WASHINGTON–DC–Concerned Armenian Americans from all fifty states are using an Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) internet campaign to urge the Bush Administration to formally protest the Israeli government’s recent seizure of Armenian land located in the northern outskirts of Bethlehem.
The land–known as Baron Der–is an Armenian Apostolic Church administrative center–religious retreat–training center–income-producing orchard–and archaeological site that holds great meaning to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem–the Armenian Apostolic Catholicosates in Etchmiadzin and Cilicia–the government of Armenia–and Armenia’s throughout the world.
The Israeli government–which has a history of seeking control over Baron Der–is now seeking to justify its take-over as a crisis response necessary for its construction of a security wall between Jerusalem and the town of Bethlehem. Despite good faith efforts by the Patriarchate to resolve this issue through negotiations and the courts–the Israeli Army has insisted that its seizure is irreversible and has indicated that it will begin construction through the Armenian land in the very near future.
According to a July 20th press release by the Armenian Apostolic Patriarche–the building of this wall–separating the West Bank and Israel–"will divide the sacred property into two useless plots."
Armenian Americans continue to voice their concern to Secretary Powell as well as to incoming Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon through the ANCA website: www.anca.org.