Israeli Activist Says ‘No Justification’ for Opposition to Genocide Recognition

Yaron Weiss

YEREVAN—Renowned Israeli human rights activist Yaron Weiss has said there is no justification for Israel’s opposition to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He made the comment while speaking during an interview with Mendel Korsunsky, a journalist at the Noyan Tapan Armenian Cultural Center.

Weiss has served as a tourist guide in Armenia and Georgia, advising backpackers and other travelers on their journeys through Armenia and Artsakh. He has also spent time promoting the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the prevention of arms sales from Israel to Azerbaijan.

“For me, Armenia and Artsakh are Heaven,” Weiss said during his interview. “The Armenian hospitality is one of the best in the world. The landscapes in Armenia are stunning: rich culture and fascinating history. All this makes Armenia one of the most attractive countries in the world with great potential for tourism.”

“After my visit to Armenia and reading a lot of academic researches and books on the subject, I felt shame that my country does not recognize the Armenian Genocide,” Weiss told Korsunsky. “The Jewish people who survived the Holocaust must recognize the crimes that took place against other nations. There is no justification that the government of Israel hasn’t yet recognized the Armenian Genocide. So I am working to change this reality.”

President of Israel Reuven Riblin has recently refused to sign a petition for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the state of Israel even though he was always supporting the cause, I would like to know your opinion on this matter.

Weiss said he was disappointed to hear that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, formerly an advocate for recognizing the Genocide, refused to renew his signature on a petition calling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Weiss said he believes Rivlin was pressured by “political elements.”

“But I have a feeling he will still surprise us in the future and his refusal to sign now is part of a political tactic,” Weiss added.

On the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on April 24, 2014, Weiss spoke in front of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, where he called on the Israeli government to stop supplying weapons to Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan is one of the few countries in the world that declares openly they need weapons for attacking a neighboring country,” Weiss said. “Armenia is not threatening Azerbaijan.”

“Since I completely sympathize with the Armenian people, I can’t accept the fact that my country arms the greatest enemy of Armenia. The Israeli people don’t know the truth about it. So therefore we have to tell them about it,” Weiss said.

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