Israel to recognize Armenian genocide

During and immediately after World War I, in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks killed between one million and 1.5 million Armenians – a tiny Christian ethnic minority in an overwhelmingly Muslim region. There is no debate about the murders, or about the methodical way in which the murders were planned and executed by the very top echelons of the Turkish government.

Armenian civilians are marched to Mezireh prison by armed Ottoman soldiers.

Armenian civilians are marched to Mezireh prison by armed Ottoman soldiers.

What is debated by most of the world is whether or not the Armenian genocide will be called “genocide.” Unlike Germany – which has fully accepted responsibility for the Holocaust – Turkey has used every diplomatic string it can pull to avoid being labeled a perpetrator of genocide. Especially in the post-World War II world order, with Turkey serving as a stable, democratic bridge between the West and the Muslim world, Western powers have been unwilling to confront the Turks about this deplorable chapter in their history. Only 20 countries (including Canada, France, Italy, and Russia) have recognized the genocide and Germany, in 2005, said that Turkey had to take responsibility for the events of that time, but stopped short of using the word “genocide.” Forty-three U.S. states have passed resolutions recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Turkey has resisted, in sometimes harsh ways, any effort to call the genocide what it was. They most frequently make diplomatic and economic threats against countries that dare to even debate the genocide.  Western observers may wonder what the big deal is – why doesn’t Turkey just admit what happened almost 100 years and say they’re sorry? Well…it’s a VERY big deal to Turkey. And to Armenians.

Which is why Israel’s decision this week to recognize the Armenian genocide is so interesting – because it comes at the same time as the release of a report on the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara, the cruise ship illegally trying to break the blockade of Gaza that was diverted by the Israeli military in 2010. During that raid, Israeli commandos were attacked by a mob of paid thugs. The IDF and on-board cameras showed the attack. Responding in self-defense, Israeli soldiers killed nine passengers. The incident damaged an already troubled relationship between the two once-close countries.

Israel has considered recognition of the genocide before – but never so seriously. It is likely to pass this time. I suspect that there are two major calculations at play and another minor one:

  • The Israelis may believe that the relationship between Israel and Turkey is gone and is not coming back. There is ample evidence for this. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a virulent anti-Semite who bashes Israel every chance he gets. Turkey, as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has blocked Israeli participation in NATO military exercises and, most recently, prevented Israel from participating in the NATO meeting in Chicago.
  • It’s the right thing to do, and has grated on the Israeli conscience for years. For the world’s lone Jewish state to fail to recognize the genocide of another people is too much for many Israelis.
  • The minor calculation is the timing of the report on the Mavi Marmara incident. If the report contains information that may be damaging to Israel, it’s possible that recognition of the genocide is partly designed to take away some of the attention. If the report condemns Turkey, it’s possible that the recognition is designed to twist the knife.

Should the recognition pass in the Israeli Knesset, we will have to wait and see what ramifications result. One thing is clear: the relationship between Israel and Turkey seems likely to get much worse in the very near future.


Author: Stand For Israel | June 11, 2012
Posted in:  Uncategorized


 

What do you think?

  • Robert
    June 12, 2012
    8:51 am
     

    The act of killing by the Ottoman empire must be judged in the same way as what the Nazi’s did in wwii. Has Israel forgotten how people refused to call the Holocaust what it was until it was too late

    Reply to this comment »
  • Stan
    June 11, 2012
    7:09 pm
     

    There’s a principle for Israel with this issue. That genocide did happen! If Turkey was honest about it, that nation would admit it and get over the non-recognition of that history. Typical of Islam, it won’t admit its own crimes,then or now.
    The Armenian genocide by Turkey has nothing to do with the Turkish Mavi Marmara encroachment into Israeli waters after repeated warnings by Israel.
    The world saw that certain Mavi Marmara passengers were waiting for those repelling Israeli soldiers, in order to kill them.
    Not until the Israelis were left with no other option but to die, did they fire upon those Mavi Marmara antagonists.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Dan C
    June 11, 2012
    4:25 pm
     

    Clearly Israel should acknowledge that the extermination of 1.5 million people because of their religion was an act of genocide.

    Just as clearly, we in the west need to readjust our thinking and form a new military alliance- one that more realistically deals with the threats to our security today; and one which does not give our enemies a seat at our planning tables. I recommend headquartering that alliance in Tel Aviv. Shalom.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Cheryl
    June 11, 2012
    3:58 pm
     

    There should never be a debate over doing what is ” right “. The Lord of Hosts will rescue Israel from her enemies. So be it and and say Amen.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Sandra
    June 11, 2012
    3:05 pm
     

    I stand for Israel..God bless you.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Colette
    June 11, 2012
    2:22 pm
     

    It’s about time! Israel should recognize the Genocide no matter what. I never bought the line that Turkey threatened Jews in Turkey should this happen.Israel can handle threats of that nature.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Erin
    June 11, 2012
    1:09 pm
     

    Dear Israel, stand up for what is right-that’s all you can do in a situation like this. Adonai will fight this political battle for you.He only asks you to stand up for justice and tell the truth.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Norman
    June 11, 2012
    12:56 pm
     

    If you recognize the existence of a principle, then stand by it!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mal
    June 11, 2012
    12:33 pm
     

    And of course, Israel is falsely accused of genocide by those who have sworn to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Bumper Sticker Buttons, Revisionism and P.C. rule the apathetic.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Richard
    June 11, 2012
    12:04 pm
     

    It is about time. Israel should have acknowledged this genocide for a long time already. But I am proud that it will chose to do so now.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Christopher
    June 11, 2012
    11:54 am
     

    Isimply cannot understyand the western nations. They will readily condemn Israel for any minor think but not condemn Turkey. In the eyes of the Lord God of Israelthey will be judged by their actions.These European nations will soon be taken over by Islamists.

    Reply to this comment »
    • Lynne
      June 12, 2012
      9:23 pm
       

      Chris-you cannot always believe the “official” stmts made by the west. countries. In the US, most of us are on the side of Israel even though our pres.is stupid in his remarks/beliefs re. Her and Turk

      Reply to this comment »
  • Amy
    June 11, 2012
    11:48 am
     

    I have always known about this genocide and listened to the stories of Demos Shakarian. If the world allowed the Turks to commit genocide, the devil knew that no one would care about Jews either.

    Reply to this comment »

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