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Comparing Horrors: Exploring Parallels Between October 7 Massacre and Global Atrocities

Examining the Aftermath and Disturbing Similarities of the October 7 Massacre with Khojaly Genocide and Black January

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Soldiers of the army of Azerbaijan during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, circa 1992-1993. (Photo: Ilgar Jafarov via Wikimedia Commons.)

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For Israelis, October 7 is a massacre that continues to haunt us to this day. There are still 136 missing people, who are held hostage by Hamas in Gaza and who are believed to be tortured and raped daily. Anyone who visits Ben-Gurion Airport these days is greeted by a display of the missing Israelis, who continue to be held hostage in Gaza, with no end in sight.
And more and more atrocities that occurred on October 7 are being discovered daily. A father recently found the missing part of his son who was beheaded on October 7, after it was put up for auction in Gaza. Recently, 100 days since the massacre was marked in Israeli embassies and Jewish institutions across the globe. However, the question one must ask themselves is, is the October 7 massacre a unique historical event or does it have parallels in other parts of the world, like in Azerbaijan?

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Many have already compared the October 7 massacre to the Khojaly Genocide, when 613 innocent Azerbaijani men, women and children were massacred in one day for the crime of being Azerbaijani. Many other Azerbaijanis were wounded or taken hostage during the Khojaly Genocide. Rape against Azerbaijani hostages was also rampant.
Similarly, on October 7, more than 1,400 Israelis were killed, over 5,000 were wounded, and over 200 were taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza following the October 7 massacre, which Yotam Polizar, the CEO of IsraAid, a prominent Israeli humanitarian aid organization, compared to the Yezidi Genocide in magnitude in an Esra Netanya zoom lecture. Like the Yezidis, Israeli women and girls were raped and sexually mutilated by the Hamas terror organization.
However, Azerbaijanis across the world are now commemorating the January 20 massacre and one must ponder, are there parallels between that massacre and October 7 as well? On January 19 and 20, 1990, the Soviets committed an unprecedented massacre against innocent civilians in Baku, who sought to secede from the Soviet Union and establish their own independent country. 147 Azerbaijanis were slaughtered, 638 were wounded and 841 were illegally arrested. It is today known as Black January.

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British journalist Tomas de Waal wrote in Black Garden: “Tanks rolled over barricades, crushing cars and even ambulances. Witnesses spoke of soldiers firing at people who fled and of soldiers stabbing and shooting the wounded. A bus full of civilians was hit by a volley of bullets and many of its passengers, including a fourteen-year-old girl, were killed. An independent military investigation group known as Shield later concluded that the Soviet army had waged war on one of its own cities and called for criminal proceedings against Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov, who had personally commanded the operation.”
De Waal claimed that Black January was “the day Moscow essentially lost Azerbaijan. Almost the whole population of Baku turned out for mass funerals of the victims. The victims were the first martyrs to be buried in the Alley of the Martyrs on top of the hill in the city. Thousands of Communist Party members publicly burned their Party cards and even the chairwoman of the Supreme Soviet Elmira Kafarova denounced the actions of ‘army criminals.”

Azeri stamp with photos of Black January. (Photo: Post of Azerbaijan)

However, even though both Black January and October 7 were bloody massacres, there are some fundamental differences. The Soviets never committed the sexual mutilation and grave rapes that Hamas committed against their victims. The Soviets also attacked the Azerbaijanis not because they were Azerbaijani but because they wanted to secede and declare independence, a move that ironically the Azerbaijanis were more inclined to do after the trauma of Black January than they were before. Therefore, I would still assess than October 7 is more similar to Khojaly than Black January, as the Armenians did engage in the kind of rape and sexual mutilation that Hamas did during the Khojaly Genocide and did so only because the Azerbaijani victims were Azerbaijani.
Nevertheless, that does not mean that there is not what to compare. Both October 7 and Black January were unprovoked massacres against civilian populations, who committed no crime against the attackers. The huge volume of funerals that occurred in Baku following Black January can be compared to the great volume of funerals that occurred after October 7. The fact that some fail to recognize the magnitude of the crime committed against Azerbaijani civilians on Black January can be compared to how so many now fail to recognize how much Israelis have suffered after the October 7 massacre. Therefore, I would argue that there are parallels between both massacres, even though there are also differences.

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and an Israel-based journalist. She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in 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.

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