Israel won’t win the battle against antisemitism until it recognizes the Armenian Genocide, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian told The Jerusalem Post.
Sarkissian said a lot of Armenians ask why Israel, a country whose people have seen their own huge tragedy, not recognize the Armenian Genocide?
“There is no logical answer. I cannot say that Israel has relations with Turkey and that is why – I cannot say that,” he said.
The President noted that the recognition of the tragedy is a moral issue, and he hopes that one day Israel will recognize the Genocide, and “human values, moral values and the importance of history will prevail.”
Sarkissian noted anti-Semitism is still alive, and Israel’s inability to express sympathy for comparable tragedies - the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide - is damaging to Israel and the efforts of the Jewish people to combat the ever-growing epidemic of anti-Semitism.
Sarkissian believes that Turkey did not recognize the Genocide, because it would be inconvenient for the country: millions of people died, the culture was destroyed, and most likely Turkey is afraid of material and moral claims. “Maybe they are afraid because for years they didn’t tell the truth to their children and grandchildren in their schools,” he continued.
“It does not matter to me personally whether this country or that country will or will not recognize [the genocide]. It will not change my life or the lives of the millions of Armenians who lost their homes and are scattered all over the world in the Armenian diaspora. But it is going to backfire.”
Sarkissian added that in our world one should not be afraid of viruses and diseases, but the ‘disease of inhumanity.’ According to him, only when Israel recognizes the genocide will it truly be able to move into its legitimate role as the worldwide leader in the fight against antisemitism and extremism.
Armenian President also noted that he participated in the World Holocaust Forum, as he does not believe that it would be right for any Armenian to associate the memory of the Holocaust with whether the Israeli parliament recognizes the Armenian Genocide or not.
“There is no way that, as president of Armenia, I would ever consider not being here,” he said.