Haaretz: Israel should not sell arms to Azerbaijan, in order to avoid repetition of Armenian Genocide
In light of the increased manifestations of hatred in Azerbaijan against the Armenians, Azerbaijan’s increasing military strength and the rise in internal tensions there, it is feared that if war breaks out again between Azerbaijan and Armenia, there will be massacres against the Armenian population in that contested region, reads the article of Yair Auron published on the site of Haaretz.
As it is noted in the article, and yet, despite the handwriting on the wall, last month Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon flew to Azerbaijan to meet with the heads of its military and state, including the president.
The article reminds that in 2015 will mark 100 years since the genocide against the Armenian people. An Azeri assault, if one takes place, could be a sorrowful reminder of the events of those days. But perhaps it is not too late to prevent escalation. Israel has a moral obligation in this matter, beyond its international obligations. It would be very serious if it turned out that Azerbaijan’s security forces committed war crimes and crimes against humanity using Israeli weapons.
As result of a conflict between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis about 30,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes. The Armenians, who were fighting for their homes, were able to overcome the Azeri army, which was much stronger than they were, and were able to maintain control of the Nagorno Karabakh. In 1994, a fragile, Russian-brokered cease-fire was arranged. The conflict, however, was not settled.
“20 years later, international efforts to urge the Armenians and Azeris to an agreed-on solution have been unsuccessful,” the author writes and stresses that he has heard many times about escalation in the region and about war crimes committed by Azerbaijan.
“I was also told about breaches of the cease-fire agreement by Azerbaijan just recently. It seems that the Azeris are trying to goad the Armenians into responding to breaches of the agreement, so the Azeris will have an ostensible reason to reach their goal,” Yair Auron writes.
In early August, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev visited the front and told the soldiers that the weapons they had purchased from foreign sources, meet the highest standards in the world, the article reads.
According to the author Russia and many other countries have condemned the escalation, and said that the only solution to the conflict is diplomatic. Israel has ignored these statements, as Israel is one of the leading exporters of weapons to Azerbaijan.
As noted in the article with the outbreak of the war, in 1992, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe asked its member states to ban export of weapons to those involved in the conflict. Britain and Germany prohibit the export of weapons to Azerbaijan and, as far as we know, the United States does not permit the export of weapons to that country over concerns that it could be used against Armenia. While Russia and Israel the weapons embargo didn’t stop. According to reports in the foreign press, in recent years Israel is one of the leading exporters of weapons to Azerbaijan. In 2012 Israel signed an agreement to supply $1.6 billion-worth of weapons to Azerbaijan. At least two Israeli drones have fallen in Ngorno Karabakh, the latest one this past August.
“This is not the first time Israel has supplied weapons to a country that is committing genocide. Israel sold weapons to the Serbs during the Balkan war in the early 1990s, during which time the United Nations had imposed an embargo. Israel must refrain from such acts because we are a people of Holocaust survivors,” the author noted.
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper.
Edited by onjig, 27 March 2015 - 02:42 PM.