Pursuing Justice in a Culture of Impunity: Ivan Karakashian of ‘Defense for Children International Palestine’

Special for the Armenian Weekly

This past summer during the height of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” against the Gaza Strip, I noticed the name Ivan Karakashian, advocacy unit coordinator of Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-P) cited in news reports. DCI-Palestine is an independent children’s rights organization dedicated to defending children living under Israeli military occupation. Karakashian was quoted in numerous press accounts about a Palestinian boy who was used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers on the ground in Gaza. I knew that with a name like Karakashian there was an Armenian connection, and I contacted Ivan and arranged to interview him twice, once via Skype from Jerusalem and once when he was in New York City in late 2014 as part of a speaking tour hosted by Tree of Life Educational Fund, a peace and social justice organization established by the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Conn.

A boy holds a canister of rubber-coated metal bullets. When fired, the charges inside disperse, hitting anyone nearby. (Photo: DCI Palestine)
A boy holds a canister of rubber-coated metal bullets. When fired, the charges inside disperse, hitting anyone nearby. (Photo: DCI Palestine)

Ivan Karakashian was born in Jerusalem to an Armenian father and a Palestinian Christian mother. He grew up in the Shu’fat neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and his family is one of the three founders of the Armenian ceramics tradition in Jerusalem. His grandfather Meguerditch Karakashian and his colleague, Neshan Balian, who were living in Kutahya at the time, came to Jerusalem at the behest of David Ohanessian, who had set up a ceramics workshop in the Old City at the end of World War I. Meguerditch Karakashian and Neshan Balian worked with Ohanessian for three years until they set up their own business in 1922. The Karakashians and Balians were partners until 1963. After the death of Meguerditch Karakashian the families separated their workshops, with the Karakashians setting up Jerusalem Pottery on the Via Dolorosa in the Old City’s Christian Quarter, and the Balians setting up Armenian Ceramics on Nablus Road in East Jerusalem, not far from the American Colony Hotel. Ivan’s father, his uncle, and his cousin currently run the family business.

Ivan Karakashian
Ivan Karakashian

Ivan Karakashian told me of his family’s peregrinations, starting with his grandfather’s arrival from Kutahya; their purchase of a house in Katamon in West Jerusalem in 1947; losing the house even before they were able to move into it in 1948; the two months they spent in the Armenian convent during the 1948 war; their sojourn in Amman, Jordan, before returning to live behind the Nablus Road shop in 1950; and their building the Karakashian family home in Shu’fat in 1954. The family was in Jerusalem during the 1967 war, and when it was over Israeli authorities came to the house and told them to go to a center to register for permanent residency status. The family lives in the same house to this day, and its members carry “blue identity cards” that denote Jerusalem residency.

Ivan Karakashian worked for the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) from 2005-08 in New York City. “At CPJ, I was a researcher for the Middle East and North Africa program,” he told me. “I honed many of my skills at CPJ, reporting in-depth on press freedom violations. Much of my time at CPJ involved remotely investigating the killing of journalists in Iraq and determining whether it was directly related to their work. It was difficult interviewing family members over the phone—often an hour or two after the death—to accurately report the circumstances, but I developed the sensitivity to deal with those experiencing loss and trauma.”

“It was difficult interviewing family members over the phone—often an hour or two after the death—to accurately report the circumstances, but I developed the sensitivity to deal with those experiencing loss and trauma.”

In February 2013, Ivan took the position as coordinator of the Advocacy Unit for DCI-Palestine. DCIP was founded in 1991 by Rifat Kassis as a legal aid association for children held in Israeli military detention. In 2001, the mandate was broadened and DCIP started monitoring all rights violations against Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories. In 2005, they also started monitoring infractions by Palestinian factions and armed groups as a way to fully protect Palestinian children’s rights. More than 8,500 children, the vast majority of them boys between the ages of 12-17, have been imprisoned in Israel’s military jails since 2000.

Othman, 15, has spent over 11 months under house arrest on suspicion of throwing stones. He was arrested when he was 14 years old. His father told DCI that the interrogators were physically violent, and threatened to rape his son. (Photo: DCI Palestine)
Othman, 15, has spent over 11 months under house arrest on suspicion of throwing stones. He was arrested when he was 14 years old. His father told DCI that the interrogators were physically violent, and threatened to rape his son. (Photo: DCI Palestine)

Karakashian’s job is a difficult one. Israel tries 500-700 children in military courts every year, but with a conviction rate of over 99 percent, the proceedings hardly qualify as trials. During pre-trial detention the children are often subjected to harsh interrogation, solitary confinement, and general mistreatment. Palestinian children frequently take plea bargains, admitting guilt whether they are guilty or not, as the fastest and least expensive means for getting out of jail.

Karakashian explained that DCIP monitors and documents violations against children by “obtaining affidavits from multiple witnesses, evidentiary photographs, and supporting documents such as medical reports.” They then share this information with UN agencies, international legal bodies, and non-governmental organizations. DCIP statistics and narratives are used in reports by a range of groups and organizations, from Amnesty International to the U.S. State Department. As the coordinator of DCIP’s Advocacy Unit, Karakashian handles traditional advocacy, and he also works with the mainstream media, providing information about violations of children’s rights to journalists covering Israel’s military occupation and its almost bi-annual incursions into Gaza. He also utilizes alternative tools, such as social media and online advocacy, to try to build a grassroots, global movement to hold Israel to account for its violations of children’s rights.

A recent example of DCIP’s efforts to pursue justice for Palestinian children is the story of the Beitunia boys. On May 15, 2014, two unarmed teenaged boys, Nadim Siyam Nawarah and Muhammad Mahmoud Salameh, were shot and killed with live ammunition by Israeli border police in separate incidents after Nakba (Catastrophe) Day protests near Ofer Prison. Video footage from security and media cameras showed that the killings were unprovoked. DCIP worked with Forensic Architecture, a London-based organization whose principal investigator is Eyal Weizman, an Israeli architect and professor at Goldsmith’s University, to identity Nadim Nawarah’s killer. Forensic Architecture’s video analysis showed convincingly that live ammunition was used, something Israeli authorities had consistently denied previously.

Efforts by DCIP, Forensic Architecture, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, and the boys’ families resulted in the indictment of an Israeli border policeman.

DCIP is continuing to use social media to help spread the boys’ stories and to pursue justice for the Nawarah and Salameh families. The #NoMoreForgottenLives campaign employed a well-designed slideshow that gives the narrative of the boys’ killings and ends with an opportunity to join a Thunderclap, a social media tool that helps groups amplify their messages on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

6-year-old Mousab now wears a glass eye after he was hit directly in the right eye with a rubber-coated metal bullet. (Photo: DCI Palestine)
6-year-old Mousab now wears a glass eye after he was hit directly in the right eye with a rubber-coated metal bullet. (Photo: DCI Palestine)

When I asked Karakashian what life was like for Armenians in the Old City of Occupied East Jerusalem, he told me, “Armenian children are harassed, pushed around and intimidated by Israeli settlers.” We discussed the ongoing harassment that Armenian clergy face. Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Jews regularly spit on the Armenian priests and seminarians. But he added that Armenians generally stay out of trouble and are careful about how they interact with Israeli soldiers and police.

“Here in the West Bank, there’s no real difference between an Armenian and a Palestinian,” Ivan Karakashian said. “Just because I’m Armenian doesn’t mean that I’m treated differently from other Palestinians. I am a Palestinian of Armenian descent. We suffer the same harassment that Palestinians suffer, and inhale the same tear gas. I grew up witnessing human rights abuses and violence in the West Bank.”

“Here in the West Bank, there’s no real difference between an Armenian and a Palestinian. Just because I’m Armenian doesn’t mean that I’m treated differently from other Palestinians. I am a Palestinian of Armenian descent. We suffer the same harassment that Palestinians suffer, and inhale the same tear gas. I grew up witnessing human rights abuses and violence in the West Bank.”

On his way to work each day, Karakashian crosses the notorious Qalandiya checkpoint between East Jerusalem and his office in Ramallah. Because of the international fame of the Kardashian sisters, the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint now recognize that the name on his I.D. card is Armenian and this has become a source of banter. He also said that the Karakashian House of Shu’fat, as his family home is known, is on Israeli military maps. In the event of a “two-state solution” partition of Israel and Palestine, their house would be the boundary and always remain a part of Israel.

He also told of cat-and-mouse games played on three sides of the Karakashian home by Palestinian boys and Israeli soldiers. “The atmosphere in East Jerusalem is increasingly tense,” he said, mentioning this past summer’s graffiti scrawled on walls saying, “Death to Arabs” and the attempted kidnappings of Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers.

Karakashian sums up his passion for his work: “Confronting the feeling of powerlessness I experienced growing up in Jerusalem drives me now to be an agent for change. We’re trying to get justice, but how do you get justice? By holding people to account. How do you hold people to account in a culture of impunity?” The embodied answer to Ivan Karakashian’s final rhetorical question is his work with Defense for Children International Palestine.

Nancy Kricorian
Nancy Kricorian is the author of the novels Zabelle, Dreams of Bread and Fire, and All the Light There Was. She is currently working on a novel about Armenians in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War.


  1. It’s a very strange ,but Israeli “occupant” do not blow up in Israel any Armenian churches and do not kill women and children for their religion. Let better remember the terrible murder in Dolphinarium June 1, 2001, killing 21 Israeli teenagers and injuring 132. So easy and pleasant to be a democrat and a human rights activist in Israel. .I suggest to honored human rights activist to come and stay in this role in Syria under ISIS -how many days he will survive?
    it is very strange to read such articles written by people living in diaspora and suffered from Turkish Muslims atrocity.

    • This is a silly comment, and you are deliberately trying to misread this article. You are painting the subject of this article, and Palestinians (not to mention Armenians, as he is Armenian, as well), as akin to ISIS, which points to your hatred. One can be pro-social justice and be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine at the same time. I would argue that your divisive comment demonstrates how calcified many right-wing people in their positions can be and when they hear legitimately important and progressive stories they feel the need to smear them. As we say in Armenian, amot kezi!

    • Elena,

      You appear to be equating an entire group of people (Palestinians) to the terrorists. Your arguments are entirely based on hatred of Muslims.

      It wasn’t the Palestinians who committed the genocide.

      Injustice is not determined by preference to one group over another. One can’t be partisan when it comes to injustice.

  2. It was excellent to read this piece about the important work that Ivan is doing in with DCIP. As an Armenian-Palestinian, Ivan suffers under the same regime of harassment and human rights abuses as other Palestinians do. The Armenian community suffered a genocide, still unrecognized, and permanent displacement from towns and villages which have literally been renamed and removed from the map. We should all be attentive and stand in solidarity when other people are treated the way that Palestinians are today. Ivan is working to help children persecuted what is essentially a racist regime that does not give them equal protection under any law, which forces Palestinians to use different roads, to stand at checkpoints for hours, and, as we have read here, subjects children to torture in its prisons. I applaud Ivan for his bravery, his commitment to justice and his service to those children who are caught up in a legal system which has no respect for life.

    • Dr. Gary Katz,
      I’m assuming you have already read Hagop D’s Jan. 25 2015 2:33 am comment below, so you went quiet. If you haven’t, please read and then stand on your dignity and respond it please. Maybe then you’ll spend a few minutes to educate Elena.

  3. “it is very strange to read such articles written by people living in diaspora and suffered from Turkish Muslims atrocity.”

    @ Elena,

    Its also very strange that Israel who is “surrounded by Islamic enemies” wants Syria’s secular government to crumble and also supports ISIS terrorists to attack Syria, and especially Syrian Christians and Armenians.

    Its also very strange that Israel who is “surrounded by Islamic enemies” meddles in Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan and shamelessly sells arms to Islamic terrorists who are constantly attacking Artsakh and killing Armenians with their terrorism using Israeli weapons.

    It’s also very strange that Israel who is “surrounded by Islamic enemies” and had a genocide in WWII REFUSES to acknowledge a historical reality – the Armenian Genocide – so that the love affair with Israel and Islamic Genocidal Turkey can continue.

    It’s also very strange that Israel who is “surrounded by Islamic enemies” and had a genocide in WWII, funds Israeli lobbies in the US so that disgraceful organizations like the ADL work with Islamic terrorists to defeat any recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

    It’s also very strange that Israel who is “surrounded by Islamic enemies” went bananas and retaliated against Palestinians when Palestine joined the International Criminal Court recently, meaning, Palestine is not afraid of any investigation, but it seems, very strangely, Israel has a lot to hide.

    Yes there are a lot of strange things out there, and we can thank the internet to expose all the false propaganda being fed to us by dishonest and underhanded people who want to distort reality and history. Now if you care about your country Israel so much, it is your task to correct your countries deplorable anti-Armenian actions, bigotry and hatred, rather than lecturing Armenians about issues that we know before anyone else in the world.

  4. As usual, the terrorist state of Israel continuously goes unpunished for its terrorist attacks on the Palestinian Gaza Strip, along with its all-out oppression of the Palestinians living in both Israel and on the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem which have been illegally occupied for so many years by the Israelis.

    Here’s another educational article on Israel’s deplorable human rights record:

  5. Audiaturet altera pars:We are looking for peace and quiet, and none of us would wear an explosive belt and go blow up a bus with children and women. This is not the way we deal with conflicts! And none of us will take our children to a demonstration, in order to demonstratively show to the world their wounds.
    The big world does not see our tears, our wounds and our dead bodies, because we are not speculating them as a “items for sale”.
    If the human rights activist lives here – he certainly knows that the Ultra-Orthodox jews do not recognize the State of Israel, therefore, to write about their hostility towards people of other confessions as a state policy – is a deliberate misleading of the reader.
    Qui prodest?

  6. Elena, I don’t know what’s your background and have no idea where you live, but am shocked by your comment. it seems like you have no idea what’s going on with the Palestinians both in West Bank and Israel. Do you know how many innocent people are killed everyday by the IDF? Do you know how many people become homeless by the Israeli bulldozers or by the fanatic settlers? I can go on and on.
    Gaza is a big concentration camp like Auschwitz was during the Nazis.
    It’s an open air prison where Israel can bomb them as they wish with no impunity. It’s surrounded by a huge wall where people are trapped and have no where to escape when being bombed. Can you imagine living in a place like that? I wish you would get out of your bubble and your comfort zone and feel the pain of others.

  7. @Elena,

    I think your comment actually is riddled with anti-Armenian racism and needs to be addressed. Armenians should stand with Palestinians because we have known oppression and should stand on the side of justice no matter to whom or by whom.

    Armenians are not one monolithic group, we come from diverse identities and backgrounds who have stood with oppressed and marginalized communities around the world.

    We can stand against Islamophobia
    We can stand against ethnic cleansing
    We can stand against the actions of ISIS especially against Middle Eastern communities including our own
    We can stand against the immoral occupation of Palestine by the Israeli government

    Resisting your rhetorical political agenda is necessary for Armenians in the republic and Diaspora. We are all Armenian and We must stand for justice!

  8. Hagop D : “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get”.
    What you write is a classic example of double standards.
    Let’s be straight – exactly as Israel has trade relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan, in the same way Armenia has very close economical relationships with Russia (and membership in EAEU) – a country that performed the illegal annexation of the territory of another country and manage their undeclared civil war in Ukraine, and now creates a very dangerous situation similar to what happened in 1939 (Sudeten crisis) in Europe. Israel is accused in something that is sometimes completely legitimate in cases of other countries and they will not be condemned for that. I mean – no one would say anything to the strong and mighty Russia, since Armenia is just a little more than fully dependent on supplies of Russian oil and gas.

    • Hilarious. Tell me again why that biblical quote applies to me but not to you??

      You started your claim with the notion to the effect of “why are Armenians supporting Muslim Palestinians while they were oppressed by Muslim Turks?” – Remember?

      So the next question is, why is Israel supporting Muslim Turks and Azeris while Israelis are (supposedly) victims of Muslim Palestinians?

      I think the person using double standards here happens to be you, because in your position “it should be OK for Israelis to do it but not Armenians”. So typical. And by the way, why hasn’t an “honorable” nation like Israel recognized the Armenian Genocide again? DOUBLE STANDARDS, perhaps?

      And yet the difference between Armenia and Israel is that Armenia is not arming Palestinians whereby Israelis are getting killed, unlike Israel who IS arming Azeris whereby Armenians are getting killed. So I suggest you take your biblical quote and go read it at the Knesset, they need it a lot more than we do. We Armenians are only supporting those that are being oppressed and thrown out of their native lands, because we know what it is to go through genocides and lose your homeland. It has nothing to do with Islam vs Judaism, Palestinians vs Israelis, or whatever.

  9. As a proud Armenian from Yerevan I am ashamed of this article and ashamed of Nancy Kricorian’s uninformed desperate attempts to speak on behalf of all Armenians trying to get more people to sign up for her propaganda filled non-profit.

    One of the primary reasons Armenians were killed in the 1915 genocide is because of our refusal to accept Islam as our national religion and now Nancy Kricorian is defending the palestinian plight to establish another Islamic state inside the only Jewish state? Do you really think that Armenians in Israel will live better under palestinian rule? And I say Islamic state because Hamas (now an official representative of the palestinains) is very clear about palestine being an Islamic only state. And surprise who are the biggest supporters of Hamas? Turkey, Qatar and Iran.

    Did we forget the Ottoman style greeting that Edrogan orchestrated for Abbas’ visit to Turkey with theatrics referencing the “great Ottoman era.” Did we forget that the majority of palestinian arabs are migrant workers that were brought to the area by the Ottoman empire to work for them? So let’s not pretend that the Arabs in palestine have the same indigenous claims to land as the Armenians do to their lands. Palestine was never an independent state and is only a tool to forge Arab unity, something that the Arab world failed to do during the period of pan-Arab nationalism. Don’t take my word for it, look at the quotes below.

    “You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people”.

    – Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat –

    “There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel”.

    – Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive

    Did we forget that the mufti of Jerusalem one of the so-called “fathers” of palestinian nationalism was an Ottoman Turk who worked with Hitler to kill thousands of Jews in Croatia and Hungary and wanted to help Hitler in his agenda to kill all Jews in the Middle East and only jumped on the idea of palestinian nationalism because his previous project of a pan-arab nation failed

    You find a cherry-picked incident and try to say that Armenians in Israel are undergoing the same so called “abuses” as the Arabs there? Nice try.. Knowing several Armenians who are Israeli citizens they are more than happy and grateful with all of the full rights and benefits the Israeli government has afforded them. Christians have more rights in Israel than anywhere in the Middle East. Also take a look at this article by a Palestinian Christian claiming that Ramallah who used to be 85% Christian is now 95% muslim.. why? Take a look at this video of a palestinian Christian and see why https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=620544848092144&pnref=story

    Also as far as Israel supplying weapons to Azerbaijan – Iran, who is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism including the terrorism committed by Hezbollah that has ruined thousands of Armenian lives in Lebanon and Israel lives as well and the terrorism committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians, is one of Armenian’s biggest trading partners. So both Armenia and Israel are guilty of providing each others’ enemies with weapons to kill the other. But given that we both live in tough neighborhoods and there aren’t many countries that will do business with us – we really don’t have much of a choice!

    Armenians and Jews have always had a mutual respect for one another dating back to ancient times. The Armenian genocide is taught in Israeli schools despite the fact that it hasn’t been nationally recognized due to strategic diplomatic reasons. Armenians were even called the “Jews of the Caucuses.” Here’s an article talking about our connections http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-atamian/armenians-and-jews-natura_b_6565870.html?ir=India

    Lastly, don’t forget the quote by Hitler calling for the annihilation of the Jews because no one remembered the annihilation of the Armenians. And now you want to help these so called “palestinians” establish another Islamic state with a caliphate (like they explicitly state on a repeated basis) reminiscent of same empire that tried to exterminate us? And don’t even compare how Israel deals with palestinans to the same as a genocide. You are perverting the term of genocide by doing so.. If gaza and west bank is undergoing a genocide then why is their population increasing exponentially?! So do not use the tragedies that happened to my people in attempt to rally support for Arab/Islamic imperialism that has plagued us for centuries. And please show me one “palestinian” that will go against their big brother turkey and recognize the Armenian genocide.

  10. Maria,

    You obviously failed to comprehend the article above. Exactly how is Nancy Kricorian speaking on behalf of all Armenians? The above article, revolves around an interview that she conducted with an Armenian (Ivan Karakashian) who grew up in East Jerusalem and currently lives in the West Bank. His description, in regard to the lives of Armenians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, certainly does not sound happy and grateful with full rights and benefits. On the contrary, it sounds like oppression. And exactly how are the Palestinians attempting to make Israel an Islamic state? On the contrary, they’re attempting to rid their lands (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip) of illegal Israeli occupation.

    In terms of the biggest state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, that title is possessed by Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, if we’re talking about the one particular state in the Middle East who’s committed the most terrorism in that region between 1948 and today, this would obviously be Israel. The amount of terrorist acts committed by this Jewish state against the Palestinians on their very own lands (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip) along with all those terrorist attacks delivered by Israel upon Lebanon throughout all these years is absolutely shocking. And let’s not forget that Israel who supplied the terrorist state of Azerbaijan with 1.6 billion dollars worth of military weapons (this is obviously used in committing terrorist attacks against Armenia and Artsakh) has also previously supplied military weapons (along with the United States) to those Islamic terrorist groups in Syria who’ve terrorized the whole entire Armenian community of that country, causing over half of Syria’s former Armenian population to leave the country.

    “As a proud Armenian from Yerevan.” Yeah right! Who are you trying to fool? And now you’re going to accuse Armenia of providing military weapons to Israel’s enemies? Armenia doesn’t have any military weapons to provide to other countries. All of the military weapons it currently has, are needed in case of a war with Azerbaijan.

    “Armenians were even called the Jews of the Caucasus.” That’s rather insulting! After all, the civilization of the Armenian people is rich and noble; their homeland also happens to be the cradle of civilization. As for the Jews, their civilization isn’t even a quarter of what Armenian civilization is.

    Anyway, after you carefully read the educational article above, make sure to also read the educational article about Israel’s deplorable human rights record from my earlier comment (January 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm).

  11. Dear Pseudo “Yerevanian”

    I comprehended the article very well, Nancy is taking a cherry-picked quote and trying to generalize an account of one individual to encompass the sentiments of all Armenians in Israel. As I said, I know many Armenians in Israel that are very happy with the rights they have an Armenia. And they’re not the only ethnic minority – Druze, Bedoins and Circassians are among many others. If these minorities were not happy than they wouldn’t vote for Netanyahu in the past election by the largest margins that any other ethnic group in Israel. Also after spending a lot of time in the Armenian quarter myself and talking to fellow Armenians they did not have the sentiments that Ivan expressed (who mind you is half Palestinian Arab so I doubt he has any preconceived prejudices).

    Israel has done whatever is necessary to protect itself and there is no other country that has been faced with the threats that Israel has and continued to conduct itself in such a legal and humane manner. As for the U.N. – the body that recently condemned ONLY Israel for its women’s rights violations despite the acid attacks, genital mutilations, honor killings, stonings and other horrendous abuses going on in the world – is not a reputable source in my opinion. After all what issue will the U.N. fundraise on if there is ever peace in the Middle East. As for the Azerbaijan – as I mentioned in my previous post Iran is one of Armenia’s strongest trading partners – the same Iran that provides the missiles that fall on Israeli civilians, the same Iran that denies the Holocaust, the same Iran that wants to wipe Israel off the map. So to reiterate we are both doing business with each other’s enemies given the neighborhoods we live in.

    Take a minute to dig through the propaganda – if you claim to be Armenian then you should have the nobility to do so. Have you ever asked yourself why these territories were not considered before 1967? Did you forget the Jordan controlled the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 and Egypt controlled Gaza during the same time. Why weren’t the people considered occupied then? Why didn’t Jordan use that 20 years to give “palestinians” a so-called state – perhaps because they used it for 80% of their agricultural framing needs instead.

    By the beginning of the XX century c.e., the population of Judea and Samaria – the improperly called “West Bank” – was less than 100,000 inhabitants, of which the majority were Jews. Gaza had no more than 80,000 “native” inhabitants in 1951, at the end of Israel’s Independence War against the whole Arab world. Gaza was occupied by Arabs: How is it possible that in only 50 years it has increased from 80,000 to more than one million people? Are all those Arabs of Gaza so skillful as to procreate children in a supernatural way? Mass immigration is the ONLY plausible explanation for such a demographic increase. The Arab occupation between 1948 and 1967 was an advantageous opportunity for Arab leaders to promote mass immigration of so-called “Palestinians” (a mishmash of Arab immigrants) into Judea, Samaria and Gaza from every Arab country, mainly Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. In fact, since 1950 until the Six-Day War, under Jordanian rule, more than 250 Arab settlements have been founded in Judea and Samaria. The recent construction of the Arab houses is quite evident by the materials used for building: concrete and cinderblock. The Israeli government admits to have allowed over 240,000 workers to enter Judea and Samaria through the border with Jordan since the Oslo Conference – only to have them stay in those territories as Arab settlers. The actual numbers are probably higher. If hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern migrant workers are flooding into the Judea, Samaria and Gaza, why should Israel be required to provide them jobs? In fact the reverse, by supporting their economy while these people refuse to accept Israeli or Jordanian citizenship, Israel is only attracting more migrant workers. Saudi Arabia in a single year expelled over 1,000,000 stateless migrant workers. Lest anyone think that these are all “Palestinians”, taking account of the definition of “Palestinian” according to the United Nations: all those Arabs that spent TWO YEARS in “Palestine” before 1948, and their descendants – with or without proof or documentation.

    Here’s some more quotes for you that hopefully get through your head:

    “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”
    “We did not particularly mind Jordanian rule. The teaching of the destruction of Israel was a definite part of the curriculum, but we considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then all of the sudden we were Palestinians – they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all at once we had a Palestinian flag”.
    “When I finally realized the lies and myths I was taught, it is my duty as a righteous person to speak out”.
    – Walid Shoebat, an “ex-Palestinian” Arab

    “As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, muslim Sherkas from Russia, muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants”.

    – Walid Shoebat, an “ex-Palestinian” Arab

    “The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it”.

    – Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s

    The Arabs in Palestine already have a country – primarily Jordan, but there are another 21 Arab states they could also go to. Jordan’s population is already 50% “Palestinian” or in other words “Jordanian.” The Jews on the other hand, including the 800,00 Jewish refugees that were expelled from Arab lands due to the mass pogroms committed under Arab regimes, didn’t have anywhere else to go. Did you forget that more than 70% of the land that is supposed to be part of the “palestinian state” based on the original partition, is now part of Jordan and Syria? And no one is complaining about that “occupation.”

    Jews have a right to their ethnoreligious homeland just like Armenians have a right to theirs. If you have an issue with that then you should question your own identity and state since both Jews and Armenians are ethnoreligious groups.

    As for the cradle of civilization I think that title has been awarded to the Fertile Crescent, which is a large area that included a small part of Armenia so don’t let our fervent nationalism conflate you. Additionally, it is an honor to be called the Jews of the Caucuses since Jews are equally known as having a rich and noble civilization and some historical documents even show us to be kin tribes. And I’m sorry but how many inventions and Noble peace prizes has Armenia contributed to the world (except for color TV) compared to hundreds of thousands of Jewish inventions and 193 Noble peace prizes awarded to them. Hence the historical respect and admiration Armenians have had for Jews.

    It’s so funny that people like you are the first to blame all of the Middle East’s problems on the West on the arbitrary borders that the West has drawn during its colonial period basically dismissing the legitimacy of those borders and the national identities carved within those borders but when it comes to the “palestinians” you believe them to be a distinct national identify. How can that be if all of Arabia is just a colonialist project gone wrong.

    Equally amusing is your claim that the Arabs are the indigenous people of the land. Why every historic document mentions the Jews as the native inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea, but not any Palestinian people, neither as native nor as foreigner? If you believe the ridiculous etymology tracing that palestinians to the “philistines” mentioned in the bible – then let’s explore further. If the philistines are the people of the land because they obtained the land by conquering it then why doesn’t the same logic of conquest extend to Israel? Why is it that ONLY the Jews must apologize for their victory.

    You forgot that in 2000 Israel wanted to give “palestinians” more than 95% of the west bank and gaza and east Jerusalem and Arafat still said no?? You forgot Arafat was an Egyptian?? You forgot in 2005 palestinians got Gaza and elected a terrorist organization for their leadership that’s done more damage to that land than Israel could have ever done?? By the way the blockade was only put there after they started shooting missiles from their new border…And I say terrorist organization, not freedom fighters, since they are a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood who sent 10,000 volunteers to fight in the region.

    You forgot that Egypt kills “palestinians” on a daily basis who try to cross their border?? You forgot that Israel gave twice as much as land as Israel itself just to have peace with Egypt?? So please refresh your own memory and if you want a state for palestinians please go speak to the palestinian leadership because Israel has offered time and time again and we all know that if they accept the offer of statehood then Hamas and all its affiliates including the U.N. will permanently be out of work. Lastly, if “palestinians” had the same means that Israel has then we all know there wouldn’t be a single Jew left alive since they would “hunt them from behind every tree” as the Hamas charter states!

    Speaking of Hamas. Palestine used to be secular but this is not the case anymore. Hamas and many other Islamic militant groups have synchronized Palestinian nationalism with Islamism. So to answer your question “exactly how are the palestinans attempting to make Israel and Islamic state?” By pushing this idea of apartheid (like Nancy so successfully does through the Code Pink foundation) what you’re essentially saying is that Israel should absorb all “palestinians’ and give them all Israeli citizenship. It’s quite unrealistic and naive to expect Arabs to be peaceful citizens alongside Israelis which is essentially what this “apartheid” accusation prescribes as the solution. So you have these so called “palestinians” that are overwhelmingly supporting Hamas, which is clearly an Islamist organization just go read the charter and see for yourself, that want to be part of Israel so they can basically destroy Israel and its “Jewishness” by becoming the majority within Israel. Do I really need to provide you with countless videos of Arab and Palestinian leaders that proudly boast of the “apartheid” argument as a means to ultimately “drive the Jews into the sea.”

    Israel has the right to preserve its ethnoreligous Jewish character just as another nation, if ethnic nationalism disturbs you so severely then why are you not outraged by the ethnonationalism and ethnonationalist policies of other countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Turkey and even our own homeland Armenia.

    What happened in Kessab is a prime example of what will happen to Christian Arabs, Armenians and Jews if Hamas continues to mentally colonize malleably people like yourself under the disguise of “social justice for the Palestinian people.” Did you forget what Hamas did to palestinians in 2005 to take control of Gaza? Did you watch the video of the Palestinian Arab woman who talked about how Hamas strategically fires missiles from Arab Christian neighborhoods in order to prompt retaliation by Israel and in turn kill Christians by doing so? Hamas and ISIS are one in the same, Hamas has just been awarded freedom fighter status by politically correct zealots like yourself, but both believe in a caliphate and both operate under a fundamental interpretation of Islam. So Hamas – a proud wing of the Muslim Brotherhood – the same Muslim Brotherhood the Turkey bribed to burn documents in a Cairo museum in 2011 that contained artifacts of the Armenian genocide – is who you are defending my fellow “Yerevanian.”

    I refuse to even acknowledge your claims that ISIS is an Israeli-American invention. But you are right America does have a record of supporting one group that ultimately turns around and decides to destroy it so don’t let the same mistake happen with Hamas and its affiliates in Palestine.

    Hima kuzes hyerenov batzatrem vor lav haskanas de anglerenet lava?

  12. Some sources say the Canaanite city-state system broke down at the end of the Late Bronze period and the culture was gradually absorbed into Israelite, Philistine and Phoenician culture. Other sources say that Israelites were part of the original Canaanites and Israelite culture became more defined with more immigration to Canaan began to happen by several tribes including some from Egypt. Either way my reference to the area being called Judea was relating to what it was called by the 20th century. The term West Bank came much much after that. And in the 20th century Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem all had a majority Jewish populations. Arab migration only flourished to the area there due to the success of pre-state Israel which attracted thousands of migrant workers. And as I mentioned in my earlier post, while Jordan and Egypt controlled the territories they also encouraged Arab settlements in the area they didn’t just undergo some anthropological miracle by such a vast population increase. And as my quote from a “palestinian” demonstrated all of those Arabs that ended up there came from elsewhere. There’s been numerous historical resources claiming that the land of palestine was essentially empty when the first Zionist arrived in the late 1800s.

    You’re right though the majority of Arabia had an Arab population in the pre-state Israel years, hence why received 22 states in the post-colonial period. But god forbid the Jews got one state for themselves in their historic homeland. Zionism is not a derogatory term all it means is granting Jews the right to have a sovereign state in Eretz Israel which they had already twice in history. Jews had built up a phenomenal pre-state infrastructure pre 1948 which began in the late 1800s so they had a right to a state just like any other ethnic group did during British colonial rule. In fact even more so because it was their historic homeland that’s been proven through archaeology outside of the Bible which in my opinion contains a lot of myths combined with history. Anyhow, the Arab League couldn’t stand to loose the piece of land that connected Arabia to North Africa and thus decided to create another Arab state 20 years after Israel was created inside the only Jewish state. And if you want to use the logic that the Arabs were there up until seventh century AD, then it means they conquered it right? Just like Persians, Romans, Ottomans and everyone else but bottom line the Jews were the last to conquer it so again if you’re using the logic of conquest then why doesn’t it apply to the Jews.

    Since the original partition, Israel has tried to negotiate with the Arab world and all they received was constant bombardment. And let’s be clear Ehud Barack offered all of Gaza and 97% of West bank and partition Jerusalem on a demographic basis. He even agreed that Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capital of the new state. Palestinians would control over their holy places and have “religious sovereignty” over the Temple Mount. He also offered to dismantle 63 isolated settlements in exchange for 3 percent annexation of the West Bank, Israel said it would give up territory int eh Negev that would increase the size of the Gaza territory by roughly a third. And did you forget that no one except Muslims were allowed to enter Jerusalem in the 20 years that Jordan controlled it? So be happy that Israel is controlling it and enabling people of all faiths to worship there, including Armenians.

    And of course their airspace would be controlled by Israel, given their security concerns. While Arafat was at the table negotiating table the suicide bombings already began. And even more recently look how in 2005 they got ALL of Gaza and instead of making it the “new Singapore” that they boasted of they destroyed EVERYTHING there including the booming horticulture industry that Israelis offered to hand over to them and train their workforce for! The minute they got Gaza they walked right up to their new border and bombarded Israel with rockets before there was any blockade placed. What in the hell have they done as a measure of good faith to win the trust of Israelis to justify Israel giving them a country. Since the day Israel was created they already tried to exterminate it and after 5 failed wars they came up with the most dangerous weapon of all the PR campaign called palestinian nationalism.

    Israel does not deny its Arab citizen fundamental rights and no one is undergoing crimes against humanity. Their population is growing at a record rate! The majority of the pics you see on your I hate Israel Facebook pages are circulated from Syria’s conflict or plainly acted out in Pallywood.

    Arab Israelis can vote, work, study and even serve in the Cabinet, Foreign Service, Defense Forces, Police, Supreme Court and Knesset the citizen within Israel have the exact same ID as Israelis. How many Yezidis and Assyrians serve in our courts and governments? How many people in our government believe the Armenia shouldn’t exist? NONE. Compared to the Joint List which is the 3rd largest political party in Israel. In fact Arabs in Israel have a higher quality of life with the longest life expectancy that Arabs anywhere else. And exactly how many Jews are allowed in Gaza?

    Israel is a free and progressive society and has every right to statehood where it’s located. No one complained of occupation when Egypt and Jordan had control of the area no one demanded a palestinian state then no one was accusing Egypt and Jordan of “crimes against humanity.” Palestine is just an attempt to continue the Arab’s world struggle against Israel for the sake of its own unity. I suggest you research pan-Arabism, which was the attempt to create an EU like structure for the Arab world and it failed miserably because of all the sectarian warfare etc. and now the ONLY thing the Arab/Islamic world can agree on is to eliminate Israel. Stop being so naive and blaming everything on the West do you really thing the Arab/Islamic world is so incapable of their atrocities? Just look at the Ottoman Empire “the sick man of Europe” that embodied everything that Islamists are trying to restore today.

    Now if you want to argue palestinian support for Hamas that’s a double edged sword – first of all the majority of palestinans do support Hamas which is why the “elected” them overwhelmingly to rule Gaza instead of Fatah. If this election was a fraud it’s even more scary because it shows you how much power Hamas has over the “moderate” palestinians which is quite frightening given their new “unity” government.

    If they want peace then they should stop the violence. Look at the agreement that Israel attained with Egypt. Israel literally give up a piece of land almost as large as itself for peace so those “blood-hungry child-killing Zionists” are pretty serious when it comes to peace. On the other hand what in the hell what Khalad Mashall and his cronies do for a living if Palestinians actually got a state. What symbolic cause would he fundraise off of if those people actually got a state. And never forget they already have 22, primarily Jordan. After WWII thousands of populations were swapped around – but only since 1967 (20 years after Israel is created) we have this “refugee” problem.. It’s quite obvious that these people are being used and exploited as professional refugees for the selfish purposes of the surrounding Arab states but of course let’s blame the Jews as we always do!

    • “There’s been numerous historical resources claiming that the land of palestine was essentially empty when the first Zionist arrived in the late 1800’s.” And exactly how can that possibly be when the overwhelming majority of Palestine’s population happened to be Arab from the 7th century AD, all the way up until 1948 when the Jews would claim an independent state within Palestine, and then would begin a campaign of terror upon the Arab natives of Palestine, causing 750,000 of them to flee their land? Anyway, on the subject of population, the Jewish population of Palestine in 1931 happened to be 174,606 Jews, as compared to 1,033,314 Arabs.

      In regard to the tiny, miniscule Gaza Strip which was returned back to the Palestinians, Israel still continues to control the airspace above the Gaza Strip, as well as its sea coast. This again constitutes illegal Israeli occupation. And even if the Israelis were to one day return all of the West Bank to the Palestinians, they would still continue to illegally control their airspace. As for East Jerusalem, it’s quite evident by now that Israel has no intention whatsoever of returning it back to the Palestinians. This is certainly not the definition of engaging into fair negotiations with the Palestinians; instead, this is the definition of Israel continuing to oppress the Palestinians in every possible way.

      “Arab Israelis can vote, study, and even serve in the Cabinet, Foreign Service, Defense Forces, Police, Supreme Court.” Yeah right! This, of course, explains the reason why Israel continuously subjects its Arab population to indignity, degradation, and crimes against humanity.

      By the way, here’s some education for you on the depressing situation of Armenians in Jerusalem:

      “With such a rich cultural legacy, one might guess that the Armenians of Jerusalem are strong and thriving. They are not. If the Old City were divided up today, the Armenians might barely command one street. They certainly would not lay claim to an entire Quarter, as they have for centuries. The survival of the community is today in peril. The population is dwindling. Armenian property rights are under attack.”

      “The Israelis want to take over the Armenian Quarter,” says Hintlian (a prominent member of Jerusalem’s Armenian community). “People are psychologically crushed,” says Hintlian. “Israeli policies-Hintlian calls it harassment-work to encourage Armenians to leave.”

      “There had been 35,000 Armenians-some say more-in the region (present-day Israel) prior to 1948. There are about 2,000 in the region today, of whom 500 live in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City.”

  13. Wow, what a disturbing Anti-Armenian Zionist Extremist diatribe by one who is “a proud Armenian from Yerevan”. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have guessed it was Netanyahu’s personal propaganda minister. I won’t even take it seriously to address it, but others take note, it is a good indication of how these Zionists are so full of themselves and would stop at nothing to propagate their looney, false propaganda. It is no wonder they are in bed with the equally looney and extremist Azerbaijan, like with like.

  14. Hagob D and Yerevanian are quoting the Muslim Brotherhood palestine propaganda training manual. I am a proud Armenian and you can question that all you want. I’m not the one standing on the side of our own country’s ideological and historical enemies. Israel’s linkage with Azerbaijan is quite weak compared to “palestine’s” linkage with Turkey and the other Islamist regimes that worship restoring the caliphate, the ideology that nearly exterminated Armenians in the first place. Only axpars would speak with such conviction in defense of Islam and the terror its brought to this world. Bye!

  15. “The Muslim Brotherhood Palestine propaganda training manual”? It’s rather hilarious how desperate you are in delivering silly, absurd excuses to cover up Israel’s deplorable human rights record which, of course, revolves around its brutal oppression of the indigenous people (Palestinians) of that land (present-day Israel), as well as its continued illegal possession of Palestinian territories.

    It’s also rather hilarious how you desperately attempt to falsely establish that Palestine and Turkey are united, because they both happen to be Islamic. Actually, Turkey’s relations with Palestine, as well as most of the Arab countries, happens to be quite poor. Palestine, along with most of the Arab countries, do not support Turkey in any way. As for Islamic terrorist organizations, such as ISIL, they happen to be very negatively viewed by the vast majority of Palestinians, as well as the vast majority of the world’s Muslim population. And let’s also not forget that ISIL was brought to power by the United States and Israel for the initial purpose of overthrowing Syria’s current government. Furthermore, on the subject of terrorism, let’s not forget that there’s just as much Israeli terrorism going on in the Middle East today, as there is Islamic terrorism. And by supplying so much military equipment to the Islamic terrorist state of Azerbaijan (which uses it in terrorist attacks against the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh), the terrorist state of Israel is therefore showing whose side it’s on.

    • The fact that you believe that ISIL is an American/Israeli invention tells me all I need to know about your level of analytical thinking. Thanks for the feud but I’m done arguing with a conspiracy/theorist. So you can finally stop stalking the comment section searching for some more space to spread your paranoias. As far as Palestinian/Turkish relations you’re almost as dead wrong as you were about them not favoring Hamas ( and of course everything else you mentioned) Here take a look and peace out! http://www.timesofisrael.com/mashaal-a-strong-turkey-means-a-strong-palestine/




    • First of all, Hamas is not Palestine’s government; therefore, it does not represent the state of Palestine. Furthermore, over 68 percent of Palestinians negatively view this particular organization. And just because Turkey favors the Palestinians over the Israelis, does not in any way suggest that the state of Palestine supports Turkey. Again, because both states happen to be Islamic, you’re attempting to falsely establish that Palestine supports Turkey. That’s just like saying that England supports Armenia because they both happen to be Christian countries. As we all know, this, of course, is not true. As a matter of fact, Christian England happens to actually be a big supporter of the two Islamic states of Turkey and Azerbaijan, both of which happen to wish for the destruction of Christian Armenia.

      Weren’t you also aware that Israel used to be a big supporter of Turkey for so many years? As a matter of fact, Jewish-American lobby organizations, for so many years, used to persistently counter any kind of Armenian Genocide recognition legislation in the U.S. congress, in return for huge sums of money from Turkey. This Israeli/Turkish partnership was indeed a big partnership for so many years.

      Here’s some education for you on how the United States, with the assistance of Israel, brought ISIL (ISIS) to power:

      And here are some of the important details from this article:

      “Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.”

      “The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.”

      “The CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization during the 1980’s. America’s relationship with Al Qaeda has always been a love-hate affair. Depending on whether a particular Al Qaeda terrorist group in a given region furthers American interests or not, the U.S. State Department either funds or aggressively targets that terrorist group. Even as American foreign policy makers claim to oppose Muslim extremism, they knowingly foment it as a weapon of foreign policy. The Islamic State is its latest weapon that, much like Al Qaeda is certainly backfiring.”

      “In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take a look at the organization’s American-backed roots. The 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups, like ISIS, to take root.”

      “ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror used by America to topple the Syrian government; it is also used to put pressure on Iran. The last time Iran invaded another nation was in 1738. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions. Despite what the Western media’s war cries would have you believe, Iran is clearly not the threat to regional security, Washington is. An Intelligence Report published in 2012, endorsed by all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, confirms that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.”

      “America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad, and at home, to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance. By rapidly increasing both government secrecy and surveillance, Mr. Obama’s government is increasing its power to watch its citizens, while diminishing its citizens’ power to watch their government. Terrorism is an excuse to justify mass surveillance, in preparation for mass revolt.”

      “The so-called War on Terror, should be seen for what it really is: a pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized U.S. military. The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions. Since George W. Bush declared the War on Terror in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite.”

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