By Art Stepanian, Canada, 6 August 2020
The Armeniapedia.org online encyclopedia has a section titled “Armenian Hall of Shame” which lists characters whose actions against Armenia and Armenians have earned them a place on the shaming platform. The list—with more than 120 names—includes Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Dennis Hastert, Justin McCarthy, Paul Goble, and Hakan Yavuz. Among the assortment of the anti-Armenian gang is one Adelle Nazarian. Despite the name, she is not Armenian. Her parents left Iran because of alleged anti-Semitism, says New Jersey-born Nazarian who now lives in Los Angeles.
In the past few years, “journalist” Nazarian has been lobbing rotten tomatoes at Armenia and Armenians. Like that other Los Angeles journalist manqué Nurit Greenger (see “Shrill Jacqueline-of-all-tirades Attacks Armenia and Artsakh” in Keghart.org May 4, 2020) Nazarian applies a crude litmus test to determine her editorial stance: states friendly with Israel get a positive spin and those hostile become the targets of her venom. Thus, she is for Kurdish independence in Syria, Iraq, and Iran because Israel supports the creation of Kurdistan in those countries so as to weaken them. She’s silent regarding the Kurdish struggle in Turkey because Israel, despite anti-Semitic Erdogan, wants to re-establish its formerly close relations with bellicose Turkey.
Although Armenia is not anti-Israel, Nazarian doesn’t approve of Armenia because Armenia is at war with Israel’s major weapons’ client. Like her “older sister” Nurit, Adelle abides by the dictum: “the enemy of my friend is my enemy.”
In addition to attacking individuals, states, and organizations that busybody Adelle deems hostile, the scribbler invests a lot of time in self-promoting. On her blog, she flashes her photos with politicians and her “deep thoughts” on everything from God to ketchup. She also has a passionate attachment to her plain looks. Why else the interminable album of her photos on her blog? Adelle in ‘50s Hollywood pin-up pose; Adelle with a come-hither look in a revealing evening dress; Adelle beaming through kohl-rimmed eyes; Adelle with lots of exposed leg; Adelle with glossy pink lipstick fashionable with pole dancers.
It’s a stretch to call her a journalist. She’s more of a PR megaphone who covers up her ignorance by repeating what more adept anti-Armenian clichés propagandists have spouted over the years. But her glaring handicap hasn’t discouraged Adelle from churning out anti-Armenian articles: a case of political agenda overcoming journalistic objectivity. While her “think pieces” are confined to small, far-right outlets, they’re still of importance because they have the potential of turning some Jewish readers against Armenians.
Here are the two typical headlines of her articles which represent variations of her two obsessions:
“An Open Letter to Special Envoy Elan Carr: Time to Counter Armenian Anti-Semitism”—The Algemeiner (NYC), July 9, 2019. And “U.S. Should Follow in EU’s Lead on Nagorno-Karabakh’—Arab News (Saudi Arabia), July 7, 2020.
A few years ago Armenian seminarians in Jerusalem attacked two yeshiva students (she describes the fight as ‘lynching,’ thus indicating she doesn’t know what lynching means). Since Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, Jewish fundamentalists/extremists have habitually attacked Armenians, including the current Armenian Patriarch when he was a bishop. Armenian seminarians have been spat at; Israelis have written anti-Armenian graffiti on Armenian Quarter walls and have torn posters depicting the Genocide map. Nazarian doesn’t mention the seminarians were belatedly reacting to the frequent accosting by the yeshiva students.
In the past four years, Jerusalem’s Nature Museum has dedicated a week to celebrate the 1,700-year Armenian presence in the city. On June 29 the Times of Israel published an article headlined: “Mayor of Jerusalem Visits Armenian Ceramic Art Exhibition.” The report said: “Moshe Lion, mayor of Jerusalem, visited the Armenian exhibition dedicated to the Armenian ceramics art at Nature Museum of Jerusalem…” Similar Israeli-Armenian cooperation goes unmentioned in Nazarian’s articles because they do not advance her agenda.
There are fewer than 1,200 Armenians in Jerusalem (pop. 925,000). The tiny community has no quarrel with Israel and welcomed Armenia’s recent opening of an embassy in Tel Aviv. Israel has no consulate or embassy in Armenia. Israel is a major provider of weapons to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has no embassy or consulate in Israel. Armenia recognizes the Holocaust with a monument. Israel doesn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide. These facts are of no interest to Adelle because they do not advance her agenda.
With the ignorance and arrogance of a cub reporter, Nazarian says Armenia is anti-Semitic because it honors Karekin Nzhdeh, one of the saviors of the nascent First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) who accompanied German troops for existential reasons. Njhdeh had faults but he erred for a good cause: he feared that because of Hitler’s antipathy towards Armenians, the German army rolling to the Baku oilfields might commit a genocide of Armenians—especially when the government–controlled Turkish media was braying that Armenians were Semites and thus should be eliminated.
Perhaps because she seems to lack a well-rounded education, Nazarian might not know the proverb “The drowning man will clutch at straw.” To prevent the extinction of his people, Nzhdeh was prepared to associate with people he otherwise would not. Nazarian surely knows that since its birth Israel has allied with numerous criminal regimes—from apartheid South Africa to the fascist colonels of Latin America to military junta-ruled Turkey.
Her third “proof” of Armenian anti-Semitism is the “evidence” provided by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It’s not worth addressing the accusation of an organization which, for years, colluded with Turkey to defeat Armenian Genocide resolutions in the U.S. Congress. The ADL is a discredited political group which illicitly spied on thousands of Americans and American organizations. It also possessed reams of illegally acquired government records and classified FBI documents.
Adelle’s fourth “proof” of “Armenian anti-Semitism” is a Pew Research Centre study which said one-third of Armenians in Armenia prefers not to have a Jew as a neighbor. Why the surprise when Israel has for years been arming Azerbaijan—the country which threatens to erase Armenia from the map? While Armenia has been circumspect about criticizing Israel, some Armenians expressed their frustration with Israeli policy in such terms. When Americans fought the Germans and the Japanese during WWII, many Americans stooped to expressing their hatred of their foes in racist terms (“Hun,” “Bosh,” “Kraut,” “Jap,” and “slanty-eyes.”) Similarly, some unsophisticated Armenians who were interviewed by Pew expressed their political differences with Israel by demonstrating antipathy towards Jews.
It’s pointless to refute Nazarian’s allegations regarding the Armenia/Azerbaijan conflict: she merely repeats hoary Aliyev statements. If you’ve read one of her pro-Azeri articles, you’ve read them all. She hails Azerbaijan as a model secular republic and, in the same breath, says Armenia is a “solidly identifiable Christian state” (it must be a crime). She doesn’t mention that Armenia’s constitution states everyone has freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. She doesn’t mention “secular” Azerbaijan has fined 34 people for practicing “illegal religion” and that Azeri prisoners are often found dead while Azeri prisoners of conscience are tortured with impunity. It also slips her mind that Israel is a “Jewish state.” “Jewish” signifies religion.
Nazarian’s journalistic lapses are many. In “Big League Politics (May 27, 2020), she wrote: “The recent alleged arson on the Tomb of Ruth and Mordechai, a Jewish holy site in Iran, is indicative of the ever-rising rate of anti-Semitism and broad intolerance in the Islamic Republic.” How did the alleged arson at the beginning of the sentence become a fact by the end of the sentence?
She doesn’t realize that journalism and public relations do not mix. Thus, in her CV she redundantly and ostentatiously describes herself as international journalist, public relations and public affairs expert, news correspondent, hard news reporter, news writer and expert at strategic communications, political reporter, on-air reporter, news analyst, breaking news reporter, foreign affairs reporter, social media expert, investigative reporter, expert in broadcast and print media, public policy analyst, foreign policy analyst, speech writer, international security maven, public speaker, a person with friends at the U.S. Congress…
Nazarian was caught with her skirt down last year when it was revealed she had worked as researcher for AF International of Maryland–a lobbyist for the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan. AF International reported it had paid $1,000 to Nazarian for “Research services.” The company is a registered foreign agent. On June 18, 2019 Big League Politics published a Nazarian article whose first paragraph said: “The United States representative of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, who was imprisoned and tortured for over two years by Iran’s Islamic regime, praised the Trump administration’s decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist organization but said that more needs to be done to help the people of Iran break free from the current regime.” Government records showed Nazarian was paid $1,000 around the same time by AF International. Nazarian didn’t disclose that payment to her readers.
The above would have spelled “finis” to the career of most journalists. Nazarian emerged unhurt because her outlets are often of dubious journalistic reputation.
In a recent blog to her followers, Nazarian wrote: “Someone once said something about never getting in the way of someone while they are destroying themselves.” For a change, Nazarian might have a point.