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Expert: Knesset should not intervene in foreign conflicts

Politics Materials 23 June 2010 09:00
The issue of "Armenian genocide" is a prerogative of historians, thus it should be considered in the relevant international institutions, rather than in the parliament, and in particular in the Knesset, Israeli MP from the "Our Home - Israel " (OHI) Party Robert Ilatov said.
Expert: Knesset should not intervene in foreign conflicts

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 22 / Trend U.Sadikhova /

The issue of "Armenian genocide" is a prerogative of historians, thus it should be considered in the relevant international institutions, rather than in the parliament, and in particular in the Knesset, Israeli MP from the "Our Home - Israel " (OHI) Party Robert Ilatov said.

"The Knesset is not an international tribunal on human rights. "Armenian genocide" is a historical question, and should be discussed in the relevant international organizations," OHI Party's faction head Ilatov told Trend over the telephone. "These questions should not be resolved at the level of lobbying in this or that parliament, but should be considered in the international law institutions with the provision of evidence by each party."

The Israeli media reported that "genocide" re-emerged on the agenda of the Knesset on the background of a sharp escalation in Turkey's relations with Israel after the Israeli naval's attacks to the Turkish humanitarian vessel Mavi Marmara, in which nine Turks were killed.

The issue of "Armenian genocide" was raised six months ago at the initiative of MP from the Meretz movement Haim Oron at the plenary session of the Knesset, where it was decided to transfer discussion on this matter to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"Every deputy has the right to raise the same topic for discussion in plenary six months later. So once again, when Oron raised the issue of "genocide", it was decided to postpone the discussion," said Ilatov, who is member of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Some members stood for redirection of the issue to the committee on education, as it is historical.

However, the matter was referred to Committee on Rules of Procedure of Parliament, which determines the committee that will discuss the uncoordinated and unresolved issues, due to the fact that there was no agreement on the "genocide" at the plenary session.

Ilatov does not believe Jerusalem's official position in this matter may have an impact in worsening the Israel-Turkey relations, despite the fact that many MPs are increasingly inclined towards the debate and the recognition of Armenian genocide due to the policies of Ankara.

"We try to keep this issue, as Israel's official position has not changed. Israel does not want the aggravation of relations, and attempts to restore dialogue with Turkey on track," Ilatov said, adding that he will appeal to the Foreign Affairs Committee for an exception this issue from the agenda.

The Knesset should not intervene in the issue of "genocide", as it has no authority to deal in this matte, he said.

Armenia claims that the Ottoman Empire committed "genocide" against Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Making greater efforts to promote the issue internationally, Armenians have achieved its recognition by parliaments in some countries.

The U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee decided to approve the resolution on the so-called "Armenian genocide" in March. A similar decision was taken later in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swedish Parliament - the Riksdag.

"If any party feels injured, it should appeal to the relevant structures. This is the official position of Jerusalem and it is unlikely to change it," Ilatov said noting that Israel has no interest in further deepening the split in relations with Ankara.

The Knesset's position will not also be affected by the view of pro-Israeli U.S. congressmen, who warned Turkey that it will no longer boycott the debate on "the genocide", while Turkey would not soften its policy toward Israel.

"We also have many problems and therefore we believe that we should not interfere in other people's conflicts," Ilatov said.

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