Members of the Armenian community in Jerusalem pay tribute to the 1.5 million massacred from 1915-1923
JERUSALEM, Israel (i24 News)—Hebrew University professors and students along with representatives of the Armenian community in Jerusalem gathered Tuesday in order to pay tribute to the 1.5 million Armenians massacred by Ottoman soldiers in the Armenian genocide committed from 1915 to 1923.
The Armenian genocide, commemorated annually on April 24th, coincided with Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial Day this year. While 29 governments and parliaments recognize the systematic murder and deportation of Armenians, also known as the “Armenian Holocaust,” Israel does not. Turkey vehemently rejects the use of the term “genocide” to describe the mass killing of Armenians during World War I, arguing the episode was a collective tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians died.
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Jerusalem Tsolag Momjian addressed the crowd and affirmed that he hopes for a day when Israel recognizes the Armenian genocide.
“Yesterday Armenians all over the world commemorated the anniversary of the Armenian genocide,” he said. “Yesterday Israel also marked annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, on this occasion I would like to express my solidarity with the Jewish people who died during the Second World War.”
Very Reverend Father Samuel Aghoyan, who spoke on behalf of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, explained that, while Armenians were being killed, the world remained silent.
“The world at the time was silent and never tried to stop it, thus Armenians lost more than one and half million of their people,”Aghoyan said. “My parents were the lucky ones to escape from being killed but their relatives and brothers were the victims.”
“Turkey today vehemently denies that its ancestors committed such barbaric acts and it is sad to say that the Israeli government has not the courage to side with justice by recognizing the historical fact of genocide of the Armenians,” he said.
Aghoyan affirmed that the world has not learned the lessons of the past.
“It seems that the world has not been changed since 1915, because today we hear of and witness new genocide being carried out on different scales and in different parts of the world, “ he said, affirming that “the great powers could care less- by shutting their eyes they silently permit them to happen.”
Aghoyan issued a call saying that “It is time for Turkey to stop lying,” and admit to the “horrible and inhumane” massacres committed by its ancestors.