Israel’s/Jewish Diaspora’s Armenian Problem

  Team Keghart.com  30 January 2020

When we posted the below editorial nearly a decade ago, we titled it “Our Jewish/Israel Problem”. Ten years on, we have decided to republish the editorial because of its currency but have amended it by the headnote: “Israel’s/Jewish Diaspora’s Armenian Problem”.

“Dogs can enter, but no Jews, no Armenians”, Source: The Canadian Jewish News

While for decades Israel and AIPAC (the Jewish lobby in the U.S.) were the engines that drove America’s refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide, during the recent U.S. recognition of the genocide the Jewish lobby didn’t oppose the long-overdue decision. It’s no secret their decision had little to do with the truth or justice.

  Team Keghart.com  30 January 2020

When we posted the below editorial nearly a decade ago, we titled it “Our Jewish/Israel Problem”. Ten years on, we have decided to republish the editorial because of its currency but have amended it by the headnote: “Israel’s/Jewish Diaspora’s Armenian Problem”.

“Dogs can enter, but no Jews, no Armenians”, Source: The Canadian Jewish News

While for decades Israel and AIPAC (the Jewish lobby in the U.S.) were the engines that drove America’s refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide, during the recent U.S. recognition of the genocide the Jewish lobby didn’t oppose the long-overdue decision. It’s no secret their decision had little to do with the truth or justice.

The Jewish lobby backed the recognition because of “Mr. Reckless” Erdogan’s numerous anti-American trespasses. Meanwhile, the Jewish and Israeli lobby have signaled to Turkey and to Azerbaijan that Tel Aviv (or Jerusalem) remain staunch allies of Turkbeijan. There’s no other explanation for Israel’s three-pronged anti-Armenian policy: no recognition of the Armenian Genocide, multi-faceted assistance to Azerbaijan, and almost-weekly attacks on Armenia and Armenians by Israeli/Jewish hired mouthpieces and gunslingers, usually in the Israeli media. Thus, “Israel’s/Jewish Diaspora’s Armenian Problem”.

Israel and the Jewish Diaspora have an Armenian Problem. They should check their morality. They should examine their much-professed struggle for justice and the truth. They should pore on their claim of being “light into humanity”. How can a people who are insensitive to the suffering of a small and much-tormented people claim to be the “People of the Book”? 

Our Jewish/Israel Problem

Team Keghart.com Editorial, 22 May 2010

For a small state, Israel certainly garners a great deal of international media coverage and attention at global forums, especially in the West. For a nation of 15 million, Jews likewise get far more attention than nations (Brazil, Indonesia) which are more than ten times numerous. We don’t intend to go into all the religious, political, economic, military, and media ownership reasons for the above state of affairs. Here we intend to focus on the complex, multi-layered, apparently contradictory relationship and attitude Armenians harbor towards Jews and Israel. Our collective stance towards Jews is particularly interesting because, for centuries, other nations have commented on the close similarities between Armenians and Jews. Nowadays, some people also see similarities between Armenia and Israel–small countries surrounded by hostile neighbors; two states which have reappeared on the political map after centuries of exile.
Like most states and nations, we have a multi-dimensional attitude towards Jews/Israel–a unique brew of admiration and jealousy; gratitude and disappointment; proximity and fear; identification and hostility; condemnation and envy.
 
Historically, we have had mixed feelings about Jews. While our religion is based on Judaism (most of our saints are Jewish), historically and like other Christian nations we have condemned Jews for crucifying Christ. We also do not appreciate the Chosen Race pathology of some Jews. Meanwhile, a minority of Armenians blames Christianity–progeny of Judaism–for most of the ills Armenians have suffered in the past two millennia. A typical rhetoric of this attitude goes like this: “Christ was crucified once; Armenians have been crucified for Him for two-thousand years.” Then there’s the latent Aryan racism, among a minority of Armenians in Armenia who would like to revive pagan, pre-Christian Armenia. This fringe group considers non-Aryans–especially Jews–an undesirable race. The above aberrant streaks are often wrapped up in the convenient–although misleading–term of anti-Semitism.  Yes, a minority of Armenians are smitten by the universal disease of anti-Semitism.
 
Our traditional brand of anti-Semitism has been fed, in the past century, by real or imaginary misdeeds of the Jews against Armenians. Some Armenians believe that Tala’t Pasha, a crypto Jew, and other key members of Committee of Union and Progress, such as Emmanuel Carasso and proto-Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky, were responsible for the Genocide of Armenians. Other Armenians also believe that Mustafa Kemal, who tried to complete the slaughter the Young Turk had begun, was also a secret Jew. The reason for the alleged Jewish hatred of Armenians? Jews of the Ottoman Empire wanted to have a monopoly of the professions in Turkey. They saw Armenians and Greeks as rivals. Still other Armenians maintain that the Genocide of Armenians was initiated by the Rothschilds, who had huge investments in the Baku oilfields and saw politically mature Armenians as a divisive, anti-capitalist, trouble-making presence in Southern Caucasus and in Anatolia.
 
Since Turkey was one of the first states to recognize Israel (in addition to sending much-needed food to the new-born country in the late ‘40s and the early ‘50s), there have been close diplomatic, political, military, and economic ties between the two countries. One negative outcome–for Armenians–of this friendship has been Israel’s denial of the Genocide of Armenians. As well, Israel has been a key weapons provider and military/espionage trainer to the Azeris. Consequently, it’s no accident that Armenia’s sole diplomatic presence in Israel is a Jerusalem-born Armenian who acts as an honorary consul, making appearances at low-level diplomatic functions.
 
Israel’s denial of the Genocide of Armenians is made worse by Tel Aviv’s diktat to Jewish leaders living in the West (particularly in the United States) to act on behalf of Ankara in the latter’s campaign to halt Armenian Genocide recognition. Israel’s policies vis-à-vis the Genocide has been particularly galling and hurtful to Armenians–a long-suffering ethnic minority like the Jews. In addition to actively promoting Turkish revisionism, Jewish-American historians (Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy, Stanford Shaw, etc.) have been at the forefront of the Turkey’s North American campaign to deny the Genocide of Armenians. This is compounded by some petty but mainstream North American Jewish groups which see our Genocide as a “rival” to their Shoah (Holocaust). Critics have called this a Jewish attempt at “monopoly of misery”. Armenians are considered by these North American Jews as “Johnny-come-lately” who is trespassing on the “Jewish genocide turf”.
 
The above is further compounded by the widespread perception among Armenians and other nations/states that Israelis and Diaspora Jews are one and the same; that they march to the same drum beat. This conclusion is a result of a widespread Jewish Diaspora attitude of “Israel right or wrong”. No matter how deplorable Israeli foreign and domestic policies, a large percentage of Diaspora Jews feel compelled not to criticize Tel Aviv, no matter the barbaric policies of Menachim Begin, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, et al. Armenians are particularly sensitive to the plight of Palestinians because they see similarities between the tragedy of Palestinians and that of Armenians, and because so many Diaspora Armenians were born or live in Arab countries. Armenians also feel grateful to the Arabs for welcoming our wounded, our exiled and impoverished parents and grandparents, who found life-saving shelter in the Arab World after the Genocide and deportations.
 
But Armenians also have positive feelings towards Jews as a people and Israel as a state.
 
We admire how Jews, scattered all over the world, managed to create–at an incredible speed–a prosperous, advanced, and militarily powerful state in the Middle East. We also admire their love of education, their discipline, creativity, innovative spirit, and social/political activism wherever they reside. Take out the Jewish communities from North America or from Britain and France and these major Western countries will become far less dynamic and far less exciting places to live. In the arts and in the sciences, Jews have helped–more than any other ethnic group–decide the features of the modern Western world.
 
While a number of Ankara-client Jewish historians have made life difficult for Armenians and non-Armenians fighting for Armenian Genocide recognition, a far greater number of Jewish historians have supported the Armenian side. In fact, the most influential body of genocide historians–The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS)–is largely made up of Jews. This crucial association has published, at great expense, full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere to combat Turkish denials. A few months ago the group also chided–in an open letter– the Turkish president for its blind denial of the Armenian Genocide. When it comes to credibility, IAGS beats hands down all the high-priced Ankara propaganda and the efforts of international public relations firms hired by Turkey to deny the Genocide. And, of course, no Armenian would fail to remember, with deep gratitude, Henry Morgenthau, American Ambassador to Turkey; Franz Werfel (“The Forty Days of Mush Dagh”), who in the ‘30s singlehanded revived Europe’s and North America’s memories of the Genocide of Armenians. Armenians are also grateful to jurist Rafael Lemkin, who coined the word “genocide” to describe what the Young Turks had done; and to missionary/amateur diplomat Dr. Johannes Lepsius. As Armenians know, the first three were Jews, while Dr. Lepsius was half-Jewish.
 
It’s immoral, illogical, racist, and self-defeating for Armenians to lump all Jews together when it comes to our national and state relations. Right now Israel is no friend of Armenia or Armenians, although recent Erdogan criticism of Israel might impact Israeli/Turkish and Israeli/Armenian relations. Meanwhile, Diaspora Armenians should approach Diaspora Jews as individuals. Some will be our friends; others will be beating the Turkish drum. Let’s not estrange or lose our Jewish friends by tarnishing them with the same black and broad brush, and automatically assume that they are ignorant, blind or uncaring of our just struggle. Let us work to make our common interests and mutual admiration determine our relationship, rather than be swept by the negative tides. Ankara would love to see dissension between Armenians and Jews.

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20 comments
  1. God’s preferred nation, the Jews who crucified the king of kings

    An excellent editorial, rarely seen on the screen. But how can this solve our national problem with our neighbour nation, the modern Turkish republic?

    Armenians have traveled to the Near East/Levant as pilgrims to Jerusalem since the dawn of christianity; they have always been in the region to visit the Holy City and protect their headquarters. The Ottomans, the Ak and the Kara Koyuns did not exist in the Near East during this time of history.

    The solution to our problem: to come to a comprehensive understanding with our neighbour and vice versa. Leaders come and go in Turkey; one day, vicdan azabi will push a Descartian leader to be in good terms with the neighbour Armenians than the distant relatives, as Arabs say.

    1. Armenians/Jews/Israel

      The editorial about Armenian relationship with Jews and Israel is relevant because Armenia and Israel are in the Middle East; because Israel is friendly with Turkey and Azerbaijan; because Armenians live in Arab countries hostile to Israel; because Armenians feel grateful to Arab countries for welcoming genocide survivors.

      The editorial is relevant because the Jewish or Israeli lobby has been effective in stopping genocide recognition in the U.S. Although the editorial didn’t mention, Armenia is friendly with Iran–our only reliable land neighbour and a country which has been threatened with an imminent massive attack by Israel. Although I am not knowledgeable in nuclear matters, I worry that an Israeli attack on Iran might release radiation, which might drift over Armenia and the Middle East. Finally, Armenia would hate to see Iran–its good neighbour–shattered in such a war.

      Re the wisdom of remaining friendly with neighbours… that’s self-evident. Armenia is trying to be friendly with its neighbours. It’s Turkey and Azerbaijan which are hostile to us, while Georgia–never a real friend–is an unreliable neighbour.

      By the way, the wisdom of giving preference to friendly relations with neighbours is not as solid as it used to be because we live in a world of easy communication and transportation, and international treaties, alliances and interconnectedeness,

  2. What a good article

    What a good, truthful article. We are as good as the Jews… culturally.  Definitely in business… if not better.. . .if only we could work together as Armenians… we would be on top of the world.

    Cordialement,

    Gerard Paraghamian a.o.c.a.

  3. Very balanced editorial

    Very balanced editorial with a perfect conclusion. Thank you for your great work!

  4. Bravo!
    Bravo keghart editorial.

    This is the best description of jews as I have seen anywhere, you have covered every aspect of it in a summary.
  5. Great and timely article

    We as Armenians always have wondered how we should feel and think about the Jews. This article clearly defines that there is a difference between a state and the people. People can be good and know right fom wrong, but are influenced by the state.

    Hopefully politics of Israel (the state) will change in the future and the people (the Jews) will be free to express and support others with similar history.
     

    Garo

  6. Not all Jews are the same

    The photo accompanying the editorial is very telling. The article from the Canadian Jewish News where the photo is taken from is even more compelling and it reinforces the editorial’s main thesis that not all Jews are the same.

    Dr. Norman Epstein of Toronto concludes his remarks with the following, "it is morally unacceptable that a people reborn out of the ashes of the Holocaust be complicit, even reluctantly, in the denial of another genocide. It goes against the very essence of the Jewish soul."

    I couldn’t agree more with both this editorial and Dr. Epstein.

  7. “A Nation on Trial”

    In consideration of  Kegart editorial it would be an eye -opener to read
    " A Nation on Trial" by Norman G. Finkelstein. …

    First published in Canada by Fitzhenry& Whiteside Lts.

    1. Re: A Nation on Trial

      Dear Serj,

      People will wonder what the book is all about. Below is a synopsis:

      "No recent work of history has generated as much interest as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Purporting to solve the mystery of the Holocaust, Goldhagen maintains that ordinary Germans were driven by fanatical anti-semitism to murder Jews. An immediate national best-seller, the book went on to create an international sensation.

      Now, in A Nation on Trial , two leading critics challenge Goldhagen’s findings. With devastating cumulative effect, Norman G. Finkelstein meticulously documents Goldhagen’s misrepresentations of secondary literature and the internal contradictions of his argument. In a complimentary essay, Ruth Bettina Birn juxtaposes Goldhagen’s text against the German archives he consulted. The foremost international authority on these archives, Birn argues that Goldhagen systematically misrepresented their contents. First published in the New Left Review and the Cambridge Historical Journal , these two landmark essays have already provoked intense debate both here and abroad.

      The authoritative statement on the Goldhagen phenomenon, A Nation on Trial is also a cautionary tale on the corruption of scholarship by ideological zealotry."

      Source: Website of Norman G. Finkelstein

  8. Our Jewish/Israeli Problem

    The Stiletto Blog covered some of these issues during Watertown, MA’s refusal to allow the ADL’s "No Place For Hate" lesson plan to be used in its schools because it gave short shrift to the Armenian Genocide

    Younger Jews in the diaspora are defining Zionism very differently from their elders – most notably, the firm belief that the vow "Never Again" should apply to Armenians – and all genocide victims – not just to Jews.

  9. Bolsheviks and Kemalists

    There is also the widespread belief that Jews were heavily involved in the Bolshevik takeover of the Russian Revolution, and the subsequent cooperation between the Bolsheviks and the Kemalists that had such dire consequences for Armenia.
  10. Jews and Armenians

    Very balanced article. Congratulations.

    Some Jewish scholars like Yair Auron do talk about evidence of Armenians giving their lives for protecting Jews during pogroms in the late 19th century and also in 1905, also of plans to create a mega federation of Armenia-Syria-Lebanon and Palestine in 1916 after the expected loss of the Ottoman armies.  Where was Weizman when he became President later? He forgot about us.

    In general Armenians do have some sympathy towards the Jews and are appalled and saddened by statements and acts of the State of Israel. We definitely know how to differentiate between the Zionist State and its expansionIst dreams and the Jewish people.  

  11. Our Jewish/Israel Problem

    As an American Jew active with J St, which advocates for aggressive US engagement to bring about a two state solution to the I-P conflict, I urge everyone to read the watershed article by Peter Beinart (former editor of The New Republic) that is in the current NYReview of Books. Beinart criticizes Jews who do not criticize Israeli policies, but from a very different place than Norman Finkelstein.

    I am also active within the Armenian community on behalf of a number of NGOs in Hayastan, where I have a second home.

    1. Armenians/Jews/Israel
      Dear Molly,

      Thank you for your note. I will look up the Beinhart article. I was happily surprised to read about the article since he was for a long time, as editor of the New Republic, unquestioningly in the Likud neocon camp. I have heard of J Street. Can you tell us more about its work? What’s their web address?
  12. Judeo-Zionist cunning


    This editorial is written in the best traditions of Judeo-Zionist cunning, fact twisting, and simply lying. Let me dissect this "piece" paragraph by paragraph by taking the 1st sentence of the each:

    "For a small state, Israel certainly garners a great deal of international media coverage and attention at global forums, especially in the West." — the author(s), who describe themselves as Team Keghart.com, seem to conveniently forget why is that so: owners and executive of ALL mainstream news outlets are Jewish, so is does that come to you as a surprise?

    "Historically, we have had mixed feelings about Jews. While our religion is based on Judaism (most of our saints are Jewish), historically and like other Christian nations we have condemned Jews for crucifying Christ." — I am sorry, who said that it is "our religion"? Tigrannes the Great, and not to mention, Hayg Nahabed, were NOT Christians, so does that make them less of Armenians? Christianity is NOT our religion; it was forced upon us.

    "Our traditional brand of anti-Semitism has been fed, in the past century, by real or imaginary misdeeds of the Jews against Armenians." — Why just past century — why century is singular? So, somehow, the authors want us to believe that this issue was magically born about 100 years ago. Armenians were living in Jerusalem since the times of Tigrannes the Great, and presumably, so were the Jews. One would think that this "problem" has started much earlier than just "past century". Also, apparently, the authors state that there were "real or imaginary misdeeds". Well, the authors make really good on describing the "imaginary" ones. Can they also please describe a few of the "real" misdeeds — at least from the PAST century.

    "Since Turkey was one of the first states to recognize Israel (in addition to sending much-needed food to the new-born country in the late ‘40s and the early ‘50s), there have been close diplomatic, political, military, and economic ties between the two countries." — the authors should have done some research on term "Dohnme"; the Jews in Turkey have the same — if not higher — degree of power as Jews in the US/Canada. So, is it surprising then that Turkey would forge such an alliance with Israel akin to the one US/Canada has?

    "Israel’s denial of the Genocide of Armenians is made worse by Tel Aviv’s diktat to Jewish leaders living in the West (particularly in the United States) to act on behalf of Ankara in the latter’s campaign to halt Armenian Genocide recognition." — Two things need to be made clear here: there is separation between Jews in the West and in Tel-Aviv. If anything, it is not the Jews in Tel-Aviv dictating the Jews in the West, but the other way around. It is AIPAC dictating the US government. Further, if Tel-Aviv does not want the recognition of Armenian Genocide, only the naive would think that it is just because they don’t want to "share" that status with Armenians — kind of similar to a 2 year old who holds on to his/her toy and says "This is mine"! One would think that the Jews, who you describe as so smart and shrewd, would be doing this for a slightly more profound reason than a 2-year old. And one of those reasons would be a direct responsibility in the events of Armenian Genocide.

    "The above is further compounded by the widespread perception among Armenians and other nations/states that Israelis and Diaspora Jews are one and the same; that they march to the same drum beat." — Indeed they do march as one — under the flag of Zionism. Why else would then "Diaspora" Jews support "non-Diaspora" Jews. And really, what is the distinction here: isn’t it the dream of every "Diaspora" Jew to make the Aliyah and live in the "Eretz Israel" one day?

    "We admire how Jews, scattered all over the world, managed to create–at an incredible speed–a prosperous, advanced, and militarily powerful state in the Middle East." — Who are these "admirers"? Perhaps the authors themselves? And what is there to admire: the aggression and annexation of lands under pretext of "settlements", slaughter of Palestinians under pretext of fighting against terrorism, destruction of any non-Judaic religious sites (akin to Turks, may I point out) under pre-text of "development". Sure, if you like the vile and abhorrent policies of Jewish government, then there is much to admire.

    "While a number of Ankara-client Jewish historians have made life difficult for Armenians and non-Armenians fighting for Armenian Genocide recognition, a far greater number of Jewish historians have supported the Armenian side. In fact, the most influential body of genocide historians–The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS)–is largely made up of Jews." — the authors want us to believe that Ankara-client Jews are against the recognition of Armenian Genocide, while non-Ankara client Jews (purportedly IAGS) are for it. The question I have, if this is true, then whose client are the non-Ankara-client Jews and what is their interest here? Where all of a sudden this profound empathy for Armenians is coming from? One would think that a shrewd strategist would want to disguise their true stance on an issue with various decoy maneuvers — isn’t it then this is one of those decoy tactics?

    "It’s immoral, illogical, racist, and self-defeating for Armenians to lump all Jews together when it comes to our national and state relations." — bravo… truly a marvel! one last adjective left out would have been "illegal", but, darn, we can’t do that… that would not go well with the freedom of speech, would it? Let’s take every one of these “lumps” at a time: "Immoral" — which morality? whose morality? morality is a product of time — something that is immoral now, was perfectly moral not as long ago as in the PAST century. "Illogical" — really? aren’t the Jews one nation akin to Armenians, Germans, Russians, Norwegians?  The authors suggest that "we admire their love of education, their discipline, creativity, innovative spirit, and social/political activism wherever they reside." So it appears that for all the good things Jews have done, we do need to treat them as one, but for all the bad things, we really should differentiate them — and this is considered logical? "Racist" — I am not sure I can even follow here… the authors suggest that Jews are a race by themselves? Well, then that IS racist in and of itself! Jews are a nation, not a race. So, one cannot really be racist towards Jews. Finally, "self-defeating" — this is the word that prompted to go on this long, and I doubt it will ever make it into the board, response. The only thing self-defeating is pandering to those who have NO interest in Armenians (in fact, no interest in anyone except themselves). Jews and their state of Israel have been terrorizing Middle East for now 60+ years — if the authors suggest that Armenians should take a cue from them — then I hope that I am not alone in my disagreement that this is not a BALANCED editorial.

  13. Let us get to the bottom of this

    I agree with you that not all Jews are the same.  For that matter, not all Armenians are the same nor are the Turks.  I don’t even hate the Turks.  But I do hate what they did to the Armenians.  I also don’t like people who deny the Armenian Genocide.  Heck!  I am living proof of that!

    But this does not change the fact that all three authors of the Armenian Genocide:  Talaat, Enver and Gemal pashas and even the founding father of the Turkish Republic, who finished where the other three left off, were crypto Jews.  Was this a coincidence?  Or was it a Zionist conspiracy?  There are many questions that need to be answered.  I think it is our responsibility to research all the facts and find out the truth.  Why all three were crypto Jews?  Was this a Zionist plan?  And after we find the truth, we should let the chips fall where they may.  We should not be afraid to tell the truth and expose these people for what they are: MERCILESS KILLERS AND MURDERERS!

    p.s.  A murderer is a murderer even if he buys you an icecream after he kills your father.  Let us get to the bottom of this and call the spade a spade!  Let us not be fooled by peoples’ good gestures without checking their ulterior motives.

    1. Crypto Jews

      Since I  grew up in Turkey and read the extreme nationalist and Islamist Turkish newspapers  I find it very peculiar that you are blaming the Jews for the Armenian Holocaust.  The same arguments are at the Islamist newspaper accusing the Jews to turn Turkey into a (Pseudo) secular state and all the modern  social and economical disease.
      .
      Now to read those remarks from an Armenian is very strange. Since  I grew up in Istanbul with Armenians friends and neighbours and I am still in touch with them, your comments are very much  disappointing. and show your lack of knowledge in history.  I would suggest you to dig in history books and not your grand parents'  stories.

      By the way, dear  Ahbarik, as an educated person you should also know the earth is flat and that is the fault of the Jews.

      1. Dear Aghparik, First of all

        Dear Aghparik,

        First of all you did not understand my comment.  I did not blame the Jews for anything.  I just repeated what the article said and suggested that more research is done to get to the truth.  If it turns out that the Jews or the Zionists were responsible for the Armenian Genocide, we should not be afraid to say so.  And aghparik I do know my history and  I don't get my information from my parents because they are both dead.  Why don't you read "The Jewish genocide of the Armenians" by Christopher Bjerkins, a Jew himself.   

  14. Neither Seek Nor Accept Israel’s Recognition of Genocide


    Israel's Knesset has not recognized the Armenian Genocide for reasons we all know. Now that their relationship with the masses in Turkey is irreversibly deteriorating fast, especially at the aftermath of Israel's brutal response to the peace flotilla, Israel most likely will soften its stand and may outright recognize the Armenian Genocide.

    While we will always value Jews for their individual contributions towards our cause, however, we should not seek, nor accept Israel's recognition of the Armenia Genocide. Israel's actions do not bring credibility to their recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

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