By Emil Danielyan
Armenia sent a diplomatic note to Israel on Friday, condemning an Israeli envoy’s reported statement that the 1915 slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey was not a genocide
The Israeli ambassador to Georgia and Armenia, Rivka Kohen, was quoted as telling reporters in Yerevan last week that what happened to the Armenians was just a "tragedy" that should not be compared to the Jewish Holocaust. She said it is therefore wrong to draw a parallel between the two. The remarks have caused an uproar in Armenia, leading to calls for declaring Kohen persona no grata.
The Armenian foreign ministry called the remarks “unacceptable,” rejecting what it described as “attempts to deny or belittle the fact of the Armenian Genocide.” It said Armenia “has never aimed to draw parallels between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust because every crime [against humanity] is unique with its own political, legal, historical and moral consequences.”
Kohen’s remarks appear to reflect the position of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres who refused to term the mass killings and deportations of Armenians a genocide in a newspaper interview last year. However, some members of the Israeli government have called in the past for an official recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Jewish state.