(Knesset Speaker Edelstein)
During Tuesday`s special plenary debate marking the Armenian genocide, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said, ”It is no secret that [in Israel] as well this event has been controversial, at least with regards to the publicity it should be given. I am reiterating this year as well, and from this podium: We must not ignore, diminish or deny this terrible genocide. We must differentiate between our current interests and the difficult past, which this dark chapter is a part of.”
”This is the correct and appropriate thing to do, seeing as we are part of the family of nations and a nation whose values of morality and compassion towards every human being are paramount. Let us not remain indifferent, albeit a bit late, to the suffering the Armenians experienced,” Edelstein said, while pledging that the Knesset would continue to send representatives to memorial ceremonies in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
MK Zehava Galon (Meretz), who initiated the debate, said, ”For years [MKs] have been coming here, to the plenum, in order to ask that the genocide be called by its name. This year, after the agreement with Turkey has been signed, I know that granting this request has become particularly difficult. There was pressure from the Foreign Ministry and from elements in the government – `why are we suddenly raising this issue, with all the diplomatic sensitivity?` But despite this, I am declaring that the Knesset must recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
”Over the years we have let the recognition of the genocide turn into a toy that can be dangled when relations with Turkey are in crisis, and then shelved to placate Erdogan,” she added. ”We have started walking along the most dangerous path of politics, where everything is for sale.”