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A Jewish Perspective On The Khojaly Genocide

Israel and Azerbaijan facing “a biased West, who sides with the perpetrators rather than the victims”

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Rachel Avraham, a well-known Israeli political scientist and journalist, the founder and CEO of the Dona Gracia Diplomacy Center, is seen congratulating the people of Azerbaijan on Victory Day. She is a regular contributor to TheJ.ca. (Photo: Facebook)

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Rachel Avraham, the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy, recently gave a talk at an Israel Academia Monitor Conference in Even Yehuda, Israel on “A Jewish Perspective of the Khojaly Genocide.” There, she discussed why she so passionately defends victims of the Khojaly Genocide:

“In America, I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust and was raised to believe in the phrase “NEVER AGAIN.” My father Dr. Stephen Salomon was born in 1939, the very year that World War II was declared. Growing up, he had a victory garden, listened to President Roosevelt speak on the radio, survived the very limited rations that existed in America at that time and met with relatives who fled the Holocaust and came to the United States. His father Sallee Salomon contributed components to the atomic bomb, which helped America to defeat the Nazis during World War II.” 

Her mother Sherry Salomon was born in 1950 and “always used to tell me never to visit Germany, as we had distant cousins who were compelled to flee the Nazis, and even a few distant relatives who perished. In fact, my mother was named after a distant relative, who perished in the Holocaust. “ 

Avraham explained, “Since I grew up with this kind of background, I always eternalized what the great Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel said, “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” As a child, from a very early age, I used to read about the Shoah and what the Nazis did to the Jewish people.”      

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For this reason, Avraham is always upset when people belittle the memory of Holocaust victims: “When I heard that the Illinois Holocaust Museum recently put out a statement referring to what is presently going on around the Lachin Corridor as a genocide against Armenians, I was completely and uttered outraged.” 

“How can a museum dedicated to the phrase NEVER AGAIN which seeks to preserve the memory of the Holocaust so blatantly not only ignore Armenia’s grave crimes against humanity, but go as far as accuse the victims of waging “a genocide” against the Armenian people,” she asked, “because they had the audacity to protest against Armenia’s ecological terrorism and the theft of Azerbaijan’s natural resources in cooperation with Russia?”   

Avraham would know better than anyone that what happened along the Lachin Corridor is not a genocide against Armenians. She was in nearby Shusha, the cultural capital city of Azerbaijan, six months after the Second Karabakh War ended:

“Everything that I witnessed shows that the Armenians were anything but victims, even if the roads have been blocked off due to protests for a number of weeks. I personally witnessed how the Armenians destroyed the entire city, from mosques to local government offices, to newspaper offices, to banks, schools, etc. They did not even spare the nature and cultural heritage sites. Along the road to Shusha, we saw numerous uprooted trees, polluted rivers, and agricultural fields that were set ablaze.  We traveled along zig-zagged roads, which were surrounded by landmines.  Together with former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara, we were stranded in such landmine infested areas, fearing for our lives, after our bus broke down.  We passed by many vehicles who broke down and did not survive the journey.”

“But the Illinois Holocaust Museum adopted the Armenian propaganda and then said what is happening there is a “genocide,”” she noted. “For me, this has an uncanny resemblance to Pallywood, which thus serves to desecrate the memory of Holocaust survivors, who suffered from a real genocide. What the Illinois Holocaust Museum did is similar to what anti-Israel activists do, by using phrases like “the Palestinian Holocaust” and similar terminology to transform the victims into villains, the David’s into Goliath’s.”

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According to Avraham, “What makes this declaration even more problematic is that it happened around February. On February 26, the Azerbaijani people commemorate Khojaly Genocide Day.  Khojaly is one of the many towns in Karabakh that was completely destroyed by the Armenians during the First Karabakh War. However, what makes Karabakh iconic is that within a period of one day, the Armenians in massacred 613 innocent men, women and children for the crime of being Azerbaijani.”

Rabbi Israel Barouk wrote in “Khojaly: A Crime against Humanity, ”Six Khojaly families were completely wiped out; 26 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one of their parents. Of those who perished, 56 people were killed with particular cruelty: burning alive, scalping, beheading, gouging out of the eyes and bayoneting of pregnant women in the abdomen.”

Azerbaijan has said that as many as 1,000 refugees were killed as they tried to flee. Others froze to death in the bitter cold winter or starved. Literally, the Armenians created conditions so that the residents of Khojaly would perish and would have no chance of survival.   

Serzh Sargsyan, who was the military commander of the Armenian Forces in Karabakh up until 1992, proclaimed in an interview with a Western journalist: “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us. They thought that the Armenians were not people that could raise their hand against the civilian population. We needed to put a stop to that.  And that is what we did.” 

Avraham pointed out that “In France, he actually admitted that he perpetuated the Khojaly Genocide – a premeditated intent to murder part of the Azerbaijani population… Sadly, not only the Illinois Holocaust Museum but the US Congress, the French Parliament, the United Nations and other international players remain deafly silent about Khojaly. Furthermore, they were silent as Armenia occupied one fifth of Azerbaijan in violation of four UN Security Council resolutions for thirty years.  Yet when Azerbaijan sought to reclaim her land, then they created an uproar.”   

Avraham claims that Israelis are in the same situation as Azerbaijanis: “During the Second Intifada, we were accused of starting a massacre in Jenin, when we wanted to stop the suicide bombings of the Second Intifada. Whenever Israel defends itself against qassam rocket attacks and incendiary balloons fired from Gaza, we are accused of creating anti-Semitism in America and Europe… we can relate to what the state of Azerbaijan is dealing with and have sympathy for what they are dealing with, as both countries are facing a biased West, who sides with the perpetrators rather than the victims.”

She concluded, “For this reason, a Holocaust museum must think twice before they buy into what Armenian propagandists claim about a specific situation.” 

Sivan Gamliel is a freelance journalist based in Israel.

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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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