TEL AVIV (Gamk)–As reported earlier–the Armenian National Committee of Tel Aviv protested the city’s plans to award honorary citizenship to revisionist historian Bernard Lewis.
Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo during an initial meeting with ANC representatives promised that he would facilitate several more meetings toward the fair resolution of the issue. Therefore–at the invitation of the Mayor–a delegation of the ANC attended a meeting at the Tel Aviv City Hall on Nov. 16–where they discussed the controversy surrounding the revisionist with the Mayor and Professor Itamar Rabinowitz–a well known Lewis sympathizer.
After presenting the concerns of the Armenian community–Milo asked Rabinowitz to offer his thoughts on the issue.
He–in turn–immediately began presenting a biased argument–contending that the Armenian concerns cannot be attached or imposed on Lewis.
Following–Rabinowitz quoted Lewis’ work on the "Armenian massacres," saying that Lewis very clearly stated that gendarmes attacked the deportation caravans–which Rabinowitz concluded was Lewis’ way of assigning responsibility to the Ottoman government.
The Armenian delegation–then responded to Rabinowitz’s claims–saying that Lewis’ writings did not directly implicate the Turks.
The Armenian representatives further maintained that Lewis had in other works claimed that unlike the Jewish Holocaust there is no evidence that the Armenian Genocide was a pre-planned event.
Stressing its stance–the Armenian delegation continued saying that it was shameful that the denial of the Armenian Genocide found a Jewish stage to be propagated.
This–according to the representatives–was even more unfortunate–given the Jewish people’s recent history.
The Armenian leaders suggested that an engagement–featuring Lewis and his statemen’s affirming the Armenian Genocide be sponsored by the Tel Aviv City Council–and only at that point–would the Armenian community be able to agree to the honorary citizenship.
In response–Milo asked Rabinowitz to continue to act as a liaison between the ANC and Lewis–with whom Rabinowitz boasted friendly relations.
At the same time–Rabinowitz–defending Lewis once again–said that he would try to do so–announcing that he was a "neutral mediator" hoping to resolve the issue with fairness.
Upon mulling over the idea–Rabinowitz agreed to work toward a meeting. With promises anew–Milo said that there would be a new meeting–as soon as Rabinowitz completed his tasks.