AZG Armenian Daily #27,02/13/2002
TO ISRAELI AMBASSADOR IN ARMENIA RIVKA COHEN
It is a pity that at Your first televised briefing given in Armenia You repeated the notorious words of Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres- calling the Armenian genocide a 'tragedy, which should be dealt by the historians'. By these words You insulted not only the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, but also the parliaments of 14 countries of the world which recognized the Armenian Genocide. Do You really consider the horrible crime committed by Ottoman Turkey, which resulted in 1,5 million innocent Armenian victims, and even a larger number of people who fled genocide, deprived of their beautiful homeland- Western Armenia, a tragedy?You asked us not to compare the Armenian Genocide with the Jewish Holocaust. We don't! For Jews gained a motherland after the Holocaust, whereas Armenians who escaped genocide wandered all over the world- keeping the image of holy Ararat and homesickness deep in their hearts.The Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Torgom Manukian said at the ceremony dedicated to 86-th anniversary of Armenian genocide that many Jews visit him, and say that Holocaust is a unprecedented phenomenon. Archbishop Manukian answers: 'can you bring one example when Nazis opened the belly of a pregnant Jewish woman with a sword, took out the infant and held it in front of the dying mother, or when the heads of famous intellectuals and poets were being smashed with stones, or…'Do You and the Israeli foreign minister think that the historians should discuss this issue? But what historians? Historians presented the facts and proofs of Armenian Genocide to the world society long time ago, and if You are not aware of it or pretend not to be aware then it is another issue. Maybe You mean Jewish historians? I'd like to remind You the words of Jewish historian Yair Aharon said in Washington: 'Rejection of Armenian Genocide by Turkish government amounts to rejection of Jewish Holocaust by Germany'. It is surprising that You do not watch the broadcasts of April 24 of Jewish 'News' TV program, where Jewish historians demand from Israeli authorities to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, but not the 'tragedy'. And when Israel's 'Merec' party's president, ex minister of education Yosi Sarit came up with a proposal to teach Armenian Genocide subject in Jewish schools in 2000 the Turkish embassy in Jerusalem raised an incredible noise. Yosi Sarit and his followers did not quit their struggle, though, and participated in the protest rallies organized by local Armenians held in Yafa and Tel Aviv - demanding from Israeli government to recognize the Armenian Genocide. And that was exactly when the notorious words of Shimon Peres were voiced: 'it is historians' job, not the parliament's', which caused anger among Armenians.I lived in Jerusalem for two years, was in contact with Jerusalem's university's students and lecturers, learned Jewish language, am informed about Israel's social-political life and know that liberal and brave Jewish intellectuals do not reject the Armenian Genocide and do not insult our feelings.The recognition of Armenian Genocide is not only a political but also a moral issue for Israel's government.
© Copyright AZG