Friday, February 3rd | 12 Shevat 5783

April 24, 2020 12:14 pm

Recognition of Armenian Genocide Is ‘Moral Responsibility’ of Jewish State, Says Top Israeli Politician

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A depiction of the Armenian genocide. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

One of Israel’s best-known politicians reiterated his call on Friday for the Knesset to pass a law recognizing the genocide of the Armenian people more than a century ago.

Yair Lapid — a former cabinet minister who now leads the opposition Yesh Atid party — said on Twitter that recognizing the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Turkey was “our moral responsibility as the Jewish state.”

Lapid’s statement came on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, which commemorates the start of the massacres on April 24, 1915.

Though reports vary, most sources agree that there were about 2 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire before the massacres. In 1922, when the genocide was over, there were just 388,000 Armenians remaining in the Ottoman Empire.

Nonetheless, Turkey has continually denied that the genocide took place, presenting the atrocities as an unfortunate consequence of World War I and insisting that all sides committed atrocities.

A growing number of countries have nevertheless resisted Turkish pressure by recognizing the genocide in legislation. In 2019, both houses of the US Congress overwhelmingly passed such a measure.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan railed against the US after the Armenian genocide bill was approved, dismissing the legislation as “worthless” and an “insult to our people.” In 2019, Turkey received over $170 million in government aid from the US.


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