BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
It’s interesting how news with disparate topics, time, and place is sometimes ironically related.
It seems Abe Foxman and his ADL (Anti-Defamation League) have their panties up in a bunch over the venom being spewed against Jews in Turkey. This man and organization had no trouble, no qualms, and no pangs of conscience over denying the Armenian Genocide to serve as the lackeys of the Turkish government in the U.S. Now, we hear their shock and complaining when Turkish public opinion is reverting to, or simply shedding the veil covering, its “real” attitudes toward Jews.
This followed news of the AJC (American Jewish Committee) demanding that Erdoğan, who it branded as “arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world,” return the award he received from the AJC in 2004. Back then, Erdogan was given the “Profile of Courage” award for working for a peaceful solution in the Middle East and for his commitment to protecting Turkey’s Jewish citizens. Of course Erdogan, in all his arrogant smugness replied through Serdar Kılıç, the Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., that he would be pleased to return the award.
While one group of cynical Jewish operatives is getting burned by their erstwhile Turkish “friends,” at least one Jewish analyst working out of the Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies of the University of Haifa is busy making the same mistake with the pup-Turks of Azerbaijan. Dr. Emil Abramov, in an interview with the Russian publication “Vestnik Kavkaza” paints a laughably erroneous picture of Baku, the Karabakh conflict, and Yerevan.
One example should suffice to convey how badly Abramov distorts history. He asserts that:
“Indeed, despite some clashes and deportations of Azerbaijanis from Armenia in the 1947-1950s, it seemed for a long time that the conflict between the two peoples had come to an end. But the events in Karabakh showed that the Soviet period was only a calm before the storm.”
No mention is made of the driving-out from Nakhichevan of the Armenian half of the population or the commencement of the same process in the mountainous parts of Armenia’s historic Artsakh province.
The first two examples are the outcome of cozying up to a genocidal government. It is clear now, and hopefully will remain so, that the cynical opportunism involved in such practices, ultimately, does not pay off for the cynic doing it. Similarly, the third example is an ongoing one, just at an earlier phase of the process. How long will it be before “President” Aliyev, Erdoğan’s foremost competitor for the title “Egomaniac of the Millennium,” has a temper tantrum over what Israel does and cuts off relations, or fuel shipments?
Just before submitting this article, another item came to my attention. “The Lemkin Hole in the Swiss Case” (referring to Doğu Perinçek’s denialism conviction now being heard on appeal by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights), authored by Tal Buenos, is a piece published by “Daily Sabah” (a Turkish newspaper which has a pro- Erdoğan bent). It starts out by asserting that Raphael Lemkin was a product of Russian brainwashing in his youth, later becoming a lackey of American and British imperial policy, and in his final days serving as a willing stooge of Christian groups with “missionary agendas”… All this is to undercut the Armenian Genocide origins of Lemkin’s coining the term “genocide” as a way of describing the phenomenon. Of course, given the timing and context evident in the above examples, it comes as no surprise that Lemkin’s being a Polish Jew is targeted and presented as questionable. All of which also damages the Jewish Holocaust’s legal circumstances, which seems to me like just another way that the Turks are firing a propaganda salvo at Israel. A Google search of the author’s name revealed a number of writings in the same spirit and an association with denialist M. Hakan Yavuz of the University of Utah, where Buenos is a doctoral student. The final irony… Buenos is an Israeli. He should be learning from the mistakes of some of his compatriots, but evidently is too blind to see reality.
We should probably engage in correspondence with Abramov and Buenos to dissipate their anti-Armenian views. Unfortunately, I suspect it would be futile at this time…