“The time has come to stop giving in to Turkish pressure,” Yair Lapid said.
Lawmakers called on Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide on its annual memorial day Wednesday.
“The time has come for Israel to officially recognize the genocide of the Armenian people and stop giving in to Turkish pressure,” said Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid.
“We have a moral and historic responsibility to remember the genocide and to stand behind ‘never again,’” he added on Twitter. “This is true for every nation.”
Lapid said he plans to re-propose his bill to recognize the Armenian Genocide and expressed hope the coalition will support it.
The Armenian Genocide began in 1915, with the Ottoman Empire slaughtering 1.5 million Armenians. As of April 2019, 30 governments and parliaments officially recognize the genocide.
Meretz MK Mossi Raz tweeted: “Today we mark the holocaust of the Armenian people. A third of them were murdered by the Turks. The time has come for Israel to officially recognize the Armenian genocide.”
Israeli policy has been to not officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, at first to avoid antagonizing Turkey. The policy has not changed despite increased tensions with Ankara over the past decade, and in part because of warm ties with Azerbaijan, whose proximity to Iran makes it a strategic ally, important to Israeli security. Azerbaijan is in an ongoing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The Knesset Education Committee voted to recognize the Armenian Genocide in the past, but it was not been approved in the form of a bill that would be binding for the government. In 2015, Israel sent a delegation of two MKs to Yerevan for the official memorial event marking 100 years since the genocide began.