Experts: Israel not to recognize "Armenian genocide" to counterbalance Turkey

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 18 /Trend, U.Sadikhova/

Despite the largest political crisis in the history of relations between Israel and Turkey, experts doubt that Israel will use the "Armenian genocide" to strike against Ankara.

"Recent incidents [around the humanitarian convoy] much influence the views of Israeli politicians, and it becomes increasingly difficult to resolve the issue [of the" Armenian genocide"]. However, still the official policy of Jerusalem has not changed, and I do not think that it will change soon," said member of Knesset (MK) Robert Ilata told Trend.

Relations between Turkey and Israel - the two strategic and military partners- worsened after Israeli naval attacks on the "Flotilla of Freedom" carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza May 31. Nine Turks became the victims of the confrontation of the Israeli soldiers and international human rights activists in the Turkish ship 'Mavi Marmara'. On Thursday, Ankara filed four requirements to Israel in connection with the incident around the 'Flotilla of Freedom', particularly: Israeli government's official apology, an independent international investigation, compensation and return of ships from the Israeli port of Ashdod, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported, citing diplomatic sources.

Turkish leadership's position on Israel has caused dissatisfaction of some pro-Israeli congressmen of the U.S. and representatives of the Jewish lobby, who warned Turkey that they will not block the adoption of a resolution recognizing the so-called "Armenian genocide" when it is presented for discussion in Congress.

However, Israeli experts do not believe that the Knesset could repeat the example of the Americans and support the recognition of "genocide" which Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that as though was committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 against the Armenians living in Anatolia. The parliaments of some countries have recognized the "Armenian genocide".
The head of the parliamentary faction of 'Our House Israel' Ilata sees no change in the Israeli government's position regarding the "genocide", although discussions of the Turkish leadership to sever economic and military agreements with Israel could exert its influence on further discussions on the "genocide" in the Knesset.

"We hope that Turkey will return to the previous axis of bilateral relations and will not impair the relationship in the future. Still Israeli official position [on the "Armenian genocide"] remains unchanged," said the MP.

The question of 'genocide', which had been referred to the committee on foreign affairs and defense in late April at the initiative of factions of the Left parties, has not been removed from the agenda of the Knesset and will be discussed in the future.

However, the adoption of the document is unlikely expected, because this would further deepen the split in the Turkish-Israeli relations, which formally still retain their diplomatic and military status.

There have been special relations between Israel and Turkey, which many people consider the strategic ally, and therefore, it is unlikely that Israel would take such an irreversible step as recognizing the "Armenian genocide" at a legislative level, political scientist Ilya Vasilyev said.

"I do not think that the Knesset will gather majority for the recognition of the document and unlikely it is the issue the future time," Vasilyev, an expert of the State Duma of Russia for relations with the Israeli Parliament, told Trend.

The current situation may change as better or worse, but Israel, from its part, will not hurry with complete rupture of relations with Ankara. "Currently the passions have flared up, Turkey discusses economic sanctions [against Israel], ambassadors have not yet returned, but it is possible that the situation will change in certain period," said Vasilyev, a freelance adviser to the Israeli minister of information and the diaspora.

Another reason that the Knesset does not approve the resolution on "genocide" is the absence of Israel's reaction to the decision of Ankara to freeze some agreements with Israel in military-technical sphere.
"Israel wants to maintain strategic relations with Turkey, because as known it does not have so many allies in the region," said the analyst.

Former deputy foreign minister of Israel Yehuda Ben Meir also doesn't think that Israel will approve it in near future because Israel has done everything in its power to 'low the flames' in relations with Ankara.

"Despite statements by Turkish Prime Minister Receb Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli government has done everything in its power to refrain the situation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not said anything against Erdogan, and nobody has responded to the attacks of Turkish prime minister," Ben Meir, a former member of Knesset and current director of the Public Opinion and National Security Project at Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, told Trend.

Even if Turkey and Israel have not a common border, the leadership of the Jewish state considers Turkey as a close neighbor in the Middle East and makes every effort to stop the continuation of the deterioration of relations.

As a result, Israel will set aside the question of recognition of "genocide".

The opinion of the Israeli public figures is shared by the leading Turkish analyst Sinan Ogan, who believes that despite that the deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey will continue in future, the Israeli leadership and the parliament will not support the adoption of a resolution on the "Armenian genocide".

"Deepening of the split in the relationship of Turkey and Israel is disadvantageous to both countries, so the Knesset of Israel will unlikely recognize the "genocide" in the near future," Sinan Ogan, the president of the Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis (TURKSAM), told Trend.

According to him, even if Israel wants to spite Turkey, it will not act directly, but through secondary channels, such as the Jewish lobby in the U.S.  
"Israel would not act openly against Turkey, because it is not in its interest, but it would support and possibly even encourage to ensure that the U.S. Congress recognizes "genocide", said the Turkish analyst.

According to the Turkish analyst, despite that the situation does not satisfy either Turkey or Israel, however, it is not worthy to expect improvement or restoration of previous level of relations between the countries as long as Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Benjamin Netanyahu are in power.

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