Thursday, April 10, 2008

Zeev Elkin: unlike Armenians, Turks quickly reacted to Armenian Genocide debate in Knesset

It’s impossible to foretell the result of the Armenian Genocide discussion in the Knesset, chairman of the Israel-Armenia group, Kadima’s Zeev Elkin told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

“The issue will be discussed. It’s already an achievement, as the Armenian Genocide has not been touched upon for the past 20 years in Israel. Turkish and Azeri lobbies reacted to the event quickly. Unfortunately, I can’t tell the same about Armenia and Armenian Diaspora,” he said.

“Certainly, the discussion will not take shape of a bill but in case of success, we can pass a declaration on the Armenian Genocide,” Mr Elkin said.

He reminded that the initiative is exercised every year, dated to April 24. “However, this time it was backed not only by the opposition but also by parties serving on the coalition. As for me, I was guided by moral reasons because I know the history,” he said.

Mr Elkin also informed that a course Armenian Studies is taught at Jerusalem University. “The course includes Armenian history, the Armenian language and also the Armenian Genocide,” he said.

On 26 March, the Knesset decided to bring the Armenian Genocide issue into discussion in one of parliamentary committees. Zeev Elkin offered to debate in the committee on education and culture while Joseph Shagal insisted on discussions in committee on external affairs and defense.

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