Israeli Knesset lawmakers on Wednesday voted to debate the recognition of the Armenian genocide in the parliament chamber, amid a nadir in ties with Turkey over deadly clashes on the Gaza border, The Times of Israel reported.
The proposal raised by Meretz party leader Tamar Zandberg called for a plenum debate on whether the Jewish state should officially recognize the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks 103 years ago. It was supported by 16 lawmakers in the mostly empty plenum, with none opposed.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who has long spoken out in favor of recognition, again expressed support for the measure. But he also voiced discomfort with public calls to recognize the genocide merely to irk Turkey and its bellicose leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The Israeli Knesset should recognize the Armenian genocide because it is the right thing to do, the just thing to do,” Edelstein added.
Zandberg, similarly, called on all Israeli political parties to support recognition because “there are things that are above politics, and there are things that are above diplomacy.” She derided efforts to use the recognition as a jab at Erdogan, saying “the disasters of another nation are not a political playing card.”
The date of the plenum debate was not immediately announced.