Armenia–Israel relations are bilateral relations between Armenia and Israel. Since independence, Armenia has received support from Israel and today remains one of its major trade partners. Although both countries have diplomatic relations, neither maintains an embassy in the other country. During the period of 1993-2007 Armenia was covered from the Embassy of Israel in Georgia. Since 2007 the residence of the Embassy moved to Jerusalem. On October 2010 Shmuel Meirom was appointed as Ambassador of Israel in Armenia. In 1996 Mr. Tsolak Momjian was appointed as Honorary Consul of Armenia in Jerusalem. On 2012 Mr. Armen Melkonian was appointed as Ambassador of Armenia to Israel with residence in Cairo. On October 2012 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to Israel Mr. Armen Melkonyan presented his credentials to the Israeli President Shimon Perez.
Armenian-Jewish relations date back to the time of Armenian emperor Tigranes the Great, who, retreating from Judaea, took 10,000 Jews with him on his return to the Kingdom of Armenia. Israel itself is home to the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Since independence, Armenia has received support from Israel and today remains one of its major trade partners. According to the CIA World Factbook, Armenia receives 4.8% of its imports from Israel while Israel receives 7.1% of Armenia's exports.
There have been several high-level official visits to Israel by Armenians in the last several years. In January 2000, former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan traveled to Israel and met with high-ranking Israeli officials, including former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The two sides pledged to strengthen relations and signed agreements on health and bilateral investment. In 2003, the Catholicos of All Armenian Karekin II visited Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger who accepted an invitation by Karekin to visit Armenia.
Holocaust and Armenian genocide
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Israel, has paid tribute to 10 Armenians as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives during the Holocaust to rescue Jews. However, because Turkey is a strategic partner of Israel and one of the few countries in the Middle East that recognizes Israel, Israel has yet to recognize the Armenian Genocide.[original research?] In the years following Armenia's independence, however, Israeli politicians, Rabbis, and the country's small Armenian community have called on Israel to do so. At the same time, Turkey has warned of harming ties with Israel if Israel or the United States recognizes the killings as genocide. As of 2008, there has been an ongoing debate regarding recognition in the Knesset with Turkey lobbying hard to prevent it. According to The Jerusalem Post, "many Israelis are eager for their country to recognize the genocide". There are presently 3,000 Armenians living in Israel, including ~1,000 in Jerusalem's Armenian Quarter. There are 750 ethnic Jews living in Armenia. There is also a small community of Subbotnik Jews, whose ancestors Converted to Judaism, although their numbers are dwindling.
The Knesset held its first open discussion on the matter. By a unanimous vote of 20-0, Israel's Parliament approved referring the subject to the Education Committee for more extensive deliberation. Israel's Speaker of Knesset told an Israel-based Armenian action committee that he intends to introduce an annual parliamentary session to mark the Armenian Genocide.
Armenian community in Israel
The Armenian community has been resident in the Levant for two millennia. After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and the establishment of the State of Israel, a number of Armenians residing in what had been the British Mandate of Palestine took up Israeli citizenship, whereas other Armenian residents of Old City of Jerusalem and the territory captured by Jordan took on the Jordanian nationality..
Armenians in Israel are ethnic Armenians with Israeli citizenship. There are around one thousand Armenian-Israelis with Israeli citizenship, residing mainly in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv Jaffa and Haifa. Additionally "The Institute of African and Asian Studies" at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem established a chair of Armenian Studies programme, specialising in the study of the Armenian language, literature, history and culture as well as the Armenian Genocide.
- Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Eurasia: Armenia and Jews
- "Jerusalem - The Old City: The Armenian Quarter". Jewish Virtual Library.
- CIA World Factbook: Armenia
- Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Eurasia - Armenia
- Ara Abrahamian called to develop Armenia-Israel relations
- "Israel expresses concern over Turkish-Armenian massacre dispute". The Associated Press. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- "A Turkey-Armenia reconciliation?". Los Angeles Times. 2008-04-25. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
- David Smith (2008-04-25). "Armenia's 'Christian holocaust'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
- "Armenia Diaspora (Հայաստան սփյուռք)" (in Armenian).
- Stoil, Rebecca Anna (18 May 2011). "Knesset moves toward recognizing Armenian genocide". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 19 May 2011. "For years, consecutive governments had blocked attempts by MKs to raise the subject of recognizing the genocide out of concern that such recognition could damage relations with Ankara. This year, however, the government did not block the hearing."
- Lis, Jonathan (31 May 2011). "Knesset Speaker working to boost recognition of Armenian genocide". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 June 2011. "Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Monday that he wanted to convene an annual parliamentary session of the full Knesset to mark the Armenian genocide of 1915 and 1916 at the hands of the Turks. 'It is my duty as a Jew and Israeli to recognize the tragedies of other peoples,' Rivlin said, speaking to an Israel-based Armenian action committee."