The Banality of Denial

This book examines the current attitudes of the State of Israel and its leading institutions toward the Armenian Genocide. While numerous Jewish scholars in and outside Israel affirm the Armenian Genocide without reservation, the book explores both passive, indifferent attitudes of Israeli institutions and government, as well as active measures to undermine attempts at safeguarding the memory of the Armenian Genocide.

The book describes Israeli attitudes toward the phenomenon of genocide in general, including Biafra, Tibet, the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Taken together with his earlier work, The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide, both works offer an opportunity to explore a subject of great contemporary relevance. "The book is the product of years of research," commented Levon Chorbajian, Chairman of the Institute's Academic Board, "and I am glad that the fruits of Dr. Auron's careful work will finally see the light of day."

Yair Auron is a Senior Lecturer in the field of contemporary Judaism and genocide in Israel. Dr. Auron has been researching in the area of indifference and denial since the early 1990s. The Zoryan Institute actively supported the author in research, editing and publication of this book, which will be coming out at the end of May. Dr. Auron is a member of Zoryan's Academic Board of Directors.

Yair Auron is a Senior Lecturer in the field of contemporary Judaism and genocide in Israel. Dr. Auron has been researching in the area of indifference and denial since the early 1990s. The Zoryan Institute actively supported the author in research, editing and publication of this book, which will be coming out at the end of May. Dr. Auron is a member of Zoryan's Academic Board of Directors.

Former Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, in writing to Auron about the previous book, The Banality of Indifference, stated, "Your book, no doubt is pioneering research on the subject of the Armenian massacre. I am aware of the fact that Israeli officials did not acknowledge that horrible massacre out of concern for the Holocaust's unique place in the chronicles of human history." In February 2002, as if to validate Peres' statement, the Israeli Ambassador to Armenia caused a huge controversy when she remarked publicly in Yerevan, "Israel recognizes the tragedy of the Armenians and the plight of the Armenian people. However, the events cannot be compared to genocide." As recently as a few days ago, during Israel's 55th Independence Day celebrations, the Israeli government prevented one of the designated official torch-bearers from identifying herself as a "third generation survivor of the (Armenian) genocide carried out in 1915." The words were also hastily erased from a plaque that was to have been unveiled at the ceremony and two thousand brochures were reprinted with a change of text. This was at the behest of the Turkish Ambassador. Such actions are in contrast to the sentiments expressed by Israeli Education Minister Yossi Sarid, who during a public commemoration of the Genocide in Jerusalem on April 24, 2000, stated, "I join you, members of the Armenian community, on your Memorial Day, as you mark the 85th anniversary of your genocide. I am here, with you, as a human being, as a Jew, as an Israeli, and as Education Minister….For many years, too many years, you were alone on your Memorial Day. I am aware of the special significance of my presence here today along with other Israelis. Today perhaps for the first time you are less alone."

"As you can appreciate, the cost of sponsoring original, pioneering research, such as that of Dr. Auron, is very high," said Greg Sarkissian, President of the Zoryan Institute. "I urge you, therefore, to support scholars like him, who have no direct relationship to Armenians, except for human rights principles and scholarly integrity, by buying their books. It encourages the dedication of these scholars to further their research and writing when they are assured of having a caring audience. Their dedication to research and the education of future generations will promote respect for human rights, combat genocide denial, and aid in the prevention of future genocides," he concluded.