10/15 EJP: New Israeli ambassador to Turkey on the genocide issue: ‘lobbying has limits’

New Israeli ambassador to Turkey on the genocide issue: ‘lobbying has limits’

EJP Updated: 15/Oct/2007 17:16

ANKARA (EJP)---Emphasizing that Israel gives utmost importance to its relations with Turkey, Gabby Levy, the newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Turkey said that Israel has done everything it could to stop the Armenian genocide resolution at the US Congress.

Born in Turkey and son of a Turkish Jewish family, Levy told Turkey’s English-language Today’s Zaman newspaper that the US government is also against the resolution and that it is wrong to blame the Jewish lobby in the United States.

A New York-based Jewish organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), recently reversed its long-time policy and said the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 "were indeed tantamount to genocide."

Levy said "lobbying has limits" and that the resolution is a result of US domestic politics.

He added that he did not believe the resolution’s passage would harm relations between Israel and Turkey in the long run and cited the invitation to Ankara of Hamas officials and the short-term crisis created by it as an example.

Gabby Levy was born in 1948 in an old neighborhood of Bergama, a tiny town in the Aegean region.

His Turkish-Jewish family migrated to Israel when Levy was four.

He still has a number of close relatives living in İzmir and Istanbul.

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs last week approved a resolution calling the 1915 killings of Armenians genocide, despite White House warnings that it would do great harm to ties with NATO ally Turkey, a key supporter in the Iraq war.

The vote outraged the Turkish government which issued a statement stating that the "irresponsible" resolution was likely to endanger bilateral relations. Turkey rejects the Armenian claims and says the genocide issue should be tackled by historians.

Levy said Israel was pleased about Turkey’s role between his country and the Palestinians. "The Western countries send money to the Palestinians, but Turkey brings lasting solutions by establishing industrial areas," he said.

Source: http://www.ejpress.org/article/20890#