and the difficult past, of which this dark chapter is a part.”

Israel’s refusal thus far to formally recognize the Armenian genocide
is based on geopolitical and strategic considerations, prime among
them relations with Turkey, which vehemently denies that Ottoman Turks
committed genocide. Israel and Turkey signed a rapprochement deal last
week, upgrading the diplomatic relationship after years of frosty ties
over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

“Let us not remain indifferent, even belatedly, to the suffering of
the Armenians,” Edelstein continued. “Preserving the memory of the
Armenian genocide is important for everyone as human beings, as those
who have moral responsibility and who strive constantly to improve and
fix the world and society.”

Dozens of members of the Jerusalem Armenian community rallied outside
of the Knesset on Tuesday demanding the government recognize the
atrocities 101 years ago.

Meretz leader Zahava Galon, who initiated the Knesset plenum session,
said there had been Foreign Ministry pressure on the parliament not to
hold the session due to “diplomatic sensitivity” over Turkey.

“But I say that despite this, the Knesset should recognize the
Armenian genocide,” she said.

President Reuven Rivlin, who was one of the most outspoken advocates
for recognition of the genocide during his time as Knesset speaker,
skirted the term during the centenary commemoration last year,
disappointing Armenian leaders. He used it, however, several weeks
earlier at a different event.

Israel’s ongoing denial of the Armenian genocide has thus far survived
several debates in the Knesset and even efforts by a former education
minister to add the topic to school curricula.

Last month, Ankara came out against Pope Francis for recognizing the
slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians over 100 years ago.

In its first reaction to Francis’ recognition of the 1915 genocide,
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli called the comments
“greatly unfortunate” and said they bore the hallmarks of the
“mentality of the Crusades.”

Raphael Ahren and agencies contributed to this report.


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