August 1, 2016 (released August 1, 2017)
Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi
Education, Culture and Sports Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi (Shas) announced on Monday that the committee recognizes the genocide of the Armenian people.
"It is our moral obligation to recognize the Holocaust of the Armenian nation," Margi said during the committee's meeting.
MK Zehava Galon (Meretz), who initiated the meeting in the Education Committee, said "Each year we instill false hope in the people who are sitting here. It dishonors the Knesset to continue to go on and on about this issue, year after year, without reaching a decision that the State of Israel and the Israeli legislature recognize the genocide of the Armenian people."
MKs Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp), Dov Khenin (Joint List) and Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) expressed similar sentiments. Georgette Avakian, chairwoman of the Armenian National Committee in Jerusalem, said that after 101 years the time has come for the Knesset to join parliaments around the world and the 31 countries who have already recognized the Armenian genocide. "The Knesset and the President of the State must recognize the genocide of our nation," she said.
Committee Chairman Margi said he regretted the fact that the Knesset has yet to reach a decision on the matter and called on Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein to make good on the announcement he made in the Education Ministry last year and declare that the Israeli parliament recognizes the Armenian genocide.
According to historians, some 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by Ottoman Turks during the World War One, and many researchers view these events as the first genocide of the 20th century.