Astarjian: Trick or Treat? An Historic Halloween!

It is a historic political Halloween!

It was disappointing, all right: How a nation that has suffered so much by the hands of Europe and the Nazis, that lost six million of its children to the Holocaust, could be so callous as to deny the Armenian Genocide in order to serve its disingenuous policies.

This year a pumpkin was delivered early to us via Tel Aviv in the form of a smiley lantern showing its teeth. Some sixty years after its founding, Israel, pursuing its own interests, is “Trick-or-Treating” us by considering acknowledging the Armenian Genocide which claimed the lives of a million and a half Armenians slaughtered by the Turks, Ottoman and Republican, governments and civilians alike in 1915-1923.

For them it was and is a hard pill to swallow, since they have always been concerned that:

1)      our Genocide might compete with their Holocaust,

2)      it might anger the Turks, who then may retaliate by jeopardizing the safety of their own 25,000 Jews who live in Istanbul.

3)      it might alienate their only Muslim ally in the neighborhood- Turkey, thereby increasing their vulnerability in a hostile territory,

4)      it might be counter to American foreign policy which is based on NATO’s pseudo-partnership with Turkey, thus tilting the balance of influence in favor of Iran.

A variety of other reasons, each is being enough to justify their stance.

To be fair, some 120 Israeli Holocaust historians, but not the government, have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.

It was disappointing, all right: How a nation that has suffered so much by the hands of Europe and the Nazis, that lost six million of its children to the Holocaust, could be so callous as to deny the Armenian Genocide in order to serve its disingenuous policies.

Not only did the state of Israel fail to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but it actively lobbied against its recognition by the U.S. Congress. It was clear that it was doing Turkey’s dirty work, a conduct unbecoming a nation which claims to be taking the high road in its political conduct.

It is a fact, unless my eyes and ears deceive me, that former Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Perez, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, stood on the steps of Chankaya Palace next to then-Turkish president Suleyman Demirel and declared, “There is no such thing as Armenian Genocide.” Ironically he was standing on the porch of a mansion built and owned by a wealthy Armenian jeweler, Ohannes Kasabian, who, with his family, was evicted from his home, deported and killed during the genocide, and the mansion converted to the presidential kiosk by Ataturk himself. Yes—He was standing on the steps of a genocide victim’s mansion when he made that statement.

Israel’s active blockades of the Genocide resolutions in Congress are exemplified by its concerted efforts, commissioned by Turkey and implemented by Israel’s AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to defeat the bills which had passed Committee.

Israel’s surrogate the Anti Defamation League (ADL) headed by Abe Foxman fought tooth and nail to antagonize our efforts for passage of Genocide recognition bill in the United States. Some of the ADL chapters, answering to their conscience distanced themselves from this arrogant denialist.

Israel’s efforts continued until such time that being Turkey’s sub-contractor charged with cleaning Turkey’s political sewers, was no longer profitable for them. Suddenly they realized that Turkey was trick-or- treating them and the world. Turkey’s trick was the radical change of polity looking East, which victimized Israel. The eight year old AK Islamist party in power turned its back on Kemalism which was a garb two-sizes-too-big for the reactionary fanatic Islamist Turkish society. The move exposed the real color of Turkey.

Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, had to prove his Islamic credentials and claim the mantle of the Ottoman Caliphate.

Muslims, globally, are mandated to liberate Jerusalem, the third, some say the second, holiest city of Islam, which is not under their control now. Turkey being a Muslim country heading towards fanaticism, and through it to hegemony, could not help but champion the cause. Furthermore, Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire and was gingerly kept under the auspices of the holy Caliphate. Its return to their fold was and is a part of the AK agenda. Jerusalem was once liberated by Muslims under the command of Saladin, a historic event which still inspires the Muslim masses, today.

With the last election victory, AK and Recep Tayyib Erdogan managed to claim the Arab and Islamic mantle of leadership. He has selectively visited Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa to fortify his newfound political and strategic gains, through it all waving his Muslim ID. Recently he spoke to the Syrian government in support of the Shari’a guided Muslim Brotherhood group which, as it stands, are persecuted by the Assad dynasty.

Some Arab intellectuals considering his stance and actions as a prelude to spreading Turkey’s Sunni and ethnic hegemony over the region, especially in competition with Shiite Iran, resented Erdogan’s prominence in the Islamic Arab world.

Erdogan’s hostilities towards Israel surfaced at the Davos Economic Forum meeting in 2009. There, he had verbal skirmishes with Shimon Perez who appeared to be given the lion’s share of the allocated time shortchanging Erdogan, after which he left the meeting in protest.

As part of his strategy Erdogan launched a frontal assault on Israel. Under the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, his government managed to precipitate a showdown with Israel by planning and creating the Mavi Marmara ship incident where some nine Turks were killed in the clashes with the Israeli armed forces. It is ironic that he is demanding reparations from Israel for the death of nine Turks, while ignoring the slaughter of a million and a half innocent women children and men in the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Pursuing his championship of the Islamic world, he highlighted the plight of Somali people in his United Nations speech, and blamed, by inference, the U.S. for food distribution problems resulting in famine, ignoring the fact that Somalis blocked our humanitarian aid in the past.

Throughout the speech he highlighted the humanitarian motivations of Turkey to help Somalia. Turkey had claimed the same while planning and executing the death by starvation of hundreds of thousands Armenians in the Syrian desert of Der Zor during the Genocide.

Distorting facts and telling lies characterizes Erdogan’s and his government’s policies vis a vis Europe, the United States, Armenia, Israel, Cyprus, and of course the Kurds.

The list is long. Turkey has tricked Israel and the West for so long, that the veneer is now wearing, and Israel has decided to stand up to the reality which it had consciously shelved for so long. It is trying to recruit and exploit Armenians and Kurds to fight Turkey in the public opinion arena. As a first step Israel is planning on meeting with Armenians of Diaspora.

Armenians should welcome what serves their interests best, regardless of the source. For us it is a historic “Trick or Treat” time.

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian was born in Kirkuk, Iraq. In 1958, he graduated from the Royal College of Medicine and went on to serve as an army medical officer in Iraqi Kurdistan. He continued his medical education in Scotland and England. In 1966, he emigrated to the U.S. In 1992, he served as a New Hampshire delegate to the Republication National Convention in Houston, Texas. For three years Astarjian addressed the Kurdish Parliament in Exile in Brussels, defending Armenian rights to Western Armenia. For three consecutive years, he addressed the American Kurds in California and Maryland. He is the author of The Struggle for Kirkuk, published by Preager and Preager International Securities.
Dr. Henry Astarjian

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  1. Good doctor may want to take some truth serum, it may help him get his facts straight.  Always a good thing when so cynically attacking others intentions.

    “..their own 25,000 Jews who live in Istanbul”…  their own?  These are Turkish citizens for Pete’s sake…

    “NATO’s pseudo-partnership with Turkey…”  It is actually membership.  Full membership to be exact.  What is pseudo about it?

    “Erdogan managed to claim the Arab and Islamic mantle of leadership…”  did he do that when he told Egyptians that secular democracy is the only way?

    I personally can not wait when all the politicians can “recognize’ the Armenian version of realty and swear on a stack of their favorite holy books.  Then we all get to see that facts remain as facts and history can not be re-written and then the ones who are feeding on this industry may engage in more productve activities.

  2. Yes, history cannot be rewritten….  Facts are eternal in front of God’s eyes… and they always come back and hunt people…  Facts can be manipulated, archives can be burned, … but the truth still succeeds in rearing its head… because there is no such thing as a perfect crime

    Smart nations, big nations, cut their losses short by accepting their past crimes, paying for them and moving on… 

  3. I am confused. On February 23 of this year in AW  [National Inventory and a Roadmap] Mr. Astarjian said the following:
    “The idea of exposing Turks and Turkey to the world for the crime of the Armenian Genocide was, and is, the wrong path to regain our occupied Western Armenia and reaffirm the provisions of the Sevres Treaty. Add to that the current situation in Nagorno-Karabagh.” He then presents a very nebulous alternative to that model.

    In the present article he clearly places a high priority on [Israel’s] recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

    Which is it to be?

  4. Katia jan.. we miss you …:) glad to hear from you…well said my dear..

    Murat—- instead of suggesting the author to take a truth serum.. why DON”T YOU?  because it seems like to you the facts… REAL facts and not the fabrications and lies your loser govt have been shoving up in your throat… does not make sense… you are lost in your own denialist thoughts and it is mudding up your head… why don’t you flash everything is in your head and re-educate yourself what history has been and will be forever.. and it ain’t the history you know ….

  5. Today, the Israelis have decided that it is the time to bring to the fore a remark that has been festering for them.  Actually, a remark that was made against the Israelis by a leader of Iran – whether rightly or wrongly – but Israel shall accomplish its goals, and must not allow this issue to be forgotten/ignored before all the world!  (Too, as no other Genocides the world has known).So, now the Israelis have claimed that the Iranians have planned to attack, in the USA, a Saudi citizen.  Well, it appears that the Saudis, who are allies of the Turkeys, have/are perpetrating the Saudi Genocide of the Darfurians – still!!  This matters not to the Israeils… for the Israelis have not and donot recognize any other Genocides except that of the Hitler Genocide, against Jews. (Many others (not listed) were included in Hitler’s endeavors as well).  
    Actually, the Iranian leaderships have been endeavoring to join with the civilized nations of the world, even to gaining their own atomic needs, as have the Israelis and so many other nations!  But the Israelis (also having convinced the USA leaderships to join them)  have now decided to ‘attack’ Iran as a nation that is a menace to all the civilized world.  Imagine!
    – Let’s start with the Israelis ongoing Genocide of the Palestinians… over the years, grabbing more and more of their lands, and worse, prolonging this issue to use to their own advantages.
    – Too, why should the Iranians have to come  to the USA and eliminate a Saudi here? What a dumb and stupid and idiotic scenario??  All because Israel shall have what Israel wants!!
    This ‘set-up, so obviously Israeli oriented – for, by and with the Israelis partners  – is the Israeli influenced USA leaderships – in cahoots!  Unbelievable!
    What a disgrace!! Now, will all the  civilized nations of the world to tolerate such a farce – all because the Israelis must ‘get back’ for remarks made – rightly/wrongly – against Jews?
    Our civilized nations of our world have so  many huge and great ponderous serious and issues to address… both honestly (and dishonestly).  It appears that our world has honest issues which bear addressing, without the ‘insulted’ Israelis truly minute – ‘hurt feelings’ issue which is addressing the Iranians as criminals before the world… truly VERY, VERY, MINUTE.  SHAME!!
    There are many honest nations on our planet… all with their own needs – as an Israel must learn  – honesty matters to our relations with our neighbors… with our world.

  6. Yes I agree; Armenians should welcome what serves their interest best.  Why not, Armenians of Diaspora should be meeting with Israelites.  That’s good.

    I also welcome what Katia said above.  In the court of any law; the truth always prevails.  Turkey burned their archives to hide their crimes of the Armenian Genocide, but the truth still succeeds in rearing it’s head.  Good words Katia.

  7. USA, Israel and even France will do nothing for the Armenians. They might talk to you nice but in real terms they will do nothing.

    For example, 1980 military coup in Turkey. It was directly supported by the US. Nationalist fascists crushed anti-nationalist leftists. Many leftists were tortured or executed. Later it was revealed that the US consulate in Turkey sent a message to the US government: “our boys have done it”. Their boys are the Turkish military.

    So you can still continue to demonize Turks and wait for the West to help you. By the way, don’t think current government is moving away from the US or Israel. Read about the 2011 agreement of NATO radar in Turkey, this tension with Israel is just a political game to replace Iranian influence in the Middle East, especially in Syria. 

  8. “So you can still continue to demonize Turks and wait for the West to help you.”

    Mert, who demonizes Turks?  Your government’s actions toward non-Turks demonizes you.  Denying the truth demonizes you.  Interfering in the health and welfare of neighbor nations by closing borders demonizes you.  Not protecting your own citizens demonizes you.  Turkey has a debt to pay to mankind and you know it.  Pay up, play nice, and be good neighbors.  

    As for the power play between Iraq, Israel and Turkey, blah, blah, blah.  What else is new?  We Armenians have been living under shifting powers and surviving for centuries. This is old news to us.  Despite all of this, only the Turks have the dubious distinction of carrying out genocide against us.  Now that really demonizes you!   

  9. Mert, 

    From your post above I am gathering that the US Nationalist fascists you are talking about in Turkey are the Kemalists and the anti-nationalist leftists are the muslim fundamentalists, is that correct? 

  10. Gayane jan, I just read your post above my initial post of late and I certainly agree with you, as the Turkish gov’t with their 301 rule intact are not letting any honest outbursts and utterings about the Armenian Genocide.  Very well said and stated.

    Boyajian jan, Good points well said.

  11. Manooshag, during the Six Day War, many Palestinians from Jerusalem and other towns fled to safety in Jordan.  During this time the Israelis conducted a house to house census.  Any house that was unoccupied at the time was declared abandoned.  Many Palestinians later returned to the homes that had been in their families for generations, only to be told by the Israeli authorities that they no longer had rights to them because they ‘abandoned’ them during the war.  When I visited Jerusalem for a several month stay years ago, I witnessed numerous Palestinian families being forcibly removed from their homes by soldiers based on this trumped up evidence.  In many of these cases, the Israeli family that was given the right by the government to occupy the home were standing by watching as Palestinian mothers and children were put on the street.  This was in the 1990’s!  This was at the hands of those who suffered genocide themselves! Truly heart-wrenching.  

  12. Hye Boyajian, to me, this appears to be the same as that which the Turkeys did to steal all the Armernian properties, assets, and lives, and more.  Today, this appears as another Genocide by the Israelis – ongoing/unending – over the years – against the Palestinians… 
    As has been said over the years, even by those no longer with us… “trust none others… for all these have their own lies and deceits… believe in our own leaders in the diaspora… but only those who speak truths and with honesty…  

  13. We do not aspect noting from anyone,we learned to rely on ourselfs,this is to be clear to everyone. this said, let us think on  the new developments.
     1. The huge gas deposit  in the eastern Mediteranian.
     2. The advice of Russians to the Syrian opposition,met in Moscow,that what they want to obtain,is
         not possible, it could lead to WWIII  !!!!
     I hope and like that someone elaborates further and brings opinions,and further discussion.

  14. Most of the Israelis support the Armenians and they are ashamed of their own government. The Israelis and Jews like Armenia and the Isareli gov does not represent us.

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