Leading Jewish Scholar Condemns Israel’s Sale of Murderous Weapons to Azerbaijan

In last week’s large-scale attack on Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh), the Azeri military killed and injured dozens of Armenian soldiers and civilians, using sophisticated weapons purchased from Israel and Russia for billions of dollars.

Israel Charny (Photo: PanArmenian Photo)
Israel Charny (Photo: PanArmenian)

The Armenian government and Armenians worldwide accused both Israel and Russia of responsibility for the innocent Armenian lives lost in the recent Azeri invasion.

Prof. Israel Charny, a staunch defender of human rights, could not remain silent knowing that his country—Israel—had a bloody role in the Armenian killings. As executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, Dr. Charny sent a scathing commentary to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, under the provocative title: “Would Israel Sell a Used Drone to a Hitler?”

Here is what he wrote:

“If the Nazis were not at all murdering Jews but ‘only’ were murdering say hated Slavs, Gypsies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses; and if our beloved State of Israel were in existence; would you agree to our selling arms to the Nazis?

“Israel is reported to have sold billions of dollars of arms including to governments that are killing or threatening to attack victim peoples. Last week, there came reports that an Israeli drone in the hands of Azerbaijan—a huge arms customer of ours—was responsible for the deaths of six Armenians in the Armenian enclave Nagorno-Karabagh.

“I am ashamed!

“The Armenians were the victims of a major genocide 100 years ago that has even been called the ‘Armenian Shoah’ by some Israeli scholars, including from Bar Ilan University. A great deal of their national and cultural concern continues to focus passionately on the memory of that genocide (does that sound familiar to us Jews?). For many years now, we Israelis—whether led by Labor or Likud—have insulted and hurt the Armenian people by failing to recognize their genocide officially and formally. Would we ourselves tolerate another government—say the U.S. or England—failing to recognize the Holocaust because of their realpolitik interest with the perpetrator government?

“One senior Armenian official has written several of us in Israel to express his deep pain as well as indignation now not only at our cowardly and self-serving denials of the Armenian Genocide, but also at our thick military trade alliance with Azerbaijan. I am reminded of the prophet Nathan crying out to King David for an earlier though more delectable murderous act of self-interest: It’s bad enough that you killed him, are you also taking a profit from the sordid affair? The Azeris are a Turkic people who adhere to Turkey’s bizarre and fascist tradition of rewriting history and denying the Armenian Genocide.

“In general, how much do we Israelis want to strengthen our economy by lucrative arms sales? Of course, ‘everyone’ in the world is doing it, but do we have to also? Have we given up the image/dream of Israel as a moral leader of peoples on this planet? Is this idea tiresome, naïve, and childlike in a madly destructive and self-destroying world?

“An alternative concept could be that along with our building arms first and foremost for the defense of Israel, that we sell—or contribute—arms only to underdog peoples who are facing mass destruction, and/or to allies like the U.S., who are essentially committed to shared democratic values and peace. Of course, we will still be making some mistakes, but at least our conscience will be more clear that we have not delivered used arms to the ‘Nazis.’

“To my Armenian colleagues and friends, I can only say that as a Jew and as an Israeli, I am mortified—and angry.”

Charny’s harsh words are fully justified as both Israeli and Russian officials have shamefully pledged to continue shipping more weapons to Azerbaijan!

Charny has never shied away from expressing his critical views on Israel’s immoral policies on Armenian issues. In a scathing letter in 2001, he told Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres: “You have gone beyond a moral boundary that no Jew should allow himself to trespass. … As a Jew and an Israeli, I am ashamed of the extent to which you have now entered into the range of actual denial of the Armenian Genocide, comparable to denials of the Holocaust.”

Charny should be highly commended for his bold and righteous stand, taking to task the callous leaders of his own country!

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Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American organizations. He has been decorated by the president and prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

12 Comments

  1. What a decent human being! The world would be a much better place if more people of honor and decency would exhibit Dr. Charny’s ethical and moral standards.

  2. Bravo and well done Mr Charny. Bless you for your righteous stand against greedy and missled politicians who preach one thing and do something different,forgetting that the world is watching and taking note.

  3. Professor Charny has spoken the truth. Do you really think the israeli has any understanding of what they are doing? I doubt it as money counts more than human suffering at least when israel is not suffering. They are unconcerned with what they have done or the consequences because of their actions. Sorry professor your words have a meaning which unfotunately your leaders and your parliament have refused to listen to. Hence the financial rewards for israel is more important than the recognition of the Armenian genocide. Sad but TRUE.

  4. “Prof. Israel Charny, a staunch defender of human rights, could not remain silent knowing that his country-Israel-had a bloody role in the Armenian killings.”

    And even after supplying the terrorist state of Azerbaijan with 1.6 billion dollars worth of military equipment (which is being used to kill Armenians), the Israeli terrorist state’s officials have shamefully pledged to continue supplying even more military weapons to Azerbaijan. As always, the shameful state of Israel never ceases to commit shameful acts one after the other.

  5. Just like Prof. Charny, I am Israeli and I am ashamed of my government also.
    Prof. Isreal Charny and many other Jews I know here in the U.S. and there in Israel are people of decency. Unfortunately, the government of Israel have committed a crime against the nation of where Noah’s Arc landed, against the first christian nation on earth. It is not characteristic of Armenians to follow suit. Israel must explain their motives to harm Armenians who continuously condemn the perpetrators, the butchers, the murderers and yes Adolf Hitler and Adolf Iekhmann. I ask the government of Israel:
    “What is your problem with Armenians?” I hope someone has an answer. Just bear in mind “Do unto others as you would like done unto you”.

  6. Prof.Charney’s remarks I hope is not the only voice herd in Israel, there must be more. I am hopeful Prof. Charney’s comments will influence others to speak up.

  7. While Mr Charney’s approach is correct and commendable, I believe such people are powerless to stop the immorality of Israel. My opinion, when dealing with Israel, Armenia should stop talking and complaining and react accordingly, tit for tat. Not directly, but indirectly. Give Israel what it fears most. A couple of items come to mind. Since Armenia has its own drone program, and Iran and Israel are mortal enemies, time to supply Iran with drones so that such weapons could find themselves in the hands of Palestinian and Lebanese freedom fighters. And to send the message loud and clear, those drones should be a carbon copy of the Israeli ones. And when those weapons are put in action, the outcome would be called “poetic justice”.

    Second, what is Israels relationship with Azerbaijan based on? Only two words: BTC pipeline. Since there is no war yet, neither Armenia nor the NKR should be directly involved in the sabotage of the pipeline, but perhaps find some means where others will see to it that the oil stops flowing from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey to Israel. With each sabotage the pipeline could stop operating for three to four weeks, plenty of time to plan for targeting another area while it is being repaired. Turn the BTC pipeline into in item of history. This would be called killing two (sickly) birds with one stone, or should I say four. Don’t even bother dealing with Zionist schmucks. When you get a slap, slap them back twice as hard, nothing more.

  8. God bless Mr. Charny. If I ever have the honor and privilege to meet him, I would like to hug and kiss him. THANK YOU!!!

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