A bill to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide was introduced on November 9 by six opposition members of Israel’s Knesset (the Israeli parliament).
If passed, the bill would also establish an annual memorial day on April 24, which is already observed as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in several countries.
The bill, however, still requires approval from the Knesset Presidium – comprised of the Knesset speaker and deputy speakers – in order to be scheduled for a first reading.
Previous efforts at passing Armenian Genocide-recognition bills through the Knesset have ground to a halt owing to lack of government support.
In May, representatives of the Australian-Jewish community called on both Israel and Australia to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Jeremy Leibler, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said, “It is our moral duty as Jews and as supporters of Israel to be tellers of truth in matters such as these.”
The bill was introduced the same day on which a similar bill passed its first reading in the United Kingdom House of Commons.
Between 1893 and 1923, some 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Ottoman Empire in a policy of extermination of Christian minorities. In addition, some 2.25 million Assyrian, Greek and Syriac Christians were also killed within Ottoman territories between 1914 and 1923, making a total of 3.75 million Christians killed.