JERUSALEM—The chairperson of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on Sunday has permitted the discussion of a bill recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The debate is scheduled for Tuesday, reported the Haaretz newspaper.
Knesset chairperson Reuven Rivlin decided to permit the debate for Tuesday after Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On asked for the issue to be discussed in the Knesset last week but it was delayed due to deliberation on another bill.
Israel’s foreign ministry asked to postpone the discussion until after the Knesset hears a report on Israel’s interception of Turkish ships bound for the Gaza Strip. Gal-On refused and pressed for the Armenian Genocide bill to be placed on the agenda.
Gal-On said she did not want to cause problems with Turkey and she wanted relations with the country to improve. But she said she believed the Foreign Ministry was using the comptroller’s report as an excuse to avoid dealing with the controversial Armenian issue, reported the Jerusalem Post.
In December, the Knesset’s Education Committee hosted an unprecedented discussion of the Armenian Genocide and the need for Israel to officially recognize the matter.
At the time, a representative of the Foreign Ministry relayed the ministry’s opposition to the bill. “This subject, given the current atmosphere, could deteriorate our ties with Turkey. Our relationship with Turkey is very fragile and sensitive right now, and we cannot cross the line – we must approach the subject intelligently. Such a decision could have very serious strategic consequences,” said the representative.