By Haig Boyadjian
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres who started his one-day official visit to Turkey on Tuesday–has apparently stressed that the Armenian allegations of genocide are meaningless. According to the Turkish Daily News–Peres said: "We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenia’s went through but not a genocide."
In an interview with the Turkish Anatolia news agency–Peres evidently said Israel should not determine a historical or philosophical position on the Armenian issue but added: "If we have to determine a position–it should be done with great care not to distort the historical realities."
Speaking from Tel-Aviv on the eve of his visit to Turkey–Peres praised Turkey’s contributions to the peace process and characterized Turco-Israeli relations as "extremely good." Indicating that Turkey and Israel are in the same boat–Peres said he did not think the Intifadah would negatively affect bilateral relations between the two countries.
If these statemen’s were actually made by Shimon Peres–then he should refrain from making such contradictory commen’s. The official Israeli position of claiming "nothing similar to the Holocaust has occurred" is an arrogant and insulting comment beyond reason. This is insulting not only to Armenia’s–but also to all other peoples who have experienced atrocities at the hands of another people.
Peres says "Israel should not determine a historical position on the issue." Yet he turns around and labels the Armenian Genocide a "tragedy–but not genocide." This is obviously determining an Israeli position on the matter. If this is the "great care" involved in determining historical realities–then Israel has in fact distorted the truth.
Peres is quick to reject attempts at creating a similarity between the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide. We Armenia’s in turn reject Israeli efforts at denying the reality of another genocide preceding theirs.
I can’t help but wonder if this is yet another fine example of false reporting on the part of the Turkish media–or whether the Israeli foreign minister actually had the audacity to make such statemen’s.