Thursday, March 15, 2007

Israel is Governed by Holocaust Deniers!

Everyday you learn something new.

Today, I learned that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not alone in denying holocaust facts.

Today, voting 15 to 12, the Israeli Knesset rejected a call by Member Haim Oron of the dovish opposition Meretz Party to discuss the massacre that next month will mark its 80th anniversary.
Between 1915 and 1923, Ottoman Turks killed almost 1.5 million Armenians and deported more than 500,000 others. Oron has been under heavy pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office as well as the Foreign Ministry to withdraw his motion. Oron said:
That pressure is something any MP must face. Turkey has been exerting its pressure everywhere. This is their right. But they can not set the agenda of the Israeli parliament.

It is the duty of the Israeli parliament, as the representative of the Jewish people, to express its opinion on the need to recognize the Armenian genocide.
. . . It is a debt we owe to the Armenian people and one we owe to ourselves. . . . This inquiry is something we owe the Armenians, primarily at a time when we are struggling to preserve the memory of our own people.
Oron stated that before the vote, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called him twice to ask him to withdraw the proposal from the agenda of the Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee. Members of the Armenian community in Jerusalem attended the Knesset meeting and expressed anger over the decision to suppress debate on the issue.

But I learned something else today, too.

Our own dear leaders are also holocaust deniers. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates have sent a letter to senior members of Congress trying to squelch a similar debate. Their letter warned of the damage that Turkish-US ties could suffer if a pending resolution affirming Armenian claims of genocide is passed.

The letter has been sent to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, House Republican leader John Boehner and Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to bring before the House next month a congressional resolution formally recognizing as organized genocide the mass killings of Armenians from 1915 to 1923 in Turkey's predecessor state of the Ottoman Empire. Ms. Pelosi strongly supports the resolution, and it now appears likely to be approved.

In the Senate, Republican John Ensign and Democrat Richard Durbin presented a draft resolution that, similar to the one in the House, calling for official recognition of the alleged Armenian genocide. The draft had been signed by 21 senators when it was presented to the Senate on Wednesday. Durbin was quoted as saying by the Armenian media on Thursday:
The Armenian genocide was the 20th century's first genocide, a vicious, organized crime against humanity that included murder, deportation, torture and slave labor. US clarity on this historical fact is of utmost importance and long past due.
Of course, what is at stake is Turkish support of the American occupation of Iraq. It is not a veiled threat that if Congress should pass a resolution supporting Armenian claims of genocide, Turkey would close the use of their Incirlik air base by the US military.

So, what are we to conclude from today's lesson?

Are the realities of holocausts visible through the eyes of beholders, or only through the politically expedient lenses of their governments?


  1. Thanks vigilante for the education. I want to learn more. I am going to do some additional study. Thanks.

    I'm not surprised current world leaders want to deny the Armenian Holocaust. Most of them are denying today's holocaust in the Sudan.

    the Wizard.....

  2. And that, as Cooper has suggested, is because it's their ox.

  3. Vigilante,

    Turkey has no hope of joining the EU club for as long as they refuse to recognnize Ottoman Empire's genocide of Armenians.

    French bill making Armenian Holocaust denial a crime was passed in October last year by the French National Assembly.

    I do believe the bill was important if only for humanity to remind future generations and leaders that an evil act can not remain buried, that it will always come to haunt us when we least suspect it.

    That's why I supported the French Armenian Genocide Negation Bill in my blog

  4. Yes, Vigil: like holocausts, apartheids are in the eyes of the beholders' convenience.

  5. Vigilante: Glad you brought up the Armenian holocaust and that that led to Wizard's comment about Sudan. How easy it is to forget times long past or to fail to connect times now with us!

  6. "Who now remembers the Armenians?"

    Hitler used the Armenian genocide to argue that the world doesn't care about such things.

    I cannot work out why we still indulge the Turks now that we have Eastern Europe.

  7. While no one CAN or shoudl deny the islamic slaughter of the mostly chirtian armenians, I see you makign a lot of cliams about Olmert doint his and that but NO provenance whatsoever ..where is a url?
    Otherwise all you are doing is making assertions in the air..and even if true it's LONG LONG way from not attempting to piss off your LARGEST FUTURE FRESH WATER SUPPLIER to denying that they are guilty of one of the worst atrocities in the 20th century.

    I see NO comparison between Achmadinejad's frank racism based on the religious principles he proud to adhere to as a guide to frank Denial, and an attempt (IF YOUR CLAIM is correct) to not piss off an ally.

  8. The reader is quite correct that I was remiss in not providing any links. It is not enough to say my haste to post was responsible for the lack of sourcing. But I did feel that readers contesting factual basis for this column would at least take the initiative of Googling Haim Oron. I did that a minute ago and noticed my sources have not yet vaporized.

  9. Thank you.
    Good link.

    But refusal to discuss something is not the positive action of denying it's reality. It's dicey ethically, no doubt.

    It's about this

    You don't poke in the eye the people piping you fresh water in the desert, and oil, if you can avoid it, especially when next week you might need them to sit it out while you lay waste to Syria and Lebanon as a result of strikes against Iran.