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Israeli President recognized the Armenian genocide infront of UN

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#101 Yervant1


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Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:31 AM

Shameful to say the least!


What Would Happen If an Armenian Diplomat Questions the term Holocaust while in Israel?
7 hours ago

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Ben-Zvi places a flower at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial on Tuesday


“The tragedy of the Armenian nation has never been questioned. There is a historical question of what to call it, but what has happened is a fact that everyone accepts. It’s not a matter of political discussion. Let historians decide what to call the tragedy.” This is what Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Ben-Zvi said on Tuesday when visiting the Dzidzernagapert Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex.

Upon reading this I thought what would happen if one of Armenia’s deputy foreign ministers visited Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, and paid tribute to the victims of Nazi Germany’s systematic annihilation of Jews and pussyfooted around using the word Holocaust.

Most likely, all hell would break loose.

I envision Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decreeing the immediate expulsion of the said diplomat from Israel and freezing the already cool diplomatic ties with Yerevan. World leaders would then chime in with their condemnation of Armenia’s insensitive and tone deaf approach to the Holocaust, while Jewish organizations, some of which just recently decided to call the events of 1915 “Genocide,” would be in an uproar renewing their lobbying to discredit efforts to pass a Genocide recognition bill in Congress. More important, the Israeli press would quickly pick up on the diplomatic gaffe and would mold Israeli public opinion against Armenia and Armenians. Not to mention the Israeli academicians, such as Israel Charny and Yair Auron to name a few,

Instead, according to the foreign ministry’s press office Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan “presented Armenia’s ongoing initiatives directed at prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity, noting that the third Global Counterterrorism Forum will be held in Yerevan on December 9 [and will be] dedicated to the role of education in the prevention of genocides. Referring to the process of international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, the Foreign Minister mentioned that it is a moral responsibility and a tribute to the memory of innocent victims, while at the same time it is an important contribution to international efforts to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity.”

Yet Ben-Zvi stands on the grounds of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex and spits on the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Genocide with no recourse or admonishment and walks away with the continued pledges of improving ties between Armenia and Israel.

And let’s look at those so-called “improving” ties.

Netanyahu, once again, halted the debate of a bill to recognize the Genocide in the Knesset in June, after the Israeli political apparatus, once again, decided to play the Genocide card when Turkey threated Tel Aviv after Israel attacked a Palestinian settlement in Gaza in May. The fact that the Genocide issue comes into play in Israeli politics only during spats with Turkey is proof enough that Israel does not necessarily want to become “a partner” with Armenia.

Then there’s that pesky issue of the estimated $5 billion in arms sales to Azerbaijan, whose army commanders urged a military contractor to “live test” an armed suicide drone directed at Artsakh military targets. While that military contract was allegedly suspended, again there has been no firm posturing from Armenia. Mnatsakanyan told Ben-Zvi that “our partners should abstain from all actions that could potentially result in arms race, as well as provoke instability in the region.”

Mnatsakanyan’s statements signal a more resolute tone toward Israel in comparison to his predecessor, Edward Nalbandian, who met with Netanyahu last fall with nary a mention of these thorny and contentious issues blocking normal ties with the Jewish State.

I am not suggesting that Mnatsakanyan should have started a diplomatic row with Israel, but he and other officials should consider what Israel would do if the situation were reversed and say Armenia were supplying arms to the Palestinians and disrespecting the Holocaust all at the same time.






#102 Yervant1


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Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:29 AM

The Times of Israel
Sept 7 2018
Before the Holocaust, Ottoman Jews supported the Armenian genocide’s ‘architect’ Author Hans-Lukas Kieser says a desperate Zionist press praised the empire even during the slaughter of its minority population, a murder which Israel continues to gloss over today
By JP O’ Malley Today, 6:14 am           


Mehmed Talaat Pasha, left, with Ismail Enver Pasha and Turkish colonel Halil Sami Bey. (Courtesy University of Princeton Press)

This past June, a scheduled Knesset vote to recognize the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide was canceled due to a lack of government support.

Because of Israel’s complicated on-again, off-again diplomatic relations with regional powerhouse Turkey, “it hasn’t been able to do what many Israelis have ethically wanted to do — publicly recognize the Armenian genocide in the Knesset,” Prof. Hans-Lukas Kieser tells The Times of Israel from his office at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Last year Kieser was awarded the President of the Republic of Armenia Prize for his significant contribution to the history of the Armenian genocide. He has also recently published the book, “Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide.”

The political biography explores how Mehmed Talaat, more commonly known as Talaat Pasha, almost single-handedly masterminded the Armenian genocide.

Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) were rounded up on April 24, 1915, followed by the systematic extermination of 1.5 million people, primarily because of their Armenian ethnicity.

The ideologically motivated genocide took place under the supervision of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), led by three de facto leaders of the Ottoman Empire at the time: Ismail Enver, Ahmed Djemal, and Talaat. Collectively all three were known by their military titles as the “Three Pashas.”

Even though Turkey continues to officially deny the Armenian genocide, historians unanimously agree that it is a historical reality.

Mehmed Talaat Pasha, along with Ismail Enver Pasha and Ahmed Djemal Pasha, in 1912. (Courtesy University of Princeton Press)
Laying foundations for a Turkish state

Kieser’s book claims Talaat operated a new messianic form of nationalism that sought to “dilute” non-Muslim identities in his attempt at new nation building in Turkey in 1915. Talaat was the “mastermind of his genocidal universe,” Kieser claims.

The historian also says it was Talaat — rather than Kemal Ataturk — who laid the foundations for the modern Turkish nation state, which began in 1923.

“Of course the Turkish Republic [itself] came about under Kemal Ataturk,” Kieser says. “Talaat did not plan a republic — he was a son of the empire, after all. But he made a number of important steps so that Ataturk could then establish the Turkish nation state.”

Talaat led the Ottoman Empire into World War I “in jihad,” says the historian, transforming Asia Minor into a Turkish national home and creating a “Turkey for the Turks,” as per the slogan at the time.

Kieser’s book, over 400 pages long, makes for tough reading at points — especially as the historian recollects the systematic murder of Armenian Christians. He notes, for example, that the “removal of Armenians from Eastern Asia Minor mainly took place from May to September 1915, where women and children endured starvation, mass rape, and enslavement on their marches [towards death].”

Kieser says a great number of villages in northern Syria became an “arena of mass crimes” in 1915, where Armenian civilians — who were considered “fair prey” — “were raped, abducted, and murdered en masse without any protection, or punishment for the offenders.”

Prof. Hans-Lukas Kieser, author of ‘Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide.’ (Courtesy)

In the eyes of his admirers, however, Talaat is still seen as a great statesman, skillful revolutionary, and far-sighted founding father of the modern Turkish state, Kieser points out.

This narrative is especially pertinent in Turkey today, as it increasingly takes a more authoritarian and Islamist approach to its political identity. This is particularly notable, Kieser stresses, when it comes to the fundamentalist ideology of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its authoritarian leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Talaat really is the elephant in the room [in Turkish politics] today,” Kieser says. “Erdoğan is the master of a party, so in that sense his [ideas] fall in line with Talaat — even if it’s not acknowledged very much in AKP circles in an explicit way.”

“But implicitly, Erdoğan and Talaat share a number of similarities where a democratic start eventually moves to a very authoritarian end,” he says.

Kieser says that like Talaat, Erdoğan is “far from a real democrat,” and shows a very “vague notion of what constitutionalism really means.”

Moreover, like the CUP leader, Erdoğan places all his efforts “on how to achieve and keep power.”

Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan reviews an honor guard as he arrives at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, on July 7, 2018. (AFP Photo/Adem Altan)
Ripples of shame

Israel’s recent decision to continue to remain silent on the 103-year-old genocide has garnered its share of criticism from historians, academics, writers and human rights activists — many from within Israel itself.

Prof. Yehuda Bauer, a leading Israeli historian and an academic adviser to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, said in a June radio interview that the Israeli parliament’s failure to recognize the Armenian genocide was a “betrayal.”

Benjamin Abtan, the president of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) and the coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network of Parliamentarians of Europe, in an articlepublished in Haaretz in June claimed that Israel had “a particular responsibility in recognizing the Armenian genocide [to] ensure mass atrocities [were prevented] in the future.”

According to Kieser, recognizing the Armenian genocide holds a relevance for Israelis today beyond the usual discussion of Israel-Turkey relations. Jews, he says, historically played a key role in promoting propaganda from the Ottoman side as Armenians continued to be slaughtered.

The historian says that Talaat enjoyed “particularly good Jewish press” in Istanbul and abroad” during the period surrounding the genocide — notably in Germany, where newspapers like Deutsche Levante-Zeitung praised Talaat as “an outstanding leader” and the “savior of imperial Turkey.”

Although this glorification smacked of propaganda and lies, Kieser claims many Germans bought into the words of the Jewish press at the time and were affected by its corrosive logic.

A pro-Talaat Pasha article in the Zionist newsletter, the Deutsche Levante-Zeitung. (Courtesy University of Princeton Press)
Currying favor?

The historian recalls how many Jews loyal to the Ottomans largely looked the other way where the suffering of Armenians was concerned. This included figures such as Alfred Nossig, who helped found both the General Jewish Colonization Organization (AJK) and the Zionist Organization (ZO).

Both were set up for the purpose of Jewish lobbying across the Middle East and elsewhere, and subsequently encouraged intimate relations between Jews and Ottomans.

However, Kieser is keen to emphasize that some historical context is needed. This was a crucial turning point in Jewish history — before the Balfour Declaration was announced in 1917. Jews were looking for diplomatic favors — from a myriad of countries — wherever they could find them, in the hopes of securing Zionism’s ultimate end goal: a Jewish state in Palestine.

Consequently, a number of Jewish newspapers purposely tried to promote relations between Talaat and Jewish politicos and diplomats within the dying Ottoman Empire. They even grossly exaggerated these relations for propaganda purposes, Kieser says.

The German Jewish newspaper Die Welt — the mouthpiece of the Zionist Organization — for instance, wrote in 1913 of Talaat’s “friendly relations with many Jewish personalities.”

Mehmed Talaat Pasha, pre-1921. (Public domain)

Still, even for all of the positive Jewish press Talaat received during this period, his attitudes to Zionism were complex. On the one hand, Talaat did not want to be associated much with Jews and Zionism. But on the other, there were potential benefits in publicly courting Jewish political interests.

In 1913, an article published in the Istanbul-based L’Aurore, a Jewish newspaper financed by Zionists, praised the benefits of Jewish-Turkish relations, even hinting that an alliance between Pan-Judaism and Pan Islamism in Turkey could be a viable political option — something Kieser says Talaat was seduced by.

But the historian is keen to stress that Talaat in no way sympathized with Zionism, despite claims from both observers of the time and a number of historians since.

“We know from what he said and what he wrote that he was in no way sympathetic with Zionism. It’s also clear from the negotiations that he only needed the Jews to a certain extent in order to survive internationally. And he was successful in this regard,” he says.

“The Jewish Question” involved Jews jostling for political favors from the Ottomans, who still held considerable sway in the Middle East. But the power dynamics also worked the other way too, the historian explains.

“Talaat’s relationship with Jews during this time gave him considerable international leverage that he successfully used to deflect attention from Armenia,” Kieser says.

“In spring 1915 — which was a honeymoon for the Zionists in Istanbul — Talaat made sure there were no conflicting issues internationally because he wanted to strike the Armenians,” says Kieser. “Jews feared they would suffer the same fate as the Armenians, so they in no way welcomed any pro-Armenian or pro-victim activity [reporting] because they feared for themselves.”

Sara Aaronsohn, one of the founders of the pre-British Mandate Palestine espionage ring NILI. (Public domain)
Upstart Zionist youth take a stance

There were, however, some exceptions — notably, a group of young Zionists called Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker (NILI), or, The Eternal One of Israel Will Not Lie, a pro-British espionage group in Palestine at the time.

NILI felt a strong sense of solidarity with the Armenian victims, even writing reports which they sent out to the international community in the hope of waking them up to the atrocities.

“The NILI group — which contained people like Aaaron Aronson and others — saw the Armenian genocide, and even wrote long reports about it,” Kieser says. “They saw that this total stigmatization and finally extermination was a process that could also happen with the Jews.”

“So they were deeply sympathetic not just emotionally, but also in a Biblical and prophetic approach,” he adds. “But they were a small minority.”

“Unfortunately, the silence carried on many decades after the war. So you had Jews in Israel and the Jews in Turkey who continued to help Turkey deny the Armenian genocide,” Kieser says.

Kieser makes a point in the book of comparing the Armenian genocide with the Holocaust, and finds some similarities.

‘Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide,’ by Hans-Lukas Kieser. (Courtesy Princeton University Press)

“Imperial cataclysm and a particular combination of circumstances in the first months of WWI made the Armenians an obvious target,” he writes.

He goes on to state, “Actors from the top and below, extremist ideas, entrenched prejudices, and material incentives colluded in the brute destruction [of the Armenians].”

A little more than two decades later, Europe’s Jews were to experience “an analogous situation,” he observes.

“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Hitler asked his generals in his infamous Obersalzberg speech on August 22, 1939 — just days before Germany’s invasion of Poland.

Talaat “certainly wasn’t Hitler,” says the historian, admitting that he is reluctant to make direct comparisons between both far-right demagogues.

Nevertheless, both leaders share a number of similarities, Kieser says — they represented societies, states and political parties that embraced radical domestic violence to overcome what they believed were crisis and defeat.

“Talaat was the mastermind of a single party regime,” Kieser concludes. “It was a single party rule that very strongly stigmatized one particular group.”


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#103 Yervant1


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Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:30 AM

Mr. Yair while at it, would you remind your dad also about the Armenian Genocide. When your country (Dad prime minister of Israel) hasn't acknowledged the genocide itself, makes your claim self serving and nothing else. 

Panorama, Armenia

March 14 2019
Netanyahu’s son reminds Turkey of committing the Armenian Genocide

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, took to Twitter to accuse Turkey of being guilty of committing the Armenian Genocide, after a day of tit-for-tat exchanges between government officials in both countries.

“I will remind him [President of Turkey Erdogan] about the Genocide committed against Greeks, Kurds, and the Armenians. They committed ethnic cleansing, expelling the whole Christian population from Asia Minor,” Yair tweeted, adding also that the current day Istanbul was Constantinople, capital city of the Byzantine Empire and the center of Orthodox Church for more 100 years before the Turkish occupation .

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday blasted Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as a "tyrant" who "massacred" Palestinian children as the two leaders exchanged insults in their latest spat.

 Erdogan was responding to earlier comments from Netanyahu who slammed the Turkish leader as a "dictator" and "a joke", after a day of tit-for-tat exchanges between government officials in both countries.

 The latest exchange came after Netanyahu had called Israel the nation-state of “the Jewish people” only, not all its citizens. That prompted Turkey on Tuesday to accuse the Israeli leader of “blatant racism.”




#104 Yervant1


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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:52 AM

Wishy washy, is it a plane or is it a bird. Talk about double talk!

News.am, Armenia

July 10 2019
Israeli ambassador: Terrible tragedy of Armenians is a great act of murder in history of 20th century
21:29, 10.07.2019

YEREVAN. – Terrible tragedy that happened to the Armenians is one of the greatest acts of deliberate murder in the history of the 20th century and in the history of mankind, Israel’s Ambassador to Armenia, Eliav Belotserkovsky, told reporters during a reception in honor of Israel’s Independence Day.

According to him, the Jewish people, as well as people living in Israel, “actively oppose this.”

“This was discussed in our parliament, let's see how things go ahead,” he said when asked why Israel has not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide.

To the journalist’s remark that he didn’t use  the word genocide, the Ambassador replied: “The question is not whether to look for this or that word, it is not quite suitable. We need to study the history so that such tragedies do not occur in the future. ”




#105 Yervant1


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Posted 27 September 2019 - 10:44 AM

RT - Russia Today
Sept 26 2019
Awkward! Netanyahu roasts Erdogan for denying Armenian genocide… which Israel doesn’t recognize
Published time: 26 Sep, 2019 09:25 Edited time: 26 Sep, 2019 10:42
© REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun; Carlo Allegri
Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest denouncement of Recep Tayyip Erdogan for denying the Armenian genocide would have sounded more sincere if he hadn’t personally blocked an attempt to recognize it as such last year.

There is no love lost between the leaders of Israel and Turkey, who have spent years publicly accusing each other of dictatorial and murderous policies. The latest barb from Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed that President Erdogan “denies the terrible slaughter of the Armenian people” and thus “shouldn’t preach to Israel.”

Invoking the mass murder of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire would have sounded more appropriate if Israel actually recognized it as genocide, some commenters were quick to point out.

Israel’s official position on the genocide is the same as the country’s stance on its presumed nuclear arsenal: to neither deny nor acknowledge. Historically, this position was taken so as not to alienate Turkey, which was one of few nations in the Middle East that was friendly with Israel and offered lucrative trade opportunities for its arms producers.

While the countries’ relationship under Netanyahu and Erdogan has soured, affecting both security cooperation and trade, Israel’s position has never changed. Turkey’s role as a key buyer of arms and a strategically placed ally was replaced by Azerbaijan in the past decade. A neighbor of Israel’s arch-nemesis Iran, Azerbaijan is locked in a bitter cold war with Armenia, having lost a significant part of its territory to Armenian-backed separatists. The nation also has close ties with Turkey.

It’s not clear how big of a consideration Azerbaijan was when Netanyahu personally intervened to block an attempt to recognize the Armenian genocide last year. His official explanation was that a debate on such a move would mobilize Turkish nationalists and help Erdogan in an upcoming election.

Netanyahu’s statement was apparently a response to Erdogan’s reference to Israel’s policies during his speech at the UN General Assembly earlier this week. The Turkish president even used some visual props to make his point, which incidentally is Netanyahu’s trademark approach.



#106 Yervant1


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Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:54 AM


Armenian Genocide Memorial to be unveiled in Israel

991206.jpg 15:25, 10 October, 2019

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 10, ARMENPRESS. A memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide will be erected in Israel, Dr. Alexander Tzinker, co-chair of the Armenia-Israel international public forum, told reporters today.

“The necessary permission has been received, the respective model has been developed, and we already launched a fundraising for the creation and inauguration of the memorial. The memorial is expected to be unveiled in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva. The city’s mayor changed, we thought there would be problems, but thanks God, all issues are solved”, he said.

A decision has been made to make the monument in Armenia and then to transport to Israel.

Dr. Alexander Tzinker informed that there is also another initiative. The Mayor of Petah Tikva and the Mayor of Gyumri exchanged letters on declaring Petah Tikva and Gyumri sister cities. The new Mayor of Petah Tikva approved the proposal.

Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan




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#107 Yervant1


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Posted 31 October 2019 - 08:32 AM

The Times of Israel
Oct 30 2019
Israeli politicians call for recognition of Armenian genocide after US vote House measure came three weeks after Turkey invaded northeastern Syria and launched a broad assault on Kurdish-controlled areas

Two prominent Israeli politicians on both sides of the political aisle independently called for Jerusalem to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide after the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to officially recognize the World War I-era crime on Tuesday.

Cheers and applause erupted Tuesday when the House voted 405 to 11 in support of the measure “affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide,” a first for the US Congress, where similar measures with such direct language have been introduced for decades but never passed.


The Armenians say the mass killings of more than 1.5 million of their people from 1915 to 1917 constituted genocide, a claim recognized by some 30 countries.

Turkey strongly denies the accusation of genocide and says that both Armenians and Turks died as a result of World War I. It puts the death toll in the hundreds of thousands.

The House measure, which passed on Turkey’s national day, came three weeks after Turkey invaded northeastern Syria and launched a broad assault on Kurdish-controlled areas that was made possible by the withdrawal of US troops. Angry US lawmakers launched a two-punch rebuke, with the genocide measure passing alongside a bill that slaps sanctions on Turkey for its incursion.

“The US House of Representatives vote to recognize the Armenian Genocide is a vote for historical truth and justice. Turkey cannot be allowed to intimidate the world into denying genocide,” Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid tweeted.

“I will continue to fight for Israeli recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”

Lapid was a strong proponent of a failed push for a Knesset bill recognizing the genocide earlier this year. Citing what he called Israel’s “moral and historical responsibility,” he tweeted in April that it was time for the government “to officially recognize the Armenian genocide and stop folding in the face of Turkish pressure.”

Former Likud minister MK Gideon Sa’ar also called for recognition, tweeting on Wednesday that he “welcome[d] the moral and principled stance of the US House of Representatives in recognizing the mass killing of #Armenians 100 years ago as #genocide. Israel should make similarly clear its recognition of this terrible atrocity.”


Despite repeated opposition by the Likud party, there are individual Likud MKs who support recognition. In 2016, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein urged Israel to recognize the Armenian genocide, despite the friction that might cause in ties with Turkey.

“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.”

President Reuven Rivlin, who was one of the most outspoken advocates for recognition of the genocide during his time as Knesset speaker, eschewed using the term during the centenary commemoration in 2015, disappointing Armenian leaders. He used it, however, several weeks earlier at a different event.

An Armenian demonstrator holds up a historic photograph of the Armenian genocide during a demonstration in Jerusalem, April 24, 2015 (Hadas Parush/Flash90

In May, Knesset lawmakers voted to debate the recognition of the Armenian genocide in the parliament chamber. The debate came as relations between Israel and Turkey soured dramatically in the aftermath of clashes on the Israel-Gaza border in which dozens of Palestinians were killed, leading to a diplomatic spat that saw the ambassadors and consuls general of both countries expelled or withdrawn to their respective countries.

The issue of recognition of the Armenian genocide is raised every year in the Knesset, usually in the form of proposed legislation rather than a call for a debate, and has been knocked down by sitting governments annually since 1989, when MK Yair Tzaban first brought it to the floor.

Israel’s refusal thus far to formally recognize the Armenian slaughter as genocide is based on geopolitical and strategic considerations, primary among them its relations with Turkey.

In June, a full plenum debate on the issue was postponed until after Turkish elections. A ministerial debate on recognizing the genocide was also delayed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request after the Foreign Ministry advised the initiative could aid Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in elections.

By the end of June, a scheduled Knesset vote on recognition was canceled due to a lack of government support.



#108 Yervant1


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Posted 31 October 2019 - 08:37 AM

Jewish Journal
Oct 29 2019
Jewish Groups Praise House of Representatives for Recognizing Armenian Genocide

Various Jewish groups praised the House of Representatives for passing a resolution on Oct. 29 recognizing the Armenian genocide.

The resolution, which passed with 405 votes in favor, 11 against and three abstaining, states “that it is the policy of the United States to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance; reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the United States role in the humanitarian relief effort, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) praised the House of Representatives in a tweet.

“Thank you to the House of Representatives for passing a bipartisan resolution stating that the U.S. officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide and encouraging education about it,” the ADL wrote. “We hope to see action soon on the Senate companion measure as well.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) similarly tweeted, “The Turkish government refuses to even acknowledge it, but today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a historic resolution to officially recognize the #ArmenianGenocide. We stand with Armenians the world over in this important struggle.”

The Progressive Zionists of California wrote in a Facebook post that the resolution’s passage was “truly surreal.”

One of the House members to vote present was Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). She explained in a statement to CNN, “Accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics. A true acknowledgment of historical crimes against humanity must include both the heinous genocides of the 20th century, along with earlier mass slaughters like the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide.”

For tweets, go to https://jewishjourna...enian-genocide/

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#109 MosJan


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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:24 AM




«Ամոթ է մեզ , որ մենք նույնպես չենք ճանաչում ցեղասպանությունը» . Իսրայելի ներքին գործերի նախկին նախարար Գիդեոն Սաար

Իսրայելում երկու նշանավոր քաղաքական գործիչներ, հետևելով ԱՄՆ Ներկայացուցիչների պալատի օրինակին, երկրի իշխանություններին կոչ են արել ճանաչել Հայոց ցեղասպանությունը:

#110 Yervant1


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Posted 24 January 2020 - 10:23 AM

News.am, Armenia
Jan 23 2020
President Sarkissian raises issue of Armenian Genocide recognition by Israel parliament
13:45, 23.01.2020

While on a working visit to Israel, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian visited the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, where they were hosted by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Mrs. Irina Nevzlin.

Edelstein expressed confidence that Sarkissian's visit, as well as Armenia’s decision to open an embassy in Israel, would be an important cornerstone for the further development of bilateral relations.

President Sarkissian noted that he had been at the bases for Armenia’s establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, highlighting Israel's experience in various fields, as well as the exchange of experience.

Sarkissian said that the similarities between the two peoples' destinies are impressive, and they prompt us to think about the future.

Noting that many chapters of history are tragic for both the Armenian and Jewish peoples, President Sarkissian said efforts should be combined in order to prevent such humanitarian catastrophes from happening again. The Armenian President also raised the issue of Armenian Genocide recognition by the Israeli Knesset, stressing that recognition and condemnation of this shameful chapter in history should not be conditioned by today's political interests and realities.

At the end of the visit, the President of Armenia made a note in the Knesset guestbook. Afterwards, President Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian toured the Israeli parliament building.


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Posted 25 January 2020 - 01:06 PM


There is no and has never been Antisemitism in Armenia – head of Jewish community in Armenia

1002603.jpg 19:57, 24 January, 2020

YEREVAN, JANUARY 24, ARMENPRESS. Head of Jewish community in Armenia Rima Varzhapetyan-Feller is confident that in Armenia there has never been and cannot be manifestations of Antisemitism. In an interview with ARMENPRESS Varzhapetyan said that there are all the conditions in Armenia allowing them to proudly voice about their Jewish origin.

“We have a Jewish community here and Armenia is a very tolerant country. It can never happen here that someone’s blood is shed for being a representative of other nationality. We feel very well here and there can be no anti-Semitism or xenophobia in Armenia. Armenians also have ethnic minorities in other countries for which they always understand the situation of other ethnic minorities in their country”, Rima Varzhapetyan-Feller said.

Today in Armenia 300-400 Jewish families reside. They have been present in Armenia since the 19th century.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan




#112 Yervant1


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Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:15 PM

Jerusalem Post
Jan 27 2020
Armenia’s antisemitism? The truth is different Armenia sent its highest-ranking citizen to the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, H.E. Armen Sarkissian, the president of Armenia.
JANUARY 27, 2020 21:57
President Reuven Rivlin holding a working meeting with President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia.
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman describes two monuments in Armenia and Azerbaijan, in an attempt to portray the Armenians as antisemitic as opposed to Jew-loving Azeris (“At Auschwitz liberation tribute, Israel should study tale of two monuments,” January 21). The problem is that the author uses facts selectively, and even with some significant inaccuracies.
The article opens with the monument of Garegin Nzhdeh in Yerevan, giving the impression that the “antisemitic” Armenians chose to glorify his heritage as a Nazi collaborator. But Nzhdeh was first and foremost a military hero and a central leader of the Armenian liberation movement who sought to achieve independence for his nation after hundreds of years of occupation. He fought against the Ottoman Empire when it systematically slaughtered its own Armenian minority and played a major role in the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) which, post-genocide, gave the suffering Armenian nation a short period of renewed hope.
That hope was brutally cut off by invasion by the Red Army in 1920, and the fledgling Republic of Armenia was annexed by the Soviet Union. During that invasion, Nzhdeh led a struggle to prevent a Soviet attempt to hand over major areas in the south of Armenia to the newly established Azerbaijan, a country that was created by the Soviets. That struggle was partially successful, though two historically Armenian areas, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nachichevan (Nzhdeh’s birthplace) were handed to the Azeris as part of the Soviet policy of divide-and-rule.
It is true that Nzhdeh joined the army of Nazi Germany where he served for a short period. There is no justification for that collaboration, though it is quite clear that his motivation in joining the Wehrmacht had nothing to do with antisemitism, but an unrealistic hope that this collaboration might have led to re-liberation of the Armenian people. That was not the only mistake he made, since just after he realized that this way would not be effective, he tried to establish a new collaboration, this time with Stalin.
Stalin sent him a message to come to discuss this issue in Moscow, where Nzhdeh was arrested and finished his life in jail. It is also important to note that at the same time that an Armenian legion fought for Germany (unlike Nzhde and Kanayan, Armenians who for the most part were Red Army prisoners of war forcibly recruited to the Wermacht). Hundreds of thousands of Armenians served in the Soviet Army and took an active part in the victory against the Nazis. Nzhdeh is not praised in Armenia for his collaboration with the Nazis, but for his unceasing, lifelong struggle to liberate the Armenian people.
JAFFE-HOFFMAN goes on with her theory about antisemitism in Armenia. I travel quite a lot all over Armenia, both on my own and with other Jews and Israelis. I always make it clear that I am a Jew and an Israeli, and never heard a hint of antisemitic _expression_. If there is some criticism, it is usually about Israel’s hesitation to recognize the Armenian genocide that was perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and led to the extermination of some 1.5 million Armenians during WW1, and was a kind of a “general rehearsal” for the Holocaust.
The other criticism is about Israel’s alliance with the Azeri dictatorship, Armenia’s enemy. What you can unfortunately find in Armenia is a strong sense of nationalism, not very different from what we experience here in Israel.
Armenia’s small Jewish community never suffered antisemitism in their adopted homeland. Most of them left in the early 1990s, after the severe earthquake in the north of the country in 1988 and the collapse of the Soviet Union. At that time, during the Karabakh war, Armenia suffered from a harsh economic crisis and shortage in basic necessities. Many people left the country seeking better life abroad. Not only Jews left, but the Jews had an easy way out – moving to Israel. They did not leave because they faced any antisemitism; they left because they sought better life.
Jaffe-Hoffman refers to what she calls the “brutal invasion” of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia. She “forgets” to mention that this region has been inhabited since antiquity mainly by Armenians. They were still the majority there even after 70 years of Soviet Azeri sovereignty and Azeris striving to change that demographic situation.
She also ignores the fact that Karabakh’s Armenians demanded liberation after a long history of pogroms by Azeris in Baku, Shushi, Sumgait and other places, starting in the early 1900s, then around 1920, and again in 1988. History is a wonderful Hollywood-style movie with clear distinction between good guys and bad guys when you ignore facts that do not support your thesis.
I will conclude with drawing the attention to three facts. The first is that for many years now there is a monument standing in the heart of Yerevan with inscriptions in Hebrew and Armenian, commemorating both the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately, there is no parallel such monument in Israel.
Second, Armenia sent its highest-ranking citizen to the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, H.E. Armen Sarkissian, the president of Armenia.
The third is that Armenia has decided to open an embassy in Israel soon, regardless of whether Israel opens one in Yerevan. There could be no clearer statements that Armenia opposes antisemitism.
The writer teaches Armenian History and culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

#113 Yervant1


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Posted 01 February 2020 - 08:49 AM

Jerusalem Post
Jan 31 2020
Israel will not win the battle against antisemitism until it recognizes the Armenian Genocide, President Armen Sarkissian told The Jerusalem Post.
Sarkissian, who was in Israel over the past week for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, which marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, said that most of the Armenian population does not understand the logic behind Israel’s refusal to officially recognize the mass killing of more than 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children by the Ottoman government between 1915 and 1917.
The Armenian Genocide is recognized by more than 30 countries, including the United States as of October 2019, but Israel has resisted formally naming the genocide for what it is.
“A lot of Armenians ask, ‘Why on earth would Israel, a country whose people have seen their own huge tragedy, not recognize the Armenian Genocide?’” Sarkissian said. “There is no logical answer. I cannot say that Israel has relations with Turkey and that is why – I cannot say that.”
But he acknowledged that Israel-Turkey relations, which were formalized in March 1949, are likely the catalyst for Israeli silence.
The Turkish government for more than a century has denied that there was ever any plan to systematically wipe out the Armenian population. Although, here and there, Turkish officials – including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – have offered condolences to the Armenians, none has ever labeled the tragedy a genocide, and most call it a lie or say that the Ottoman Turks simply took “necessary measures” to counter Armenian separatism at the time.
“Israel has relations with Turkey,” Sarkissian said. “Today, those relations are good, tomorrow they are bad, and then the other way around. But the truth will remain the truth.”
He said that recognizing human tragedy is a matter of morality more than anything else, and he can only hope that one day Israel will recognize the genocide and that “human values, moral values and the importance of history will prevail. Recognition will not be connected with this or that interest of the State of Israel or something else that is important only in the moment.”
But he also believes that Israel’s failure to commiserate with Armenia over their comparable tragedies – the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide – is harming Israel and the Jewish people’s efforts to combat an ever-expanding epidemic of antisemitism.
“All of the reasons why this happened have not disappeared,” Sarkissian told the Post, referring to both the Holocaust and the genocide. “Antisemitism is alive. Extreme nationalism is alive everywhere in the world.... It can all come back.”
He said that human tendency is to forget the lessons of history for the convenience of the present.
Sarkissian believes that Turkey has not recognized the genocide because it would be “inconvenient: millions of people lost their lives; a culture was destroyed; and Turkey is probably afraid of claims – material and moral claims.
“Maybe they are afraid because for years they didn’t tell the truth to their children and grandchildren in their schools,” he continued.
“It does not matter to me personally whether this country or that country will or will not recognize [the genocide]. It will not change my life or the lives of the millions of Armenians who lost their homes and are scattered all over the world in the Armenian diaspora. But it is going to backfire.”
He said that a country’s recognition of the genocide or not will decide if that country is able to build for itself a tolerant society. A country that does not recognize the genocide, he said, is a country that will ultimately lack tolerance for other people’s religion, nationality, faith and culture.
“The biggest disease of humanity today is not a virus in Hong Kong,” Sarkissian said. “It is not AIDS or cancer. With new technologies we are learning more and more how to fight cancer and defeat viruses. But technology will not teach us how to cure the disease of inhumanity.
“No medicine can be taken with water to help you become more human, more tolerant – this is much more problematic,” he explained.
And he said that only in the moment that Israel recognizes the genocide will it truly be able to move into its rightful role as the worldwide leader in the fight against antisemitism and extremism.
“It will make Israel’s case much stronger when it partners with Armenia, Rwanda, Cambodia,” Sarkissian stressed. “Then, we can come together and say, ‘This is enough.’ If we don’t do that and everyone plays the game on their own, we are going to lose the battle.”
Sarkissian said that he attended the World Holocaust Forum because he does not think “it would have been right for any Armenian to connect the remembrance of the Holocaust tragedy” with whether the Israeli parliament recognizes the Armenian Genocide or not.
“There is no way that, as president of Armenia, I would ever consider not being here,” he said.
BUT HIS own country is in other ways as guilty as the Jewish state.
Armenia has held Israel to a double standard on its territorial conflict with the Palestinians, voting against and condemning Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria at the United Nations, while defending Armenia’s own occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The United Nations Security Council in 1993 adopted four resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that affirm Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and demand Armenian withdraw from the area. Furthermore, the US State Department describes on its website that Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership “is not recognized internationally or by the United States,” thereby acknowledging Armenian forces’ occupation of one-fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory during the 1988-1994 Armenia-Azerbaijan war.
At the time, Armenia expelled more than 800,000 Azerbaijani civilians and has since barred them from returning to their homes. At least 100,000 Azerbaijanis remain in refugee camps today under desperate living conditions.
There is striking parallelism between Israel’s fight for territory in the West Bank, often called the “biblical heartland,” because of the Jews’ thousands-of-years history there, and Armenia’s grasp on Nagorno-Karabakh. Most historians believe that Armenians had been living in the region as early as the second or even fourth century BCE.
When asked about this contradiction and why Armenia does not vote with tolerance toward Israel at the United Nations, Sarkissian said, “The Armenian state has to think of protecting Armenian life, and the Jewish state has to think about protecting Jewish life. Both Armenians and Jews are human, and yet politics decides many things.”
“Armenia is a landlocked country; it has only four neighbors: Turkey – and you know our relations with them; Azerbaijan – and you know our relations,” he continued.
“Armenia has only two ways of communicating with the world: One is Georgia, and the other is Iran. I’ll stop there. Don’t take me into the jungle of politics.”
Until the countries come to terms on these differences, Sarkissian said, he hopes that they will identify other areas in which they share common ground.
The president used his time in the country after the Holocaust forum to meet with top Israeli universities and with the Israel Innovation Authority, for example, and noted there are plans to collaborate on new projects in the artificial intelligence arena.
He also said he hopes to increase tourism between the two countries.
“Once we have Israeli citizens traveling to Armenia and learning about its history and culture, our beautiful land and fantastic food, and once more Armenians come to Israel and spend the holidays here, the better the world will be,” he concluded.

#114 Yervant1


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Posted 24 April 2020 - 09:55 AM

Jerusalem Post
April 23 2020
Indefensible: Israel’s Failure to Recognize the Armenian Genocide Many of Israel’s leaders have publicly recognized the Armenian Genocide at various points throughout Israeli history. But as a nation, the Jewish state has refused to do this.
APRIL 23, 2020 21:52
This week, Israelis and Jews around the world recognize and remember the six million Jews who were barbarically and cruelly murdered in the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis. But only a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), another genocide remembrance day falls – for the Armenian Genocide. April 24 is the official memorial day for the Armenian Genocide commemorating more than a million Armenians murdered at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Yet in Israel, this day could pass without most of the country noticing. 
Despite Israel’s history and the collective trauma of ethnic cleansing and pogroms against Jews from Arab states, and of course the Holocaust, Israel has not recognized the Armenian Genocide, nor does Israel place an emphasis on educating about the Armenian Genocide. In fact, the Knesset has failed to recognize the Armenian Genocide repeatedly due to various political interests, in an embarrassing national display of moral failure. 
Many of Israel’s leaders have publicly recognized the Armenian Genocide at various points throughout Israeli history. But as a nation, the Jewish state has refused to recognize the genocide due to fear of Turkey’s reaction, a state which has historically been a key ally for Israel’s security. Today, the relationship with Turkey has changed due to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s marked hostility toward Israel. Yet Israel has still not recognized the Armenian Genocide. 
In 2018, MK Tamar Zandberg proposed a bill to address this gap, but the bill was cancelled due to government opposition. In 2019, many government leaders called on Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide including Blue and White’s Yair Lapid, and Likud’s Gideon Saar, but the vote was delayed and ultimately cancelled – again, due to lack government (coalition) support. This political failure in 2020 on the most basic of issues is simply unconscionable.
APRIL 24, 1915, is internationally known as the start of the Armenian Genocide. But the murderous campaign of the Turks began many years before that in the 1890s under Sultan Abdul Hamid, whose leadership oversaw the murder of 100,000-300,000 Armenians. 
On April 24, the Turks doubled down, launching an ethnic cleansing campaign against Armenian Christians, more horrific than the world had ever seen. They began by rounding up and murdering 250 Armenian intellectuals, and they continued with the Tehcir Law. Armenians were robbed of their property and belongings and deported en masse. They were sent on death marches into the Syrian desert in inhumane conditions, and women and girls were raped and enslaved. Those who survived were sent to concentration camps, executed, or left to die. Nearly 50,000 Armenians were tossed into the Black Sea and left to drown. Between 1914 and 1918, 1-1.5 million Armenians were murdered by Ottoman Turks, the direct predecessors of modern Turkey, in the largest race-based genocide in history (at the time). 
Unlike Germany, Turkey and Turkish leaders have adamantly refused to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide at all, even oppressing Turkish citizens who do publicly acknowledge the crime against humanity. To date, there has been no recognition and no reparations made to the Armenian people for what is seen by many historians as a precursor to the Holocaust. Even Hitler himself is reported to have said in 1939: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
Imagine if the major perpetrators of the Holocaust were never caught for their crimes, and that adding insult to injury, the State of Germany denied altogether that the Holocaust had occurred. Imagine if Germany instead punished anyone who said otherwise, and threatened to end diplomatic ties with nations who recognized the Holocaust. 
On top of this, suppose Germany also had a long and rich track record of destroying concrete evidence the Holocaust ever occurred so as to quash internal dissent. This is exactly what the modern state of Turkey has done, and that in and of itself should be a crime – just as Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany today.
ISRAEL’S LEADERS from the time of its founding in 1948 have carried with them the solemn obligation and promise to ensure that “Never again” is a reality. It is a promise that we as a people reaffirm this week with Yom HaShoah, remembering the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. But part of ensuring that never means never is recognising what genocide looks like. 
Some of Israel’s leaders already have, such as President Reuven Rivlin, who has long called for such recognition, stating in 2015: “It was… one of my eldest brothers, who said 25 years before the Holocaust that if we do not warn against what is going on with the Armenians, what will happen afterwards when they try to do it to us…? There is a saying that the Nazis used the Armenian genocide as something that gave them permission to bring the Holocaust into reality… 'Never again' belongs to every one of you, all the nations." 
It’s time for Israel’s leaders to exercise true leadership and, as a state, recognize the Armenian Genocide. For the State of Israel, the Jewish state, to not recognise the Armenian Genocide is one of the greatest symbolic failures in the Israel today. 
There are some lines that no political interest should be above. One of them is most certainly recognizing the Holocaust, which nearly all nations do today – but another is recognizing the Armenian Genocide, which far too many countries do not. Part of Israel’s historical challenge in recognizing the Armenian Genocide is the lack of moral clarity in the rest of the international community on this issue, giving Turkey more power to “punish” states which recognize the genocide. 
At various points in Israel’s history, this may not have been a button Israel could push alone, without an existential risk. But Israel’s survival is not dependent on what Turkey and its current dictator Erdogan think of Israel today, and it’s high time that Turkey’s bullying tactics be universally and unequivocally rejected by all nations. For the world, and for Israel: Recognize the Armenian Genocide now.
Emily Schrader is the CEO of Social Lite Creative and a research fellow at the Tel Aviv Institute.

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 09:57 AM

News.am, Armenia
April 23 2020
Jewish-Australian community calls for Armenian Genocide recognition
16:05, 23.04.2020

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), which is the peak public affairs representative of the Jewish-Australian community has called for Federal recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides in the lead-up to the 105th anniversary of the crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU). 

"The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected peak national body representing the Australian Jewish community, joins with our colleagues in the Armenian National Committee of Australia in calling upon all nations and all governments to recognise the reality of the genocide that occurred between 1915 and 1923, when more than 1 million Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, almost all of them civilians, lost their lives at the hands of the Ottoman Caliphate, and many more were expelled from their homes," reads the statement signed by the organisation's Co-CEO, Peter Wertheim.

"In light of all the evidence, it cannot seriously be suggested that these actions, targeted at civilians on such a vast scale, and carried out with systematic brutality, were a mere happenstance of war. The ECAJ has long accepted the overwhelming verdict of history scholars that the killings and expulsions were carried out with genocidal intent."

The statement concluded: "Political expedience must never blind us to historical truth. A crime does not cease to be a crime simply because it is denied, no matter how often the denial is repeated. The scourge of genocide can only be overcome when political leaders unite in identifying and condemning it."


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Posted 24 April 2020 - 09:58 AM

Ha'aretz, Israel
April 23 2020
Opinion The Jews Who Befriended Turkey and Became Genocide Deniers

Prominent Jews, from Turkish chief rabbis to Israel's presidents to U.S. lay leaders, have propped up Turkey’s Armenian genocide denial. That's only just begun to change

Apr 23, 2020 5:16 PM
Members of Jerusalem's tiny Armenian community demonstrate in front of the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to demand Israel recognize the Armenian genocide. Oct. 22, 2007AP

Some disasters that plague humans are unavoidable, as they are acts of nature. The plagues that are avoidable are human made. Among them is genocide.

Every April 24 nations around the world commemorate the genocide of the Armenians committed by the Ottoman regime in 1915. The two nations that should be leading public commemoration of the tragedy are not among them. The two nations are Turkey and Israel. 

Since its inception in 1923 the Turkish Republic has denied intentional mass murder of the Armenians happened. It has even gone so far as to make the preposterous claim that Armenians committed genocide against Turks. The tallest monument in Turkey is visible from over the border in the Republic of Armenia. It is dedicated to the "Martyred Turks Massacred by Armenians." 

Despite the fact that its own foundation in 1948 was accelerated by the Nazi genocide of Jews, the State of Israel also does not remember the Armenian genocide. The Jewish state should be the first to recognize genocide wherever it occurs. But it prefers official silence to antagonizing its military and economic ally, no matter the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric of Turkey’s current leader.

Most surprising is that Turkish and Israeli genocide denial has been facilitated by Turkish Jews. Despite their own long, sorry record of suffering discrimination and occasional violence in the Turkish Republic, for decades Turkish Jewish leaders have been among Turkey’s most reliable agents of genocide denial. Why is that?

The leaders of Turkish Jewry determined that the best way to guarantee the continued existence of the dwindling, insecure community is to demonstrate their unswerving loyalty to the state. The acid test for proving themselves useful allies is to agitate against genocide recognition in Israel, Europe, and the United States.

This history of alliance between Turkish Jewish leadership and Turkey’s regime goes back to when the territory ruled by the Turkish Republic today was part of the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire allowed tens of thousands of Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century to live with few hindrances. Grateful Jews depicted the Ottoman sultan as their savior, fulfilling a divine plan. 
In the nineteenth century, Ottoman Jewish intellectuals recycled pre-modern views. They converted the sultan, and by extension all Turks, into tolerant hosts of their Jewish "guests." In 1892, during the four hundredth anniversary of the 1492 "welcome" given Iberian Jewry, Ottoman Jews began to publicize the Turk as humanitarian protector. This occurred alongside the first massacres of Armenians. Promoting themselves as loyal subjects of the sultan, Ottoman Jewish leaders sided with Sultan Abdülhamid II against Armenians, who became their common enemy. 
Armenians executed in a public square in Constantinople in a photo taken by Armin Wegner, a German soldier stationed in the Ottoman Empire investigating reports of Armenian massacres Reuters

After the genocide in 1915, contemporary fear and anxiety was added to the Turkish Jewish emotional state of historical gratefulness. In the Turkish Republic, built in the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, anti-Jewish press campaigns, pogroms, and exorbitant taxation led to the loss of lives, wealth, and property.

During World War II thousands of Turkish Jews perished in Nazi camps in occupied Europe because Turkey did not recognize them as citizens. Assassination attempts of Jewish leaders and repeated deadly synagogue bombings have occurred since the 1980s. 

Despite their experience, in 1989 Turkish Jewish elites working together with the Turkish presidency and foreign ministry  established the Quincentennial Foundation. It celebrated "five hundred years of friendship" between Turks and Jews. Its proponents promoted the same stock figures of tolerant Turks and loyal Jews. 

People walk past by Kumbet mosque, formerly an Armenian Apostolic church known as Church of the Twelve Apostles, in the eastern city of Kars, Turkey. February 1, 2020 MURAD SEZER/ REUTERS

To advocate a fantasy of five hundred years of harmony, the most influential Jewish leaders within Turkey - chief rabbis David Asseo and Ishak Haleva, the editors in chief of the Jewish weekly Salom and lay leaders such as industrialist Jak Kamhi andformer Jewish community president Bensiyon Pinto - opposed recognition of the Armenian genocide. 

They were joined by supporters in Israel (including presidents Shimon Peres and Moshe Katzav, as well as the Foreign Ministry, and the Union of Turkish Immigrants in Israel) and almost every major American Jewish organisation, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the most influential Jewish historians of the Ottoman Empire, Bernard Lewis and Stanford Shaw.

They also denied the existence of Turkish anti-Semitism. In their view, genocide is an if/then proposition: if one accepts that Turks and Jews have lived in peace and brotherhood for five hundred years, then one trusts that Turks could not possibly have perpetrated a genocide against the Armenians.  

In the United States Congress the spell of this myth has finally been broken. On October 29, 2019, the House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by Jewish-American Congressman Adam Schiff recognizing the 1915 Ottoman annihilation of Armenians as a genocide. On December 12, the Senate unanimously adopted a similar resolution.

Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, authoritarian crackdown on dissent, anti-Israel stance, and incursion into Syria to expel Kurds made the scales fall from their eyes. Despite Turkish state threats and Turkish Jewish lobbying, Congress has finally recognized the fact that in 1915 the Ottoman Empire intentionally annihilated its Armenian subjects.

Several major Jewish-American organizations have also recently recognized the genocide, including erstwhile skeptics such as the ADL and AJC. There are winds of change in Israel, too. What such actions will mean for the future of the historical Turkish-Jewish alliance is unclear.  

One thing is certain: Armenians and Jews, two groups whose similar history makes them natural allies, will improve their relationship which was harmed by decades of denial done in part by some of the latter’s co-religionists. 

Marc David Baer is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His most recent book is "Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks: Writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide" (Indiana, 2020)


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Posted 02 June 2020 - 08:11 AM

Turkey Attempts to Take Over

            Armenian Properties in Jerusalem

            By Harut Sassounian

            Publisher, The California Courier


An article in the Jewish Press of February 13, 2020 exposed the
activities of the Turkish Government to take over the Armenian and
Christian Quarters of Jerusalem. The article by journalist Baruch
Yedid is titled, “Turkey Working to Take Over Armenian Quarters in
Jerusalem’s Old City.”

Jerusalem’s Armenian “residents have told TPS [Tazpit Press Service]
about efforts of Turkish officials in recent years to persuade them to
deny the Armenian holocaust perpetrated by the Turks a century ago and
other actions to acquire property owned by local Christians, according
to Yedid.

A Jerusalem Armenian, whose grandfather had survived the Armenian
Genocide, told TPS that 40 minutes into a meeting with a Turkish
female diplomat, she tried to convince him to drop his activities for
the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. “I realized that she wanted
to persuade me to cease my activity to preserve the Armenian
massacre.” The Armenian said that he immediately showed the door to
the Turkish diplomat who understood that the Armenian community will
never give up on the recognition of the Genocide. “We will wait
another 100 years, but we will never rescind our demand for
compensation until we reach a payment agreement, like the one that
Israel signed with Germany,” the Armenian said.

Other Armenian property owners in Jerusalem told TPS that Turkish
government representatives recently offered them $3,000 grants for
their various needs. However, Armenians rejected the Turkish bribes,
calling them “silencing grants designed to ensure that the Turkish
government will not be sued for the 1915-1917 massacres.” Even though
the Israeli journalist Yedid uses the term ‘massacre’ in line with the
Israeli Government’s denialist policy, he quickly deviates from that
policy by explaining that “the Armenian extermination was a deliberate
and systematic genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during the
First World War against the Armenian population in its territory. Even
after World War I, Turks, Kurds, and Arabs continued to massacre
Armenians until 1923, and it is widely believed that about half the
Armenians in Turkey, about 1.5 million people, were murdered.” Turks
and Kurds did commit Genocide against Armenians, but I am not aware of
any massacres of Armenians by Arabs.

Yedid continued his article by citing examples of Turkish attempts to
purchase Armenian properties in Jerusalem: “Turkish pressures are also
manifest in its activity to acquire Armenian assets. TPS learned that
a few months ago, the residents of the Armenian Quarter were shocked
to find that one of their homes was sold to a Muslim, three times its
real value. An inquiry revealed that funding for the purchase of the
Armenian property came from Turkey. Following the incident, some of
the community leaders met to review the chain of events and took
action to prevent the leakage of the community’s assets to the Turks.
There is still a lingering fear among the Armenians of the Turks
taking over or buying more property.”

Yedid cited another Turkish scheme to take over Christian properties
in Jerusalem: “One Christian trader, who asked to remain anonymous,
said that the Turks recently transferred to the Jordanian Waqf [Muslim
endowment] very old ownership certificates, some crumbling, including
Ottoman-era documents and property ownership documents in the Armenian
and Christian Quarters. The trader, who showed TPS photos of several
of the certificates, says the Turks have asked the Waqf to verify the
documents which are being used to purchase the assets.” It is
paradoxical that the Turkish government would not disclose from its
archives the certificates of properties (deeds of trust) owned by
Armenians prior to the Genocide, yet it would send copies of property
certificates to a Jordanian Waqf.

Yedid also covered in his article “the growing Turkish activity in
Jerusalem and its support for the Muslim Brotherhood [which] are of
concern to Israel. In its recent annual intelligence assessment, the
IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Intelligence Division has, for the first
time, defined Turkey as a threat.”

Yedid then described Israel’s reluctance to recognize the Armenian
Genocide: “Israeli officials have often raised the possibility of
recognizing the Armenian holocaust as a counter-reaction to Turkish
activity against Israel, which includes the hosting of Hamas’
terrorist headquarters in Turkey. Over the years, Israel has refrained
from officially recognizing the Armenian genocide, fearing that such
recognition would damage diplomatic relations between Israel and
Turkey.” This is a nonsense argument as Israel’s relations with Turkey
are already damaged and its recognition of the Armenian Genocide will
not cause any further damage, just like last fall’s recognition of the
Armenian Genocide by the U.S. House and the Senate did not negatively
affect US-Turkish relations.

The Israeli journalist correctly pointed out that “Turkey monitors all
publications on the Armenian genocide and considers the issue of great
significance to Turkish national security, and accordingly, the Turks
have not relented with their attempt to persuade the Armenians in
Jerusalem to cease their commemorative endeavors.”

Yedid also reported that the Turkish government has been encouraging
Turkish tourism to Jerusalem by paying the cost of travel to mosques
in Jerusalem and the West Bank: “Turkish nonprofits operate in
Jerusalem daily, helping mainly the Muslim Brotherhood and Jerusalem
religious activities. A source in the Armenian Quarter said that
Turkish tourists in the Old City have also recently been working
against the Armenians, tearing up posters and publications about the
Armenian genocide. Graffiti inscriptions in condemnation of the
Armenians were sprayed on the Quarter’s walls.”

Furthermore, the Turkish ‘Heritage’ Society is active in Jerusalem “in
the fields of education, culture, real estate and welfare, and also
carries funding for the ‘convoy project’ to transport thousands of
Muslim worshipers to mosques as well as funding tens of thousands of
meals to break the Ramadan fast,” according to Yedid.

Similarly, TIKA, Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s Turkish
Cooperation and Coordination Agency, funded several projects in
Jerusalem. Dozens of mosques and houses have been renovated by Turkey.

It is up to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem to counter the
Turkish efforts by precluding local Armenians from selling their
properties to Turkish buyers. The Armenian Government’s Office of the
High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs should assist the Armenian
Patriarchate of Jerusalem to oppose the Turkish attempts to encroach
on the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem.

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