Armenian genocide memorial in Lyon, France 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Robert Pratta)
Knesset Education Committee was holding a discussion Monday
morning on the Armenian genocide, just one week after a move by
France's parliament to address the issue sparked a diplomatic crisis
between Paris and Ankara."As the Israeli parliament, as the Jews," Rivlin said, "we have a responsibility not to forget genocide."
Turkey denies that Ottoman Turks
carried out genocide against Armenians in World War One, while Armenia
has long sought recognition that the Ottomans killed 1.5 million ethnic
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Speaker Reuven Rivlin told Army Radio Monday that the Knesset has been
holding similar discussions for years, insisting that the move was not
political or in response to any events in the United states or in France.
he was clear that the discussion was not targeting Turkey. "We must say
clearly that we don't place any blame on the current Turkish government
or any Turkish governments for the past 50 years."
Otniel Schneller (Kadima) criticized the discussion as
irresponsible, warning it would lead to worsening of already strained
ties with Ankara.
Israel must "do everything in its power to
improve our relations with Turkey increase our integration in the
Islamic Middle East. Opening another front with Turkey is
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Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On, however, described a
moral imperative to hold the discussion. As the Jews who also suffered
genocide in the Holocaust, Gal-On told Army Radio Monday, "we have a
moral responsibility to recognize these things."
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