Susan Hattis Rolef: The Armenians, the Jews and IsraelRoundup: Talking About History
The writer is a former Knesset employee.
In 1915-16, during World War I, the Turks were responsible for the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenian inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire. Among the first to warn about the nature and scope of the atrocity was Aaron Aaronsohn– the renowned agronomist from Zichron Ya’acov who established the Nili spy ring, which in the course of the war collected information about Ottoman military movements and other strategic issues and passed it on to the British authorities.
Several of Aaronsohn’s relatives and colleagues actually witnessed the bloody manifestations of the massacre. In November 1916, Aaronsohn sent the British authorities a memorandum entitled “Pro Armenia,” in which he described the atrocities.
The previous month, he had sent a long letter to Judge Julian Mack – a leading American Zionist – in which he tried to convince him to adopt a pro-British position, inter alia describing the massacre of the Armenians and claiming that the Ottoman policy against both the Armenians and the Jews (who he feared might suffer a similar plight) had “made in Germany” written all over it. The Ottoman Empire, it may be recalled, was an ally of Germany in the war, and at the time Aaronsohn was writing, many Jews held pro-German or neutral positions. The Jewish yishuv in Palestine, the Zionist Organization and the State of Israelsince1948 could not claim ignorance of what happened to the Armenians.
And yet until recently, Israel has chosen to ignore the event, with numerous excuses, each of which is shameful in its own right...
comments powered by Disqus
- A military cemetery whose African American history is hidden in plain sight in Philadelphia
- Texas Senate increases education board's textbook veto power
- The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War
- Buried at an Asylum, the ‘Unspoken, Untold History’ of the South
- New Orleans removes monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?
- What's the 'greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history’?
- H.R. McMaster criticized – and not for his defense of Trump
- Yale’s David Blight is asked if New Orleans rewrite its Civil War legacy