President Sarkissian Challenges Israel to Recognize Genocide

From left: First lady Nouneh Sarkissian, President Armen Sarkissian, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and his wife, Irina Nevzlin
From left: First lady Nouneh Sarkissian, President Armen Sarkissian, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and his wife, Irina Nevzlin

From left: First lady Nouneh Sarkissian, President Armen Sarkissian, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and his wife, Irina Nevzlin

President Armen Sarkissian on Thursday challenged the leadership of the Knesset—Israel’s legislature—to recognize the Armenian Genocide, which he said should not be conditioned on political interests and realities.

Sarkissian, who was in Jerusalem to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem on Thursday and take part in the international commemoration of Holocaust Day met with the speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein and discussed, among other matters, the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Noting that many pages of history are tragic for the Armenian and Jewish people, President Sarkisssian said efforts should be made to ensure that such human catastrophes are never repeated.

Sarkissian told Edelstein discussed the issue of the Armenian Genocide recognition by the Israeli Knesset, stressing that recognition and condemnation of this shameful page of history should not be conditioned by today’s political interests and realities.

“Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is first of all a moral responsibility and a tribute to the memory of innocent victims, while it is an important contribution to the international efforts to prevent genocides and crimes against humanity,” Sarkissian told Edelstein.

In welcoming President Sarkissian, and first lady, Nouneh, Edelstein, who was joined by his wife, Irina Nevzlin, emphasized the importance of strengthening Israel-Armenia relations. He cited Yerevan’s recent decision to open an embassy in Israel as an critical step in advancing ties between Yerevan and Tel Aviv.

“I think this visit will bring a very positive change to our relations. Our partnership potential is much more than we use it today,” said Edelstein.

Sarkissian said that the historical similarities of the two nations must compel both to think about the future.

“We can jointly create that future both as two states and two nations. Armenia is a small country, but a global nation, the same is Israel,” said Sarkissian outlining the robust areas of cooperation, such as science, education, security, agriculture and information technologies.

“As President I have an initiative to make Armenia a new technological hub because we have several advantages for doing that. There are highly-qualified experts in physics and mathematics in our country, we have very good educational programs in programming,” added Sarkissian.

At the conclusion of the visit the president and the first lady left a note in the Knesset’s guestbook and were guided on a tour of the Knesset.

Jerusalem welcomed the guests participating in the Holocaust conference in the languages of countries being represented, including Armenian.

The event has brought together leaders from more than 40 countries, including Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Iceland and other countries.

The conference will take place at Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

The conference is being held under the auspices of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Gabriel Karpouzian said:

    It’s a disgrace to see the President of Armenia begging Israel for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, a country which is routinely committing atrocities against the Palestinians, a country that was created by stealing forcefully the Palestinian lands and killing off the inhabitants of those lands. As Armenians we should know better who the victims and the oppressors are and with whom we should ally ourselves. Today Israel exists because of the unconditional support of the US. This equation will one day change and Israel will no longer exist as a Zionist state. A secular democratic state will arise from the ashes of the Zionist state where Jews, Christians and Muslims will coexist as citizens having equal rights. President Sarkissian has made a strategic mistake by going to Israel and begging them. I wonder what would Iran think about that when Armenia has a vital interest to be in good terms with Iran as the archenemy of Israel.

  2. Dr. Hermon Mihranian said:

    Israel is a zionist state. They will never recognize the Armenian Genocide since they supported the Ottoman Empire in the barbaric killings of innocent Armenians.

  3. Ararat said:

    The Armenian president should have been much more aggressive and raised many more questions with the Israelis such as he following:

    Israel having suffered a similar fate should have been the first nation in the world to come forward and officially acknowledge and recognize the Armenian Genocide. Why has it not?

    Israel can’t have it both ways. How can it be a victim of genocide yet turn a blind eye on the Armenian Genocide which took place about a quarter century prior?

    Why were the agents, aka lobbies, of the Israeli state in the US government helping successive Turkish governments, successors to the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, to get away with mass murder and genocide by helping them block and defeat the Armenian Genocide resolutions in the United States congress year after year?

    Why is the same Israeli government’s leadership using the Armenian Genocide against the same Turkish leadership today now that relations between the two have soured since the 2010 so-called Turkish “freedom flotilla” incident near Gaza? Is the Armenian Genocide only a tool for them to play political Ping-Pong with the Turks in the sense that when their relations with the Turks are good the Armenian Genocide is to be ignored and mentioned and used against the Turks only when Turkish leadership accuses Israel of committing acts of terrorism and genocide against the Palestinians?

    Why is Israel selling artificial and terrorist Azerbaijan lethal weapons in billions of dollars knowing full well those weapons will be used against none other than the Armenians themselves? Is this how a nation subjected to genocide behave?

    Like Israel vis-à-vis Turkey, can Armenia being blockaded on both sides by Turkish enemies also use the political excuse with the Iranians whose leadership denies their genocide, so as not to antagonize the Iranians for Iran is more or less the only outlet for Armenia into the outside world today?

  4. sylva portoian,MD said:

    For those …Who refuses to recognize our well-known tragedies, genocides…

    We Armenians suffered from genocide …
    But we never became genociders …
    We never like to revenge form genociders…
    But like to teach them not to continue committing more.

    Some who suffered, from that ….
    Are holocausting* on innocent people…
    Who never committed any genocide …
    Instead of revenging who did it…
    Unfair, un-equalities, they are humans…
    They should awake and correct their mistakes…
    and recognize every pain others suffered…

    We Armenians don’t have a gene to revenge …
    we are a peace-loving populace…
    Our genes are gifted with Arts…Architects, Inventers
    Love to invent and serve humanity
    Love to create Music, Symphonies, Lyrics …
    Learning languages and sharing with all nations…
    and dancing with them their joyful ways…

    January 24, 2020

    *Holocausting…a new word in my “glossary of terms” in my poetry books