Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attack on Israel has opened an unanticipated window of opportunity, both in Washington and Jerusalem to break a decades-long refusal to join historians and many governments in recognizing a real genocide that Turkey continues to deny -- that against Armenian Christians, Bloomberg reported.
According to the author of the article, Zev Chafets, Turkey has made it a policy to baldly deny the genocide, and demand acquiescence in this lie as the price of good relations with Israel and other countries.
The journalist noted that almost 30 countries have now officially classified the mass murder of Armenians as “genocide.” Israel and the United States are not among them.
This year, on “Armenian Remembrance Day,” President Trump issued a statement to mark the occasion that managed to omit the words, “Turkey” and “genocide.”
"Less than a month later, Erdogan rewarded Trump’s kow-towing by labeling him an accomplice to what he called Israel's genocidal actions against Palestinians. The best answer Trump could give now would be to demonstrate American leadership by officially recognizing the Armenian genocide," Zev Chafets noted.
According to him, the silence of Israel had been a matter of sheer pragmatism. Once, when Turkey was a secular, pro-Western country, Israel relied on it as a strategic partner in a hostile Arab neighborhood. That rationale no longer holds. Israel can now take care of itself. And Erdogan, an aspiring caliph, is now an enemy.
Zev Chafets stressed, that at least five senior ministers in the governing coalition have come out for measures that would punish Turkey and recognize its genocide. So have the speaker of the Knesset and the heads of the major opposition parties.
"Still, nothing will change without Netanyahu's say-so. No legislation can pass without his consent, no new diplomatic policy can be adopted either, as he is also Israel's foreign minister.
Netanyahu is a strategic thinker, and Turkey, like it or not, is a player in the regional game of thrones now underway. He will officially recognize the Armenian genocide only if he thinks it fits his purposes. That may be the wrong reason, but for once in this debate, for both Israel and the U.S., raw national interest and moral obligation are perfectly aligned: In a war against fanatics, truth is a powerful weapon," the author of the article noted.