By Theodore Shoebat
The government of Israel has bowed down to Turkey, with its refusal (to the disappointment of some members of the Knesset) to recognize the Armenian Genocide in which the Ottoman Empire slaughtered over a million Armenian Christians. As we read in one report from Yahoo! News:
An Israeli parliamentary vote scheduled for Tuesday on recognising the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide has been cancelled because of government opposition, the lawmaker behind the initiative said.
Last month the Knesset had approved a motion penned by Tamar Zandberg of the left-wing opposition Meretz party to hold a plenary debate and vote on “recognising the Armenian genocide”.
Turkey had expressed its opposition and to try to ensure the support of the governing coalition for her motion, Zandberg agreed to postpone the vote until after Sunday’s Turkish elections.
On Monday, it became clear that the coalition was still opposed to Zandberg’s initiative, even after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reelection.
“Despite the promises and delays and despite the Turkish elections being behind us, the government and coalition are refusing to recognise the Armenian genocide,” Zandberg said on Twitter late Monday.
“I am therefore forced to cancel the vote,” she said.
“Recognising the Armenian genocide is a matter of basic historical justice and morals, which the Jewish state should have been the first to recognise,” Zandberg said.
The Israeli foreign ministry would not comment on Zandberg’s initiative since it did not involve legislation.
It did however recommend the government postpone a vote on a bill to recognise the Armenian genocide earlier this month, over concern its advancement could benefit Erdogan ahead of the June 24 elections there.
Zandberg’s motion would not have been considered an Israeli government move, but could have worsened already tense ties with Turkey, which has accused Israel of Nazism over its killing of dozens of Palestinians on the Gaza border.
Meretz has since 1989 sought recognition of the century-old mass killings of Armenians by their Ottoman rulers as a “genocide,” with Israeli governments rejecting the efforts because of ties with Turkey.
When Zandberg purposed the measure for Israel to recognize the Armenian genocide, Israeli officials initially expressed their desire to delay the recognition because the Turkish elections were not done yet, and they were supposedly afraid that such legislation would only help Erdogan. But, as Zandberg points out, Erdogan has already been elected and the Israeli government is still refusing to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
This is so ironic, given the fact that Israel rages against Poland if Polish officials get angry with Israeli politicians when they insist on calling the Nazi death camps “Polish death camps” (which does not make sense given the fact that millions of ethnic Poles were butchered by the Nazis alongside the Jews). Israeli wants the whole world to recognize the Shoah — the Holocaust — but it doesn’t care to recognize the Shoah that took place before the Nazi Holocaust, the genocide of Armenian Christians. Whats the reasoning behind this?
While there has been a drama of intense rhetoric between Israel and Turkey (with Turkish president Erdogan going against Israel for the killings of Palestinians), the economic ties between the two countries has been untouched. Days after the supposed diplomatic crises erupted before Israel and Turkey, there was a bill that was proposed in the Turkish parliament that would have canceled any arms or trade agreements with Israel. Both the Islamist AKP and the Turkish nationalist MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] refused to agree to the bill. As we read in an article the Turkish newspaper, Sozcu:
“Last night, the opposition submitted a parliamentary motion requesting that all trade, cultural and arms agreements with Israel be canceled. The motion requesting the imposition of sanctions on Israel was brought down with votes from the AKP and the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party, which is allied with Erdogan]. And that was that”
One Turkish politician described Erdogan’s rhetoric against Israel as simply “theater.” In front of the press, Erdogan vents against Israel. But behind the curtains, Erdogan’s son, Ahmet Burak Erdogan, makes money off of Israel. As one Israeli report from 2013 states:
Turkish opposition members have embarrassed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by revealing that in the past three years, while the relations between Ankara and Jerusalem were at an all-time low, his son continued doing business with Israel.
The son, Ahmet Burak Erdogan, is the owner of the MB Shipping company, which holds two cargo vessels. One of them, Safran-1, has sailed between Turkish and Israeli ports several times, transferring goods back and forth.
There is definitely a connection between Turkish industrialists, the Jewish lobby and Turkish efforts to get other countries not to recognize the Armenian Genocide. In the 1980s, when Republican senator Robert Dole to get a bill recognizing the Armenian Genocide passed, both Turkish industrialists and Jewish lobbyists collaborated to kill the bill.
The Turkish investor Üzeyir Garih recounted how he and others worked with Jewish lobbyists to stop the bill from getting passed:
“We asked [Israel’s] initiative on the Jewish lobby indirectly by mentioning the problem Turkey faced. They said they would do whatever possible. Also we sent letters to the Jewish lobby. After the seminar, Jak Kamhi, chairman of the executive committee of our foundation [i.e., the Quincentenial Foundation] went to Washington. I may say that we’ve worked against this draft since 1984. I think this comprehensive effort will yield positive results, since the Jewish lobby is very strong in Congress.”
One senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official even said that “if the genocide concept is applied to the Armenians who died between 1915 and 1923, when not even one document appeared on [the Ottomans’ hostile] intention against the Armenians, it will destroy the concept of genocide. [The] Jewish genocide will become [simply a commonplace event].” In other words, they feared that if the Armenian Genocide is recognize, it would make the Jewish Holocaust appear to be just another genocide. Turkey’s chief rabbi, David Asseo, wrote a letter to each of the one hundred members of the US Senate, saying:
“The new initiative is of great concern to our community. We acknowledge the tragedy suffered both by the Turks and the Armenians. However we cannot accept the label of ‘genocide’; the groundless accusation is as injurious to us as it is to our Turkish compatriots.”
One of Turkey’s most wealthiest men: Sarik Tara, the founder of Enka, had a meeting with the American commodity trading executive and president of Philipp Brothers, Ludwig Jesselson in New York and asked him to deal with the situation of the bill on recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Jesselson told Tara that he would have it taken care of. Tara recounted this:
“At one time, the Armenian genocide question was a big problem for us. The Armenians were struggling to get a Senate resolution [confirming] the claims of genocide. I had a very good friend in New York: [Ludwig] Jesselson, the president of Philipp Brothers. He is no longer alive, but when I used to visit New York we would always eat lunch together. One time when I went there, I told him, ‘I’m upset.’ ‘Why?’ he asked. I told him it was due to the Armenian problem. We discussed the essence of the matter. ‘Leave it,’ he said, ‘I’ll take care of it.’ And after that the matter really was resolved. Just as he said, they solved through Tel Aviv. Because of Jesselson’s efforts, the Israel lobby and the Jewish lobby in the U.S. entered the picture.”
The bill introduced by Robert Dole was rejected in 1990, with the Senate voting 51-48, and Democrat Senator Robert Byrd saying: “I do not doubt that atrocities were committed … The Senate has no right to determine if it is genocide or not genocide.”
Israel not recognizing the Armenian Genocide may have some connection to a history.
At the peak of the Ottoman Empire, when the Ottoman Muslims were trying to exterminate the Armenians, the valiant and brave Armenian Christians put up a resistance against the Islamic enemy, fighting for their Faith and their survival. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdul Hamid II, went to a very famous Jewish activist named Theodor Herzl, and requested that he try to convince the Armenians to stop the resistance. Initially, Herzl at first offered money to pay for the Ottoman Empire’s huge debt, in exchange for land in Palestine. But this proposition was rejected by the Sultan. Herzl’s diplomatic agent Philip Michael Nevlinski (who was also an advisor to the Sultan), advised Herzl: “Instead of offering the Sultan money… give him political support on the Armenian issue, and he’ll be grateful and accept your proposal, in part at least.”
Herzl backed the Ottoman Empire in their cause in vanquishing the Armenians, and had meetings with Armenian resistance fighters to convince them to cease fighting, telling them that the Sultan promised them peace if they would comply. The Armenians were not convinced, knowing full well the intentions of a Cain. There were numerous Zionists who were completely against Herzl for this evil. When Herzl tried to recruit Max Nordau, a major figure in the Zionist movement, to join him in trying to convince the Armenians, Nordau sent him a simple reply in a one-word telegram: “No.” Bernard Lazare, a French Jewish leftist who supported a Jewish state, was so enraged over what Herzl was doing, that he cut off all ties with him. These Jewish men were righteous for going against Herzl, and the actions of Herzl show that the Jews are not exempt from criticism, and that they as well have committed evils against the Church.
So why does Israel refuse to recognize the Armenian Genocide? It does not want to destroy its ties to Turkey.