Bill to recognise Armenian Genocide introduced in Israeli parliament

12 November 2021

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A bill to officially recognise the Armenian Genocide was introduced on 9 November by six opposition members of Israel’s Knesset (the Israeli parliament).

If passed the bill would also establish an annual memorial day on 24 April, which is already observed as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in several countries.

The bill, however, still requires approval from the Knesset Presidium – comprised of the Knesset Speaker and deputy speakers – in order to be scheduled for a first reading.

The Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem [Image credit: Noam Chen for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism]

Previous efforts at passing Armenian Genocide-recognition bills through the Knesset have ground to a halt owing to lack of government support.

In May 2021 representatives of the Australian-Jewish community called on both Israel and Australia to recognise the Armenian Genocide. Jeremy Leibler, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said, “It is our moral duty as Jews and as supporters of Israel to be tellers of truth in matters such as these.”

The bill was introduced the same day on which a similar bill passed its first reading in the UK House of Commons.  

Between 1893 and 1923 some 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Ottoman Empire in a policy of extermination of Christian minorities. In addition, some 2.25 million Assyrian, Greek and Syriac Christians were also killed within Ottoman territories between 1914 and 1923, making a total of 3.75 million Christians killed.

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