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Too many countries including Canada remained silent about this genocide

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Armenian armed forces and foreign military units spared virtually none of those who had been unable to flee Khojaly. (Photo: virtualkarabakh.az)

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The Canadian House of Commons just recognized that what China is doing to the Uighurs constitutes genocide. Human rights groups believe that China is incarcerating close to one million Uyghurs in camps, where the women are sterilized, and the Uyghurs are performing forced labor. 

While the Canadian House of Commons standing up to China’s crimes against humanity is commendable, it is a double standard that the Canadian House of Commons is prepared to accuse China of committing genocide, yet is not willing to do the same to Armenia.  

The same week that the Canadian House of Commons condemned China for committing genocide against the Uyghurs, Azerbaijan commemorated Khojaly Genocide Day.  29 years ago, on February 26, 1992, within one day, 613 innocent men, women and children were slaughtered in the Khojaly genocide. This figure includes 106 women, 83 children and 70 elderly people. Eight families were annihilated in entirety. 

According to Rabbi Israel Barouk writing in Khojaly: A Crime against Humanity, “Of those who perished, 56 people were killed with particular cruelty: burning alive, scalping, beheading, gouging out of the eyes and the bayoneting of pregnant women through the abdomen.”  1,275 others were held hostage, where they were cruelly tortured and raped.  5,379 others were expelled from their place of residence. The fate of 150 people is still unknown. 

In a recent webinar, Rabbi Shmuel Simantov proclaimed: “These numbers do not tell the full extent of the tragedy.  There are no words to describe how they killed people off. They broke into homes and killed people in their sleep. They murdered children. They slaughtered pregnant women. It breaks the heart to hear about such cruelty. Even after 29 years, it is the same pain as it was yesterday.” Rabbi Zamir Isayev related that he will never forget the shocking pictures from that era.  

Rabbi Elisha Lagransky concurred: “Life is the greatest gift that we all have that G-d gave us. There were 613 people that were massacred in Khojaly. That is the same number of mitzvot that we were given in Mount Sinai. The mitzvot are our lives. Most of the mitzvot however can be set aside to preserve human life. That is because life is the most important thing that G-d gave us. The Armenians not only murdered the 613 people. They also murdered their potential descendants that could have come after them. They did it very cruelly too. We will never forget this.”  

In an official statement, Vaad L’Hatolas Nidchei Yisrael, an American Jewish organization, proclaimed: “The innocent residents of the city of Khojaly died only because they were Azerbaijanis, and we recognize this terrible atrocity as a crime against humanity and genocide.” 

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin also recognized the Khojaly genocide: “On this day, we must ask ourselves honestly, is our struggle against genocide effective enough?  Was it effective enough then in Bosnia?  Was it effective in preventing killing in Khojaly?”  

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Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Columbia, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Romania, and a few other nations have formally condemned Armenia for committing genocide in Khojaly. Over 20 US states have also condemned what happened in Khojaly in formal declarations. 

However, sadly, too many countries including Canada remained silent about this genocide when it was occurring and to date refrain from recognizing what happened in Khojaly as genocide. 

This is a grave mistake, which Canada and the rest of the international community should rectify as soon as possible. For how can we expect to stop the genocide against the Uighurs in China, if there are still many who refuse to recognize past genocides as such?  

How can we prevent the next Khojaly, when far too many people do not know the history regarding what happened in Khojaly? 

As Edmund Burke once stated, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”  For this reason, Rabbi Zamir Isayev calls upon Canada and the rest of the international community to recognize the Khojaly genocide.

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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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.

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