JERUSALEM (A.W.)—The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday, which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. Sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, the bill was rejected in a preliminary vote.
“There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying.
“The Israeli leadership diminishes itself by so transparently treating genocide remembrance as a commodity to be bartered with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian, regarding the vote.
Armenian Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Nalbandian met with Kneset Speaker Yuli Edelstein last November, during Nalbandian’s official visit to Israel. At the meeting, the two exchanged views on a number of urgent regional issues, including the importance of the Israeli Parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
During the talks, Edelstein had noted that his point of view about the importance of recognition is “well-known” and that he has expressed it many times publically. In July 2015, during a committee meeting, Edelstein had said the Knesset “must do the moral thing” and recognize the Armenian Genocide.
“I visited one of the Armenian memorial sites and it is very hard to ignore what I saw there,” Edelstein had recounted at the time, according to the Jerusalem Post. “I expect that I and the Knesset behave appropriately so that we can make decisions according to the moral standards of a democratic state.”