Armenians accuse Israeli government of indifference to xenophobia

Armenians accuse Israeli government of indifference to xenophobia

By Peter Lyukimson, Israel. Exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza


The Armenian Cultural Society in Israel has accused the government of inability to fight anti-Armenian sentiment. The press secretary of the Society, Mendel Korsunsky, recalled an incident that happened in 2008 when a young religious Jew spat on Armenian seminarian Oganes Martirosyan. The latter had beaten up the spitter.

Members of the Armenian community could not recall any other case of “anti-Armenian sentiment in Israel,” apart from this case, which happened six years ago. They seem to be forgetting the fact that the Jew was sentenced for what he had done and Oganes Martirosyan was not punished. If anything similar had happened between two Jews, both would have been sentenced and the one fighting would have been punished a lot more severely for the inappropriate reaction and injuries.


Such a peculiar declaration by the Armenian Cultural Society in Israel has a simple explanation: its authorities were outraged by the latest report by the Anti-Defamation League (a human rights organization preventing anti-Semitism and other intolerance forms). The document puts Armenia at the top of the list of the most anti-Semitic countries of the world. According to the report, 58% of the modern Armenian population express anti-Semitism, considering that there are no more than 1,000 Jews living in Armenia, according to official data.


Attempting to alter the report, Armenian activists living in Israel accused Rabbi Abraham Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, of Armenophobia. Calling Foxman “a pro-Turkish lobbyist of the U.S.,” the Armenian Cultural Society reminds that in 2007 he was one of the most fierce opponents of the 106th resolution of the U.S. Congress on recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. He was accused by Shavo Melkonyan, the head of the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts, of denying the Armenian Genocide.


Korsunsky assures that Armenia has no anti-Semitic sentiment, it only has “anti-Israeli” sentiment provoked by the refusal of Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide and its military support of Azerbaijan. However, he forgets that, according to all experts, modern anti-Semitism is most often used to hide “disagreement with the policy of modern Israel.” The word “Jews” is then replaced with “Israelis”, “Israeli Jews” or “Zionists.” So the declaration of the Armenian Cultural Society has basically reconfirmed the report of the Anti-Defamation League instead of proving it wrong.


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