“Former US Ambassador a Disappointment”–Writer

David Boyajian, 27 September 2012

It is disappointing that the Najarian Human Rights Lecture Series, affiliated with the Armenian Heritage Park on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, has tapped Ambassador Edward Djerejian to be the main speaker for its 3rd annual lecture at Faneuil Hall on October 25.

Djerejian, whose parents were Genocide survivors, is a former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Syria. He is now the Founding Director of the James A. Baker III Institute in Houston.

David Boyajian, 27 September 2012

It is disappointing that the Najarian Human Rights Lecture Series, affiliated with the Armenian Heritage Park on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, has tapped Ambassador Edward Djerejian to be the main speaker for its 3rd annual lecture at Faneuil Hall on October 25.

Djerejian, whose parents were Genocide survivors, is a former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Syria. He is now the Founding Director of the James A. Baker III Institute in Houston.

The Institute’s namesake is James Baker. He is a former Secretary of State and an Armenian genocide denier, as is Madeline Albright, an ex-officio member of the Institute.  Its Board of Advisors is filled with current and former executives of Chevron, Marathon Oil, Shell Oil, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and similar corporations, several of which also fund the Institute.  Not surprisingly, human rights are nearly invisible on the Institute’s agenda.

In a depressing political presentation to Armenian Americans in Texas in 2011, Djerejian uttered not one word of criticism of Turkey or Azerbaijan.  Nor did he mention Artsakh/Karabagh’s rights, human or otherwise. Instead, he took a neutral position on the issue, and approvingly quoted Azeri President Ilham Aliyev that “Azerbaijan has the upper hand.”  Regarding the Genocide, Djerejian noted only that “the Armenian Genocide can best be resolved within the context of improved state to state relations between Armenia and Turkey.”

A true human rights advocate would never give such a speech. A career U.S. State Department man would.

Astonishingly, Djerejian’s book “Danger and Opportunity” (2008) praised Kemal Ataturk as a “charismatic military leader who drove European occupiers out of Turkey.”  It also touted Turkey for its “potential outreach to the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia.”  This is a form of pan-Turkism, which led to WW 1, the Armenian genocide, and Turkey’s providing military and political support to Azerbaijan. Is Djerejian unaware of this, or does he not care?

In 1999, Djerejian and Peter Rosenblatt, a former U.S. ambassador and top member of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) visited Azerbaijan and Armenia, allegedly to serve as peacemakers on the Karabagh issue.  Both AJC and JINSA are genocide deniers that have worked with Turkey to defeat the Armenian genocide resolution.  AJC Executive Director David Harris, who has twice visited Aliyev, says “Azerbaijan is important for the Jewish people.”  Djerejian’s partnering, in effect, with AJC and JINSA strikes one as strange, to say the least.   Fortunately, the Djerejian-Rosenblatt expedition flopped.

I could go on, but I won’t. 

Hopefully, the Najarian/Armenian Heritage Park lecture series will invite a true human rights advocate for its 2013 event.

Sincerely,

David Boyajian

Belmont, MA

 

4 comments
  1. Djerejian

    I was shocked to read the article about Djerejian. Wow, he is only the second  Armenian to my knowledge to have such opinion of our history. It's especially shocking since he is the son of Genocide survivors.
    I suppose career before honor for some people .

    Vrejouhy,
    Calgary
     

  2. Surprise and Disappointment

    I have read the above article with great surprise and disappointment in the Armenian media. However, I refrained from forming an opinion about ambassador's stand on Armenian issues without knowing the veracity of the facts stated by the author. I waited until this weekend, when I had the opportunity to meet the ambassador, to ask him direct questions and attend his lecture, organized by the AGBU Asbeds in L.A. More than 800 people attended.

    Let me share with you my impressions. The ambassador, without doubt, is a strong defender of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, but believes, due the current realpolitik of the region, Armenia must take another approach for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This approach would be different than the one which is advocated by some people in the Diaspora. Also he explained that since the Azeri side is spending more for its military budget than Armenia's annual budget, sooner or later Baku will have the upper hand, if another war breaks between the two countries. With their vast arm arsenal they may overcome what they lack in tactical and training experience where Armenia has the lead. This is his opinion; like any of us, the ambassador is entitled to his opinion. After all, he, most likely, is privileged to information when most of us are not. He is not advocating anything against Armenian interests but suggesting a different approach. I do not believe that makes him what Boyadjian article is trying to define him as.

    Has anyone watched Farid Zakaria on CNN (Oct. 7) to see what Azeri money is buying in foreign lands besides what it may be doing in Azerbaijan? How about a Aliyev Park in the center of Mexico City, just like Turks did in Ottawa a few weeks ago? Having intelligent and knowledgeable persons around us, like the ambassador, is a blessing. We must learn to utilize his knowledge and experience, rather than bad-mouth him, just because he offers a different approach.

  3. Ambassador Djerejian is not our friend

    I read that  Djerejian left the American government in 1994.

    I believe that he has been planted inside Armenian communities in America by the American State Department to convince us to give up on Karabagh.He never has a bad word to say about Turkey because that is the attitude of your State Department. He is worse than most odars when it comes to his views about Turkey. No patriotic Armenian would ever say good things about Ataturk like he said. 

    My thanks to Boyadjian for uncovering Djerejian.  

  4. A disgrace

    I was never impressed by sell-out Ambassador Djerejian, nor will I ever be.

    Bottom-line: He is a disgrace and should never be allowed to speak in front of Armenians. He does not give an ounce about Armenian justice. Only such […] individuals make it in the U.S. political system.

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