People mourn at the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum in Yerevan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called on the government to recognize the 1915 genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Turks at a special debate on the subject in parliament on Tuesday.
Edelstein’s statement was especially noteworthy because, by law, the Knesset speaker is acting president when the president is abroad.
Reuven Rivlin is set to return Wednesday from a trip to Germany.
“It is no secret that Israel has taken too ambivalent a stance on the Armenian genocide,” Edelstein 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.”
Edelstein called upon the government to reconsider its policies, and noted that he sent a delegation from the Knesset to a memorial ceremony last month in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia. The government did not.
The Knesset holds a debate marking the Armenian genocide every year.