An Armenian Journalist Discusses "The Jewish Problem" in Armenia
UCSJ Note: The Armenian parliament was deciding last spring whether to ratify a pact that would allow Russian military bases on Armenian soil. The pact was ratified overwhelmingly, with only four votes opposed. Yet these four votes provoked an antisemitic statement by the Vice Speaker, which in turn prompted some newspapers to question the integrity of Armenia's Jews, who, according to the American Joint Distribution Committee, number only 300 in a total population of 3.5 million.
Does antisemitism exist in Armenia? No, say the majority of political figures and journalists. But it is so only in words, like a lot of things in our Armenia.
The vice-speaker of the National Assembly, Ara Saakian, announced the danger of the "Jewish lobby" and its influence on Armenia. He was supporting the ratification of the pact for allowing a Russian military base in Armenia. He noted that the people who opposed ratification (there were only four of them in Parliament) are "playing into hands of the Jewish Lobby."
On May 3, 1997, in response to Saakian's comments, the Russian-language newspaper Golos Armenii (Voice of Armenia) published an article by Narek Mesropian with the title "Kogda brat idyot na brata" ("When Brother Acts Against Brother"). Here are some excerpts from the article: "Ara Saakian even mentioned the Jewish problem. It is a very painful problem, by the way. And it is so not only in Russia. In short, he sharply criticized the Jewish lobby, which allegedly disregarded all the rules of decency to profit from the oil of Baku [the capital of Azerbaijan]. And the Jewish lobby turned into a pro-Azerbaijan power...Furthermore, it is well known that Ara Saakian, as one of the leaders of the Armenian National Movement, naturally considers himself among the so-called democrats...It is a known fact that the Armenian National Movement is closely connected to Russian democrats. And all the Russian democrats are either Jews or controlled by the Jews...[Saakian] spoke as a true communist patriot. That means, he supported the ideas which will lead Armenia to ratify the pact in the end."
The Ajzhm, the weekly publication of the National-Democratic Union, also responded to Saakian's comments. This Union is led by Vasgen Manukian, who was the opposition candidate for president. On May 13,1997, the Ajzhm published an article on the same subject titled "Govoryat-evrei, ponimayut-Zapad" ("They Say 'a Jew,' They Understand 'a Representative of the West'"). In this article, the "unknown" author blames the authorities, when he says: "the authorities mean Jews when they speak about the West." If it were only the authorities! In the editorial office of Ajzhm I was more than once asked "in jest": "Who pays you money, the Mossad or the American CIA?" And they, of course "in jest," gave me the "Kike-Mason" label a very long time ago.
Moreover, on August 5, 1997, Golos Armenii published the article "Uroven nenavisti povushaetcya" ("The Level of Hatred is Rising"), written by Narek Mesropian, Armenia's poet laureate. This is the introduction to the article: "It is in our blood to hate the Turks. However, we hate Bulgarians and Greeks also. The Jews like Turks, but they hate Arabs. The Arabs, in their turn, are not in favor with the Turks. And the level of hatred is rising..." And then, for some reason, he says: "Forty percent of Israeli children in high school hate all the Arabs." Moreover, the author cites data from a sociological poll that was carried out by the University of Haifa and the Carmel Institute of Sociological Research. Later, he asks himself the question: "Do Jews hate only Arabs?"
The level of hatred in Armenia is really rising.
Source : FSUMon.