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Israel's Armenian Genocide recognition dilemma, truth or political

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#141 Yervant1


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Posted 06 April 2022 - 07:44 AM

April 5 2022

Israel should not fear Turkish in recognizing Armenian genocide - opinion

Many countries have been scared to recognize the Armenian genocide because of Turkey's possible reaction.

By ISRAEL W. CHARNY Published: APRIL 5, 2022 21:06
MEMBERS OF the Armenian diaspora rally in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington last year, after US President Joe Biden recognized that the 1915 massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide. (photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS)

Clearly, our hearts and minds are deeply concerned with the murdering hells of war crimes or crimes against humanity – that in my professional language as a genocide scholar are one of the several subtypes of genocide – that Putin’s Russia is committing. But at the same time, some of our attention deserves to be saved for the issues of other peoples’ welfare as well, and that includes the ways we extend respect to past events of genocide, such as the Armenian Genocide, whose official day of remembrance is April 24. (This was the day in 1915 the Turks rounded up some 250 leaders of every aspect of Armenian culture and executed almost all of them.)

Quite obviously, Israel has been refraining these many years from officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide out of an effort not to excite the fury and retaliation of Turkey. The Turks have persisted in their bizarre denials of the factual history of the Armenian Genocide through all these years, and are known to have devoted literally millions of dollars to campaigns of censorship and cancellations of reports, articles, books, professional congresses, art exhibits, and even musical events that in one way or another were intended to express pain and caring about the Armenian Genocide.

In Turkey, an easy one-way ticket to jail has been to bring up the subject of the Armenian Genocide prominently – although strangely there also grew a generation of brave intellectuals and artists who managed to get across the memory of the slaughter of the Armenian people and survived, though a good many of them had to go through painful legal trials of charges of insulting the government, and the ones who survived came at the expense of periods of being in jail. Obviously, the Turks took the subject terribly seriously. One might say that it was the Turkish version of the American taboo of cussing the other guy’s mother – in the age when to say that to a good old American marine was an established one-way ticket for getting yourself slugged–in Turkey you went to jail if you talked of a genocide.

So, big grown-up countries – like the United States and I think Israel deserves to be characterized in this way, too – have been scared from getting involved with Turkish sensitivity. Writing in the Times of Israel, Lazar Berman notes, “Many countries have refrained from recognizing the genocide out of fear of the Turkish response, which often involves recalling its ambassador for a period of time. That was Ankara’s reaction in 2011 when the French National Assembly passed a bill making it illegal to deny the Armenian Genocide. It also recalled its ambassador to the Vatican when Pope Francis used the word genocide during a 2015 mass marking the 100th anniversary of the slaughter, and its ambassador to Germany after the Bundestag passed a resolution calling the murder of Armenians a genocide in 2016.”

HAPPILY, AUTHOR Berman nonetheless was of the opinion that Turkey likely would not take any steps against the US for its recognition, and that has proven to be the case. In fact, even in earlier years when Turkey was far less stressed, economically and politically, than it is today, its characteristic modus operandi has been to react with a torrent of invectives and threats, including concrete announcements that it would cancel major economic relationships, and in some cases seemed to go about implementing their threatened repercussions, but then, quite consistently, withdrew from retaliating and resumed essentially complete relationships.

People wave Armenian and US flags in front of the US Embassy in the Armenian capital Yerevan after President Joe Biden recognized the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, April 24, 2021. (credit: KAREN MINASYAN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Israel is a country that takes special pride in not being afraid, and of standing up proudly and firmly against huge Samson-like antagonists. It has been humiliating and puzzling that in a matter of basic ethics and factual truth, Israel has been so meek, obsequious and fawning that it has failed to extend the simple honor of recognizing another people’s suffering and destruction in a massive genocide. Is it so beyond our imagination as Israelis to be able to say to Turkey at this time, “We have every respect for you as an important country and are happy to work closely with you, but we owe our own culture the clear cut responsibility to identify with a people whose historical record – confirmed by an overwhelming number of scholars all over the world – shows that they were subject to governmental extermination. The truth is that this is a universal problem for all of mankind, and as Germany has shown in its greatness, it is possible to acknowledge genocide in one’s history and go on to contribute to building better lives for one’s own people and other peoples.”

Will we not feel prouder and stronger if we speak that way?

Insofar as Israel still fears the Turkish response, it has an unusual opportunity to recognize the Armenian Genocide under the umbrella of the first anniversary of American recognition. The linking of Israel’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide to the recognition by the US on the same day, April 24, which is designated as the start of the Armenian Genocide, will also provide an additional layer of defense for Israel, since any retaliation against Israel will also take on a meaning of being an attack on the US, as well. As President Joe Biden said, “Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian Genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever occurring again... the American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide.”

The writer has directed the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem since the famous conference on the Holocaust and genocides of all nations in1982, which took place despite fierce opposition from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Turkey. Recently, his book was published in the US: Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian Genocide. In the early 1990’s he was one of the founders and a president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

#142 Yervant1


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Posted 22 April 2022 - 08:53 AM

April 21 2022
TTTI to commemorate Yom Hashoah, Armenian genocide April 22

The Temple-Tifereth Israel will host a Yom Hashoah commemoration service at 6 p.m. April 22 at The Temple at 26000 Shaker Blvd. in Beachwood.

The service will also commemorate the Armenian genocide and The Temple will welcome the Rev. Father Hratch Sargsyan of St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church in Richmond Heights to co-officiate the service.


This is the third time The Temple has welcomed the Armenian community for a special Shabbat service. The service will also include music appropriate for the occasion as those who perished in the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide are remembered, according to a news release. In addition, several Holocaust survivors will be present to light six candles representing the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.


#143 Yervant1


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Posted 22 April 2022 - 08:55 AM

Armenia - April 21 2022
Jerusalem march demands Armenian Genocide recognition
April 21, 2022 - 10:52 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Hundreds of people took to the streets of Jerusalem on Wednesday, April 20 to march for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

In photos published on Facebook, participants are seen carrying the March For Justice banner, as well as the flags of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).

The Armenians of Israel will stage another rally, this time in front of the Turkish Consulate in Jerusalem on April 24. Later in the day, a commemorative event will be organized near the Zharangavorats College.

On April 24, 1915, a large group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, 2022, Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the 107th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

#144 Yervant1


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Posted 27 April 2022 - 07:27 AM

April 23 2022
Israeli Participation in a Solidarity Event with Armenia Upsets Ankara
Saturday, 23 April, 2022 
Tel Aviv – Asharq Al-Awsat

Israel’s participation in the annual event held in Armenia in memorial of the genocide is likely to upset Ankara.

At a time when Turkey announced it would maintain ties with Israel and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would visit Tel Aviv next month, a member of the Knesset from the governmental coalition decided to participate in the annual event held in Armenia in memorial of the genocide.

Israel’s participation in the Armenian event, its first in seven years, was officially approved by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Armenia accuses Turkey of committing genocide against the Armenians between 1915-and 1918; the genocide killed around two million people.

Turkey, however, denies and considers Armenia to be exaggerating and deforming the truth.

Israel abstains from endorsing the stances of the West in this regard and turns down all the pressures exerted to make it change its stance.


Yet, left-wing and right-wing parties in Israel show solidarity with Armenia. They even suggest a draft that reinforces solidarity with Armenians and say that “Jews who suffered from a genocide should stand by the Armenians.”

Member of the Knesset for Meretz, Mossi Raz is visiting Armenia to attend the occasion on Saturday.

He stated that he and his party agrees that the official Israeli stance should change and demand recognition of the Armenian genocide.

The political ties between Israel and Turkey have been in an ongoing crisis since 2008 on the backdrop of the Israeli policy towards Palestinians. The crisis aggravated in 2010 when the Israeli forces intercepted six Turkish ships that participated in the flotilla to break Israel's siege on Gaza.

The Turkish FM is expected to arrive in Israel next month in an attempt to reinforce and restore ties with Israel.


#145 Yervant1


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Posted 02 May 2022 - 07:47 AM

April 30 2022
Time for Israel to not fear Turkey and Russia and recognize genocide - editorial Israel’s approach to the Armenian genocide is too similar to the way it has managed its position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Published: APRIL 30, 2022 20:05

Updated: APRIL 30, 2022 20:57

Last week, Israel marked Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, to commemorate the genocide and murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.


Newspapers, TV shows and radio airwaves were filled with stories of the survivors – and the country paid attention.


It makes sense. The story of the establishment of the State of Israel is intertwined with the Holocaust. Survivors flocked to the country after the war, helped build it, fought for it in subsequent wars and deserve a large deal of credit for Israel’s spectacular success.


Last Sunday, though, a day was marked around the world, that went largely unnoticed in Israel. It was the 107th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide that commemorates the 1.5 million Armenians who were deported, massacred or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination by the Ottoman Empire.


US President Joe Biden issued a statement to commemorate the massacre, which he termed a “genocide” for the first time last year, in line with a promise he made on the campaign trail.


“We renew our pledge to remain vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms,” the president said. “We recommit ourselves to speaking out and stopping atrocities that leave lasting scars on the world.”


Turkey, as expected, responded angrily, calling Biden’s remarks “statements that are incompatible with historical facts and international law.”


Israel was noticeably quiet, and it is a silence that is a stain on the Jewish state. It shows how once again Jerusalem is preferring diplomatic and security interests over standing up for what is true and right, especially being a people that knows genocide firsthand.


As Prof. Israel Charney, one of the founders of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, wrote in these pages last month, Israel should not fear Turkey.


“Is it so beyond our imagination as Israelis to be able to say to Turkey at this time, ‘We have every respect for you as an important country and are happy to work closely with you, but we owe our own culture the clear cut responsibility to identify with a people whose historical record shows that they were subject to governmental extermination'?” Charney asked.


The continued Israeli refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide comes as Jerusalem is renewing diplomatic ties with Turkey. President Isaac Herzog recently visited Ankara and Israel obviously does not want to undermine those efforts.


What makes this wrong is that even when Israel’s ties with Turkey had hit rock bottom due to Erdogan’s vile antisemitism, the government also refused to recognize the Armenian genocide then. The reason was that it was better not to do something that would derail the chance for rapprochement. In other words, when ties are bad the timing is bad – and when ties are better the timing is also bad.


In 2019, after the US Senate recognized the genocide, Yair Lapid – then in the opposition – called on Israel to follow suit. He even proposed a bill that would obligate Israel to mark the day.


“It’s time to stop being afraid of the Sultan in Turkey and do what is morally right,” he tweeted at the time.


If it’s time to stop being afraid of the “Sultan in Turkey,” then why did Lapid not put out a statement last week? Why did he not order the Foreign Ministry to publicly mark the day?


Is doing “what is morally right” no longer the right thing to do?


The answer is obvious. What is easy to push for in the opposition is harder to do when you are foreign minister.


This is wrong. Israel’s approach to the Armenian genocide is too similar to the way it has managed its position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on the one hand offering support to Kyiv but on the other hand holding back from sanctions against Russia and public condemnations of President Vladimir Putin.


Policy on Ukraine has been dictated by security interests and the need to be able to continue operating in coordination with Russia in Syria. With the Armenian genocide, Israel is again letting diplomatic and security interests get in the way of what is the right and moral stance to take.


It is time for Israel to stop being afraid of Turkey and Russia. Standing up for what is moral and right strengthens nations. It is Israel’s time to do so.



#146 MosJan


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Posted 03 May 2022 - 10:48 AM

i think we should change the name of this topic 
any suggestions ? 

#147 Yervant1


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Posted 04 May 2022 - 07:31 AM

How about "Israel's Armenian Genocide recognition dilemma, truth or political convenience".

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#148 Yervant1


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Posted 07 August 2022 - 07:08 AM

Aug 6 2022
Book explores why Israel failed to recognize the Armenian Genocide - review Israel Charny explores how Turkey pressured the First International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide to silence talk of the Armenian Genocide.
Published: AUGUST 6, 2022 04:45

In the spring of 1982, shortly before the First International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide was scheduled to begin in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Turkish government demanded that the six sessions on the Armenian Genocide (out of 150 overall) be canceled, and Armenian speakers prohibited from participating. If the Israeli government, which was co-sponsoring the conference, did not comply, Turkish authorities threatened to end protection to Jews escaping from Iran and Syria through their country.


Under pressure from Israeli officials, Elie Wiesel resigned as president of the conference; Yad Vashem withdrew its offer to host the opening ceremonies; Tel Aviv University backed out as a co-sponsor; the Szold National Institute for Research in the Behavioral Sciences in Jerusalem and Hunter College of the City University of New York stopped participating; many speakers, including professors Yehuda Bauer and Alan Dershowitz canceled; donations from philanthropists dried up; pre-conference coverage in the Jewish press was curtailed; and the number of registrants shrank from 600 to 300.


Nonetheless, Israel Charny, the originator and director of the conference, decided to go ahead. The proceedings are now regarded as an important event in the development of the field of genocide studies, marking the first recognition of the Armenian Genocide in an international setting.


In Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian Genocide, Charny, an American-Israeli psychologist, co-founder of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, author of How Can We Commit The Unthinkable: Genocide: The Human Cancer and editor-in-chief of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide, revisits the conference, attempts by the Foreign Ministry to torpedo it, and issues a scathing indictment of Israel’s refusal, then and now, to officially recognize genocidal wars against other peoples.


Understandably, perhaps, even after 40 years, Charny approaches his subject with a mixture of pride and pain. Intent on setting the record straight and speaking truth to power, he steps on his analysis by going over familiar ground, repeating himself in clumsy prose, and inserting long lists of panels, presenters, book titles and extended excerpts from essays written by him and other human rights advocates in the 1980s and 1990s. And on occasion, Charny seems determined to settle scores.

Members of the Armenian community in Israel attend a demonstration against Israel’s stance on the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks outside the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem; the sign on the left reads: ‘Judaism is for acknowledgement of Armenian Genocide, the State of Israel against?’ (credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

That said, serious consideration of Charny’s claim – “the basic and horrendous commonality” in all genocides, including the Armenian tragedy, should override obsessions about uniqueness and a consensus definition of the “category name” – is as urgently necessary as it has ever been.


Because he defied the Israeli government in 1982, Charny states, the rector of Tel Aviv University denied him tenure at the School of Social Work, despite favorable recommendations by the relevant committees. The decision “hurt deeply” and “may have contributed psychosomatically” to “the development of cancer a few years later.” Charny sued Tel Aviv University, was appointed a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and for a time collected a TAU pension along with his Hebrew University salary. Grateful in retrospect for being forced to choose between personal, professional and financial security and fundamental ethical values, the experience, he now believes, was “a Turkish delight.”


Charny maintains that in response to Turkey’s threats and the Israeli government’s intervention, he considered reducing the visibility of the Armenian sessions at the conference, but not eliminating them. He indicates as well, rather contradictorily, that he was convinced that “threats of this sort should never be honored to any extent whatsoever.” And then lets himself off the hook by adding that an official of the US State Department assured him, “almost without any reservation or uncertainty,” that the Turks were bluffing.


In any event, Charny makes a compelling case that the principal reason Israeli leaders opposed the conference was their determination to keep the Holocaust, the “unbearable cataclysmic tragedy” of the Jewish people, “at the ultimate untouchable apex of a hierarchy of genocidal suffering... the greatest evil ever seen in human history.” 


Wiesel, who “believed entirely – naively and, one might say, messianically – in the virtue, decency and integrity of the miraculous State of Israel,” Charny writes, warned him “not to use genocide in plural.”

When Jews deny genocide

Charny emphasizes that he is a Zionist, proud of Israel’s survival in the face of enemies determined to destroy the Jewish state, and its efforts “to achieve a secure country that is basically still largely democratic.” He also blasts Israel’s quest for exclusivity and superiority; for refusing to acknowledge “the genocidal massacre of unarmed civilian Arabs” in Kafr Kassem in 1956; for indifference toward the forced expulsion of the Rohingya in Myanmar; persecution of Uighurs in China; and “genocidal orgies” in Yemen; for arm sales to Azerbaijan, “where there are gathering storms of potential genocide;” and for recent “fascist trends,” including discrimination against non-Jewish people who are fully entitled citizens of Israel.


Irrepressibly candid and combative at age 91, Charny has thrown down the gauntlet. Whether or not they “claim to be the most important and chosen victim people,” he insists, those who have “experienced fiendish genocidal destruction” should have “heightened sensitivity and caring for others who became victims.” And it is unnecessary, unproductive and unjust for them “to continue denying hard historical facts” about the commission of brutal acts of genocide.


The writer is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University.


Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian GenocideBy Israel W. Charny

Academic Studies Press

267 pages; 




#149 Yervant1


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Posted 20 September 2022 - 07:17 AM

Sept 19 2022
Israel’s Embrace Of Azerbaijan Erodes Its Moral Standing

Israel’s close ties with Azerbaijan are no secret. For Israel, realism and strategic necessity govern decision-making. Azerbaijan provided the Jewish state with fuel at a time when most Arab oil producers boycotted Israel. In exchange, Israel provided Azerbaijan with top-tier weaponry. That a Muslim-majority state established a warm partnership with Israel was also affirming. Azerbaijan, meanwhile, used its ties to Israel to leverage allies in the United States.

Calculations regarding Iran also played a role. Prior to the Iraq War, Azerbaijan and Iran were the only two Shiite-majority states with a Shiite government. Azerbaijan antagonized Iran because it shined by juxtaposition. Iranians vacationing in Baku could walk the corniche without fears of morality police or the burden of compulsory hijab. They could enjoy beer, wine, or something harder in Baku’s bars and restaurants in a way they never could in Tehran, at least openly. That a secular republic outperformed a theocratic one undermined the Islamic Republic’s claim to divine legitimacy. 

Azerbaijan’s service as a launch pad for the shadow war against Iran was just as important. Azerbaijan allowed both the United States and Israel listening posts, if not access to its territory, in order to conduct espionage against Iran, if not operations. Until Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev subordinated himself to his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and then pivoted toward Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan was simply a better ally than Turkey on issues relating to Iran.

A Complicated Reality


Situations evolve. Israel no longer needs to depend on Azerbaijani fuel, given the establishment of warm diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates as well as the development of the Eastern Mediterranean gas field. Israel’s accelerated embrace of Azerbaijan, however, comes at a huge strategic cost. In the months prior to Azerbaijan’s September 2020 surprise attack on the Artsakh, the self-governing but unrecognized Armenian state in Nagorno-Karabakh, Israel provided Azerbaijan with drones that tilted the balance of the war in Azerbaijan’s favor. Israeli officials and partisans pointed out that the international community recognizes the entirety of Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani. Some also point to a history of close ties between Armenia and Iran. 

Precedent matters. The basis of Minsk Group diplomacy prior to the 2020 war was land for peace: Armenia had agreed to return some Azeribaijani districts that it had occupied three decades before to defend strategic routes between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and guarantee Armenia’s water security. Armenia also sought to tie compromise on the status of Artsakh to assurances that Azerbaijan would not continue the ethnic cleansing of the historic Armenian majority in Nagorno-Karabakh. While the international community recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, international law is more complicated. Independent Azerbaijan never controlled Nagorno-Karabakh. Josef Stalin gifted the territory to Azerbaijan after the formation of the Soviet Union as part of his efforts to gerrymander the USSR’s constituent nationalities. When Azerbaijan reasserted its independence at the fall of the Soviet Union, it did so on the basis of the borders of pre-Soviet Azerbaijan that did not include Nagorno-Karabakh. Regardless, repeated referenda showed the majority of the region’s population rejected Azeri rule and sought self-determination. 

Azerbaijan, of course, rejects this. While the country is oil-rich, Aliyev family corruption has impoverished Azerbaijan. On a per capita basis, Azerbaijan is poorer than both Armenia and Georgia, neither of which have Azerbaijan’s oil and gas. 


Israel Undermines Its Own Arguments

Ideology also comes into play. Azeris demonize Armenians in a way that has no equivalent in Armenia. Indeed, there is a functioning mosque in the center of Yerevan. Aliyev’s own rhetoric dehumanizes Armenians and likens them to animals and insects. That the September 2020 invasion came on the centenary of the Ottoman invasion of Armenia was no coincidence – it directly linked the action to a key episode in the Armenian genocide. 

By siding with Baku, Jerusalem sets a precedent by which it undermines its own arguments for defensible borders. Ignoring Armenia’s historical ties to Artsakh and the will of the Armenians living there for generations also empowers those who deny any Jewish heritage in Jerusalem and the Israeli government’s own claims to portions of the West Bank.

Pundits and propagandists can tweet and repeat “Armenia is an ally of Iran” as a mantra, but this is disingenuous. Azerbaijan and Turkey’s blockade of Armenia forces the relationship and empowers Iran. Azerbaijan, meanwhile, treats such pundits as useful idiots to distract Washington as Baku deepens its own economic ties to Tehran.  

Perhaps Israel’s greatest mistake, however, is moral. Aliyev’s rhetoric toward Armenia and Armenians is little different than Saddam Hussein’s against Israel or Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s against Jews. His most recent attack on Armenia proper shows that Aliyev’s rhetoric is not simply bombast – not any more than Saddam Hussein’s reference of Kuwait as a nineteenth province was. Simply put, Aliyev is a racist and is ideologically committed to Armenia’s eradication. So too are many in Turkey. Erdogan ally and Great Unity Party leader Mustafa Destici tweeted on Sept. 15, “We say to the Armenian administration: Make up your mind: I remind you once again that the Turkish Nation has the power to erase Armenia from history and geography, and that they stand at the limit of our patience.” Neither Erdogan nor Aliyev denounced him. That Azerbaijani cargo planes, meanwhile, shuttled between Baku and Tel Aviv before the latest Azeribaijani assault deserves explanation. Perhaps the trade was innocent, but the fact that similar flights occurred before the September 2020 attack is suspicious. 

Time to Speak Up About Azerbaijan

Traditionally, Jewish groups and Israel discounted the Armenian genocide, because they believed it would detract from the Holocaust. This is false. Both events were evil, unique, and interrelated. Many Jewish groups now acknowledge this.  

Both Armenians and Israeli Jews are surrounded by forces who seek their eradication. Rather than provide cover for Azerbaijan as Aliyev descends into a rabbit hole of hate, Israel should use its leverage with Aliyev to warn him that he risks transforming Azerbaijan into a pariah state. To be Erdogan’s mini-me as the Turkish leader enters his final years does Azerbaijan a disservice. Silence and excuses enable Aliyev’s increasingly erratic behavior. 

There may be some practical reason why Israeli officials do not speak up. They may fear that Aliyev could turn on Azerbaijan’s shrinking Jewish population, essentially treating them as hostages in the same manner that Erdogan and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei do. Likewise, Israel may fear that Aliyev will turn against them and side with Iran. Either reality, however, would be a tacit acknowledgement that Aliyev is not the secular and tolerant opponent to the Islamic Republic they make him out to be. Simply put, for Israel to associate itself with a dictator increasingly intent on Armenian cultural eradication, ethnic cleansing, and genocide will be a stain not easily removed.   


Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, Dr. Michael Rubin is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Dr. Rubin is the author, coauthor, and coeditor of several books exploring diplomacy, Iranian history, Arab culture, Kurdish studies, and Shi’ite politics, including “Seven Pillars: What Really Causes Instability in the Middle East?” (AEI Press, 2019); “Kurdistan Rising” (AEI Press, 2016); “Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes” (Encounter Books, 2014); and “Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos” (Palgrave, 2005).


#150 Yervant1


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Posted 20 September 2022 - 07:19 AM

Israel - Sept 19 2022
Armenia and Azerbaijan resume fighting: watch the Israeli Harop destroy Armenian S-300 batteries

The Harop, a loitering munition (suicide drone) developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries, has been leaving the Russian-manufactured Armenian anti-aircraft systems helpless. It appears that the Azeris have developed a military doctrine which combines the Harop with the Turkish TB2 drone

Ami Rojkes Dombe




Armenia and Azerbaijan have recently experienced, once again, a round of fighting along the border between them. And as usual, the Azeri army was the first to pull out its loitering munition, manufactured by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) – the Harop drone.

This loitering munition is designed to destroy mostly radars, and videos which have surfaced across the web show the Harop drones being turned against Armenian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems.



Caucuswar publication shows two Harops descend on Armenian 5P85 missile launch vehicles, followed by a Turkish TB2 drone which completes the mission by launching missiles against the battery’s radar. One can assume, that after the launchers are disabled, there is no danger to the TB2s.

Another documentation, also by Caucuswar, shows a Harop drone being used to destroy an Armenian P-18 radar.

Conflictzone shows a Harop destroying the radar of a 5N63S S-300 battery radar.

Additional documentations of the TB2 drone were published by Oryxspioenkop.  



#151 Yervant1


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Posted 18 October 2022 - 07:59 AM

Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Oct 17 2022
Armenia has had few Jews and a poor relationship with Israel. That could be changing.

YEREVAN, Armenia (JTA) — Just outside a remote village two hours’ drive east of Yerevan, in a clearing reachable only by hiking down a steep embankment and crossing a rickety wooden bridge, looms a remarkable sight: a blue metal gate decorated with a Star of David that guards the entrance to one of the world’s most unusual Jewish cemeteries.

Here, in a pastoral setting disturbed only by the chirping of birds and the rushing waters of the Yeghegis River, lie 64 complete tombstones and fragments of others dating from 1266 to 1346. Their inscriptions, written in both Hebrew and Aramaic, have been studied by scholars for years.


Rimma Varzhapetyan, chair of the Armenian Jewish community, at her Yerevan office. (Larry Luxner)

Among them is the epitaph of a young Jewish boy that reflects the profound grief of his parents: “Your dead [shall live], corpses shall rise, awake and sing for joy, O dwellers in the dust! For [your dew] is a radiant dew.”

The medieval cemetery, rarely visited these days and in an obvious state of neglect, is nevertheless proof that a Jewish community has long existed and even flourished in Armenia — home of the biblical Noah’s Ark and the world’s first Christian nation.

That community is today among the smallest of the 15 republics that, until 1991, formed the Soviet Union — although it has swelled in recent months, if only temporarily, with Jews fleeing Russia. In addition, even as Israel is home to the oldest Armenian diaspora community and Jerusalem’s Old City boasts an Armenian quarter, Armenia’s relationship with Jews and Israel is difficult, both for historical reasons and because Israel is a key ally of Armenia’s archenemy, Azerbaijan.

Rimma Varzhapetyan, 74, chairs the Yerevan-based Jewish Community of Armenia. Her organization, which has been around for 25 years, occupies a small office on the ground floor of an institute for deaf and mute people.

Varzhapetyan took issue with a 2019 poll by the Pew Research Center, in which 32% of Armenian respondents said they wouldn’t accept Jews as fellow citizens — the highest percentage of any of the 18 European countries included in the survey.

“There is no antisemitism in Armenia,” said the Russian-speaking Varzhapetyan, who was born in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region but has lived in Armenia for the last 52 years. “It’s true that our economy isn’t that developed, so many Jews — scientists, doctors, journalists and others — made aliyah. Today, there isn’t much religious life, but we do try to celebrate all the Jewish holidays.”

After the Soviet collapse, about 15,000 Armenian Jewish families emigrated to Israel, she said, and these days, the Maryland-size country of about 3 million is home to around 280 Jewish families, though it’s hard to say for sure since the country’s few Jews are mostly intermarried.

Varzhapetyan’s numbers are far more optimistic than those of Rabbi Gershon Burshteyn, the spiritual leader of Yerevan’s Mordechay Navi Jewish Religious Center of Armenia since 1996.

Burshteyn, a locally born Orthodox Jew with a striking resemblance to Tevye the Dairyman — he even speaks with a Yiddish accent — said most Jews here are from families that arrived after World War II from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Uzbekistan and, to a lesser extent, Azerbaijan.

Rabbi Gershon Burshteyn, spiritual leader of the Mordechay Navi Jewish Religious Center of Armenia, seen outside the center he leads. (Larry Luxner)

“Before the 1920s, there were two Jewish communities here: one from Poland and one from Iran. At the time, they made up 17% of the population of Yerevan,” said Burshteyn, 60. “But during the Armenian genocide of 1915, there were rumors that the Russian Army would hand Yerevan to the Turks, so the Persian Jews went back to Iran.”

Today, he said, no more than 100 to 200 of Armenia’s 2.9 million inhabitants are Jews; nearly all of them live in Yerevan, except for a handful in Vanadzor, Armenia’s third-largest city. But those numbers are confusing, since at least 500 Armenians would qualify for aliyah under Israel’s 1953 Law of Return, meaning they have at least one Jewish grandparent.

On the other hand, because intermarriage is so prevalent here, only 20 or so Armenians are the offspring of Jewish mothers and fathers, according to Burshteyn.

No more than 25 people attend Shabbat services, and the worshippers are almost all 45 years of age or older. Kosher meat is available thanks to a schochet, or ritual slaughterer, who visits once or twice a month from Tbilisi — the capital of neighboring Georgia — while Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services attract about 100 people.

Ida Zilman, 71, is a painter and designer who teaches arts and crafts at a local primary school. Her father, a Ukrainian Jew from Odessa, was seriously wounded while fighting for the Soviet Red Army, and in 1944 he was demobilized and sent to the Caucasus to work as a geologist.

“He helped establish the metallurgy industry in Armenia, and it was here that he met my mom,” said Zilman, a grandmother who attends synagogue services on Jewish holidays. With her late husband, she also visited Israel, where she has a stepsister in Ashdod.

“I adore Israel, but I feel comfortable here in Armenia,” she said. “There are rumors that it’s antisemitic, but that’s not true. When I tell people I’m Jewish, they smile.”

Six years ago, Israel issued a stamp commemorating the famed French-Armenian crooner Charles Aznavour, his parents and his sister Aida, all of whom had sheltered Jews at their home during World War II. In addition, dozens of other Armenians across Europe who protected or saved Jewish lives are honored at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

However, those warm feelings are not universal, cautions Ilya Dorfman, a software entrepreneur in his early 50s who lived in Moscow, Toronto, San Francisco and New York before deciding to return to his native Armenia.

“Sometimes, I speak with young people here and they have the idea that Jews are always against Armenians. But it never translates into hatred against the Jews,” he said. “It’s certainly not anything like the antisemitism I felt when I lived in Russia, or even Ukraine after independence.”

Much of the ill will that exists between Armenia and Israel stems from Israel’s extensive military support of oil-rich Azerbaijan, with which Armenia has fought numerous wars over the Nagorno Karabakh region claimed by both former Soviet states. Fighting raged from 1988 to 1994, claiming the lives of 16,000 Azerbaijanis and 4,000 Armenians.

The long-simmering conflict exploded into war again in late 2020. Azerbaijan — led by President Ilham Aliyev and heavily aided by Turkey and Israel — eventually recaptured the 20% of its territory it had lost to Armenia in 1994. (Azerbaijan’s forces included soldiers from that country’s Jewish population of about 8,000.)

Last month, renewed border skirmishes between the two countries left nearly 300 people dead on both sides, with predominantly Muslim Azerbaijan and largely Christian Armenia trading accusations of genocide and human-rights atrocities.

“The fact is that Israel supplied weapons to this criminal gangster Aliyev and his brainwashed elite. He gave medals to soldiers who cut off the heads of Armenian and Yazidi soldiers,” Dorfman said. “You wouldn’t believe how many letters we wrote from the Jewish community here exposing what really happened. But in Israel, this is not a very popular subject.”

Artiom Chernamorian, founder of a nonprofit group called Nairi Union of Armenians in Petah Tikva, Israel, says he’s disgusted with official Israeli policy toward the country of his birth — as well as Israel’s alliance with Azerbaijan.

“Israel has so much money for NGOs around the world, but not even one shekel to support the Jewish community of Armenia. It’s a shame,” said Chernamorian, who made aliyah 20 years ago. “Why is Israel — a nation that suffered genocide — helping an Islamic dictator kill Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh? We all know he’s a killer, and Azerbaijan is definitely not a democracy.”

Armenians also deeply resent the fact that Israel refuses to officially recognize the Ottoman slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as a genocide, for fear of offending Turkey — with which it reestablished diplomatic relations this year after a long hiatus.

At the entrance to Yerevan’s Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex, visitors are greeted with a quote from Adolf Hitler, who, one week before his 1939 invasion of Poland, said, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

One man working hard to improve Israeli-Armenian relations is Achot Chakhmouradian.

Since 2013, Chakhmouradian has been Israel’s honorary consul in Yerevan. His office, on the second floor of his family-owned auto dealership, is decorated with framed certificates in Hebrew and Armenian, along with his pet python, which he keeps in an enormous glass tank.

“Our two countries have so much in common,” says Chakhmouradian, who’s not Jewish. “Both are landlocked and surrounded by Muslim countries. And we are both ancient people with modern tragedies — the Armenian genocide of 1915 and the Holocaust. As a consequence, we have large communities abroad, but the Armenian diaspora is even bigger than the Jewish one.”

Chakhmouradian said that in 2018, following a change of government in Armenia, his country finally decided to open an embassy in Tel Aviv, and relations flourished, with high-level visits and an active interparliamentary friendship group. But two years later — when war broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan — the ambassador was recalled in protest over Israel’s weapons sales to the Baku government.

“In my opinion, that was not the right decision,” he said. “Israel is not the only country selling weapons. For example, Russia is a much bigger ally of Armenia, and they were also selling weapons to both sides.”


Portrait of Armenian Ceramics artist Vic Lepejian in his shop in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, Oct. 3, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Chakhmouradian said nearly 180,000 Israelis visited Georgia in 2019, before the pandemic hit; that same year, Armenia received barely 5,000 tourists. While there are more Israelis with ties to Georgia than Armenia, Chakhmouradian said he was optimistic that the number of tourists to Armenia could increase dramatically with direct flights from Tel Aviv to Yerevan — a flying time of less than two and a half hours.

Things may be looking up, in fact. In April, Israeli president Isaac Herzog met Arman Akopian, Armenia’s new ambassador to Israel, who presented his credentials and signed the official guest book in unusually fluent Hebrew. The two men then discussed the 1,700-year-old history of the Armenian community in Israel and affinities between the two peoples.

In addition, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s recent mobilization of reserves to fight that war has led tens of thousands of Russian citizens to emigrate to Armenia, one of the only places where they can still travel easily. That includes at least 450 Jews who have taken up residence in Yerevan, according to Rabbi Burshteyn — dramatically boosting the size of the local Jewish community, even if only temporarily.

And on Oct. 6, Azerbaijan’s Aliyev met informally with Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — marking the first top-level talks between the Turkish and Armenian leaders in decades. That follows Erdoğan’s recent rapprochement with Israel and the resumption of diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey.

“There’s a huge Armenian presence in the Old City of Jerusalem, and many Armenians want to visit Israel on pilgrimage. But nobody wants to lose a whole day traveling,” Chakhmouradian said. “If there were direct flights, I’m sure some of these tourists could also become businessmen or potential investors. The potential is enormous.”


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