Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Another slap on Erdugan's Face

Israel’s Fragile Relations with Turkey Recognize Armenia Genocide

Local Editor
An ‘Israeli’ parliamentary committee held a landmark discussion on recognizing genocide in Armenia on Monday, a move likely to further strain already tense relations with Turkey.

During the discussion on the "Jewish people's recognition of the Armenian genocide," as defined by the committee, lawmakers, historians and members of the local Armenian community stressed the Zionist ‘moral obligation’ to officially recognize the Armenian tragedy as a genocide.

The committee did not, however, make any decisions or issue any declaration, and will meet again on the issue later on.

During past years, the Knesset held hearings on the subject, but only behind the closed doors of its foreign and defense committee.

This was the first time such a discussion was open to the public.

Committee chairman Alex Miller of Yisrael Beiteinu party, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, said the discussion would focus on the "educational and academic" aspects of the issue, such as the correct way to address it in schools and universities, rather than its security and diplomatic angles.

Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin also stressed that the issue was not a political one.

"The subject has not arisen at the Knesset because things happened between Israel and Turkey; not because we want to exploit a political situation in order to settle accounts," he told the committee at the start of its debate.

On the other hand, a foreign ministry representative at the discussion warned of the repercussions an Israeli move toward recognizing the Armenian genocide could have on the already-strained relations with Turkey.

"Our relations with them are so fragile today, it is not right to push them over the red line," Irit Lillian said. "Such recognition at this stage could have severe ramifications."

Proposals by lawmakers to hold hearings on the issue were rejected by governments over the years, when ties between Turkey the Occupying entity were warm during that time.

However, relations plunged into deep crisis last year when IOF killed nine Turks in a raid on a Turkish ferry, part of an activist flotilla seeking to breach Zionist naval blockade of Gaza.

In October, Turkey expelled the ‘Israeli’ ambassador and axed military ties and defense trade. Last week, Zionist entity cancelled completion of a 2008 contract to sell Turkey aerial surveillance equipment.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kinsmen died in orchestrated killings during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turkish government strongly denies this, saying 300,000 Armenians and as many Turks were killed in civil conflict when the Christian Armenians, backed by Russia, rose up against the Ottoman Empire.

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