Politics

Recognition of Armenian Genocide and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are not mutually exclusive events - The Boston Globe

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Recognition of Armenian Genocide and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are not mutually exclusive events - The Boston Globe

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS. April 24 will mark the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, when more than 1.5 million Armenians were systematically exterminated by the Ottoman Turks, an event that Turkey denies to this day. For the more than 400,000 Armenian Americans, it is also a stark reminder that history is repeating itself. History rear its ugly head in fall 2020 when Azerbaijan launched an illegal and unprovoked war against ethnic Armenians living in their ancestral homeland of Nagorno-Karabakh, which was followed by a nearly 10-month blockade of the only road linking Armenians living in the region to the outside world.

With such a preface, the American periodical The Boston Globe has referred to the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in its article.

“Azerbaijan’s destructive campaign culminated in September when more than 120,000 Armenians moved from Nagorno-Karabakh rather than live under Azerbaijan’s rule, making it the largest displacement of Armenians since the Armenian Genocide. Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, called it a genocide; it created one of the world’s,’’ reads the article.

According to the publication, Armenian Americans see these latest acts of aggression by Azerbaijan as a continuation of the Armenian Genocide and a threat to their very existence.

“We see what is happening today in Nagorno-Karabakh through the lens of our painful history. It is why recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Azerbaijan and the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh are not mutually exclusive events.

Denial of the Armenian Genocide by countries like Turkey and Azerbaijan has helped establish a level of indifference from the international community that is allowing autocrats to act with impunity and with no repercussions. Shockingly,the rhetoricstemming from Baku today hearkens back to the final days of the Ottoman Empire, when Armenians became scapegoats to stir up nationalism and fear. So, while the messenger might be different, the message is the same. Azerbaijan ispromoting ethnic hatredagainst Armenians by violating the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and there seems to be an unending cycle of violence and hate. That hate has manifested itself through words and actions. In recent speeches, Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, has unequivocally claimed that Armenia is Azerbaijan’s historical land, while calling Armenia“Western Azerbaijan.”

This follows a troubling pattern of other speeches in which the petro-dictator has made similar arguments and has even said that Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, belongs to Azerbaijan. We have seen this hate carried out through the treatment and torture of Armenian POWs andthe blatant execution of captured Armenian soldiers,’’ reads the publication.

Per the article, Aliyev is the same leader whocommissioned a Military Trophies Park in Bakuthat featured a display of hundreds of helmets taken from dead Armenian soldiers. That park also features wax mannequins of captured soldiers portrayed through exaggerated caricatures based on Armenian stereotypes and tropes like crooked noses and bushy eyebrows. Many of those mannequins are shown in their dying moments or chained to jail cells.

“Aliyev continues to plant the seeds of hate by enacting a state policy that hatred toward the Armenian people be taught to schoolchildren across Azerbaijan.

Make no mistake: Azerbaijan is promoting a culture of hatred and fear and is breeding a whole new generation of anti-Armenian sentiment. It is dangerous. It is irresponsible. And it needs to stop. This type of rhetoric should be a warning sign that hatred and violence in all their ugly forms don’t end at the border.

Sadly, hatred and violence have found their way to the United States. Over the past couple of years, the number of hate crimes committed against the Armenian American communityhas been on the rise.In San Francisco, a localArmenian school was vandalized in 2020with hateful and racist graffiti, which was followed by anarson attack on St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church. And in 2023 in Los Angeles, home to the largest number of Armenians outside of Armenia,flierswere postedthroughout the city calling for the destruction of Armenia and the “completion” of the Armenian Genocide,’’ reads the article.

In accordance with the article, in many ways, these hate crimes appear to be an extension of Azerbaijan’s ongoing campaign to wipe Armenia off the map and show that it continues to be a threat to Armenians’ existence anywhere in the world.

“It’s why every April 24 Armenian Americans come together to honor and remember the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and to make sure that we honor our past and embrace the future.

This year will take on a whole new meaning as our existence as a community in the United States and the world over is at risk of being further terrorized. Holding Azerbaijan accountable is one way to make sure that doesn’t happen,’’ reads the publication.

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