A motion to hold a plenum debate on the sensitive issue was approved by the Knesset earlier this week.


The “eternal flame” monument in Armenia Photo credit: Serouj Ourishian, Wikimedia Commons

Turkey says Israel would “harm itself” if it moved to recognize the killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War II as a genocide.

“We believe that if Israel compares the events of 1915 with the Holocaust, it will harm itself,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy told reporters.

On Wednesday, the Knesset approved by a 16-10 majority a motion to hold a plenum debate on the issue. The wide support for the bill comes amid a diplomatic crisis with Turkey over last week’s deadly clashes between Palestinians and IDF forces on the Gaza border.

The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, was the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians between 1914 and 1923. Turkey objects to this term and does not recognize the Ottoman Empire’s responsibility for the killings.