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Armenian mob attack on Azeri driver under investigation by Toronto police

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A child in Ganja tries to clean up the damage sustained in her family apartment after an Armenian rocket exploded | Photo: Famil Mahmudbeyli/Twitter)

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The shaky humanitarian ceasefire announced between Azerbaijan and Armenian rebels controlling Nagorno Karabakh has barely held since Saturday, as international pressure is applied for both sides to negotiate a meaningful peace.

Only hours after it commenced, SCUD rockets were fired at Ganja, the second largest city in Azerbaijan, striking two apartment buildings. At last report at least 10 civilians were killed and 40 injured in the 3 a.m. attack, with rescuers trying to save others under the wreckage.  The Alexander Nevsky church, built in 1887, was also damaged during the rocket attack. Armenia also again attacked Mingachevir, Azerbaijan’s 4th largest city with the largest Hydro-electric station in the Caucasus, far away from the Line of Contact. 

The missile attack was the first of a number of military skirmishes that broke out, and by mid-week Azeri forces took control of eight villages in the Fizuli and Khojavend regions. Reuters reported the Azeri prosecutor’s office listed 43 Azeri civilians killed and 214 wounded since Sept. 27.

The Canadian Azerbaijani community expressed it was “concerned about the escalation of the war and attacks on civilians that are not part of the military operations. This goes against the International Humanitarian Law enshrined in Geneva conventions.”

A press release from the Network of Azerbaijani Canadians (NAC) asked for “the Prime Minister and Global Affairs Canada to condemn Armenia’s actions in the strongest possible terms and urge parties to observe the agreed ceasefire to achieve a solution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict based on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.”

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haberturk, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev asserted, “Armenia is trying to attack and take control of our pipelines … I can say that the outcome will be severe for them.”

International reaction

Turkey – Reuters also reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aligned with Azerbaijan, told Russian President Vladimir Putin he wanted a permanent solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh occupation. 

Russia – An Armenian ally whose officials brokered the ceasefire, Russia has offered to take up front-line observer positions. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a plan for Azerbaijan to be given control of certain areas around Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, should be brought to the negotiating table.

U.S.A. –  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had tweeted that both countries must “implement their commitments” to a ceasefire and stop targeting civilian areas. Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, while critical of the Trump administration as election day nears, issued a statement on Wednesday stating, “It must make clear to Armenia that regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be occupied indefinitely and that credible negotiations on a lasting resolution of the conflict must commence immediately once a ceasefire is concluded.”

Israel – A former researcher and policy analyst for the Government of Israel told JNS, “Azerbaijan’s long-term open friendship with Israel has helped other Muslim-majority states establish open cooperation with Israel and even contributed to the current blossoming of ties between Israel and several Muslim-majority states, like the UAE.”

Brenda Shaffer, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, explained that “Israel and Azerbaijan maintain a strategic alliance. It is not just about arms sales or oil, but very deep strategic cooperation.” Shaffer has written a number of books on identity and culture in the Caucasus. She noted that “Azerbaijan, despite bordering Iran, was not afraid to openly cooperate with Israel over the years. This showed other Muslim majority states that they can, without worrying about repercussions from Iran or other states, establish open cooperation with Israel.”  

Canada – The strategic alliance described by Shaffer – and the 2600 years of model co-existence between Azeris and the Mountain Jews – has still not spurred Jewish authorities in Canada to act to help the 30,000 Jews in Azerbaijan.

Despite a promise from CIJA on October 6, TheJ.ca has not received any communication from the World Jewish Congress to address how the Jews of Canada can assist their brethren in need. A direct call to their media inquiry line before deadline hit the dead-end of a full voicemail box.  Representative of B’nai Brith said they are concerned about the humanitarian crisis facing the Jewish citizens of Azerbaijan, and intend to relate their position to TheJ.ca in due course.

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The tensions spilled over onto the streets of Toronto last weekend, in a violent attack that NAC said was a hate crime. The Armenian community was holding a rally of automobiles near the Bathurst/Sheppard intersection, when a vehicle sporting Azerbaijan’s coat of arms on the rear windshield was spotted.

A video from inside the car was posted on Facebook showing it was surrounded by about two dozen people emerging from the rally cars who bashed in the windows with baseball bats, as epithets were hurled at the occupants. Police continue to investigate.

“Peaceful coexistence is part of the daily life in Canada and is in the spirit of being Canadian,” NAC announced in response. “Such acts of violence have no place in Canada and must be condemned unequivocally. We urge our community members to refrain from responding to any provocations by the Armenian community.”  

Subsequently, NAC garnered an audience with a member of the Trudeau cabinet to raise the escalation of war and resulting humanitarian crisis.

Just hours after the Russian-negotiated ceasefire took effect, Armenian rockets slammed into apartment buildings in Ganja, killing at least 9 Azerbaijanis and wounding children as they slept | Photo: MFA Azerbaijan

Executive Director Ismayil Alakbarov and four NAC board members held a Zoom meeting with the Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth of Canada, who is the Liberal MP for Waterloo.

While appreciating Canada’s neutral position on the conflict, Chagger was reminded of the cost being borne by innocent civilians, hundreds of kilometers from the front lines. Attention was drawn to the 4 United Nations resolutions, supported by Canada in 1993, that confirmed Azerbaijan’s territorial sovereignty over the area. A member of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.

Chagger was asked to “take leadership in mediation and influence,” so that one million Azeris expelled in the early 1990’s during the initial uprising can return to their homes.

 

NAC is conducting a “We Stand Together” peaceful rally in Toronto on Sunday October 18 to express solidarity with the civilian victims of the war in Azerbaijan and call on Canadian government to help with the return of 800.000 displaced Azerbaijani people to their homes. 

The rally is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the corner of College and Carlton Street.

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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