Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 June

‘It is Israel’s moral obligation to recognize Armenian Genocide’: Journalist Yossi Melman for Foreign Policy

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS. Both Armenians and Jews have been the victims of premeditated mass murder. The Israeli government must put justice before political expediency and call the crime by its name, Israeli journalist Yossi Melman stated in the article published in the Foreign Policy magazine, reports Armenpress.

The journalist starts the article, titled “Israel’s Refusal to Recognize the Armenian Genocide is Shameful and Immoral” [later the title of the article has changed into Israel’s Refusal to Recognize the Armenian Genocide is Indefensible], with the visit to the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial. He says despite the shared experience of genocide, Israel and Armenia are worlds apart today.

“Israel has consistently refused to acknowledge that what happened to the Armenian people was a genocide. This decision doesn’t derive so much from a desire to monopolize victimhood and portray the Holocaust as a unique and unparalleled historical event. It is primarily a cynical political ploy. For many years, Israel feared Turkey’s wrath if it recognized the genocide”, the journalist writes. Yossi Melman states since the late 1950s, Turkey had been a strong strategic ally of Israel. There were close ties between the two nations’ intelligence and security establishments. “Whenever Israeli parliamentarians, human rights activists, and historians called for recognition of the Armenian genocide, the initiative was blocked by the government”, he says. 

But in the past decade, relations between Turkey, under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Israel have deteriorated. Moreover, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair regularly exchange nasty verbal blows over Twitter with Erdogan, calling each other “tyrant,” “murderer,” and more.

“Yet Israel remains adamant in its refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide. These days, there is a new excuse: Azerbaijan”, the journalist writes, stating that Israel has started selling weapons to Azerbaijan which are used by the latter against Armenia.

“For Israel, it’s just a trade, but for us, its death”, Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told Foreign Policy as quoted by the author of the article.

“In return, Azerbaijan sells oil to Israel and allows Israeli intelligence agencies to use its soil as a launching pad for operations against Iran. Now, Netanyahu, who was re-elected this month for his fifth term as prime minister, fears that acknowledging the Armenian genocide would cause Israel to lose the revenues from the Azerbaijani market and that Aliyev, who is also a good friend of Erdogan’s, might put an end to the Israeli intelligence presence in his country”, stated in the article.

“Israel’s behavior is a travesty of morality and history. It’s even more shameful because it comes from a nation that was built on and has risen from the ashes of genocide. It is past time for Israel to stop its evasive language about Armenia in the service of crude economic interests. A genocide is a genocide. It is Israel’s moral obligation to humanity, and to the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, to recognize the Armenian genocide, just as it has recognized the Rwandan genocide”, Yossi Melman concluded.


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