The US newspaper “The Jewish Voice”, which enjoys a wide readership, has published an article titled “Armenian Anti-Semitism Again Rears Its Ugly Head” by the Editor-in-chief Fern Sidman.
The article expresses the suspicious attitude of many experts towards the fact that the head of the Jewish Community of Armenia Rima Varzhapetyan is really Jewish by origin. It is noted that many think him to be the figure of the anti-Semitic government. Whereas, in his opinion about the data of the “Pew” Research Centre Varzhapetyan does not agree to it. Yet the numbers do not deceive.
According to the data published by the “Pew” Research Centre on 28 March, Armenia has been chosen as the least tolerant country towards the Jews. 32 % of the respondents stated that the Armenians do not even accept the Jews as their countrymen. Actually, this number is not that surprising, no matter how critical it seems.
Based on its survey from June 2015 to July 2016, the Centre confirms the results of the voting held by the Anti-slander League in 2014 which also shows that the majority of the Armenians believe in “the truth” of many of the Anti-Semitic theories. They also believe in the Jews’ business world (72%) and their great power on the international financial markets (68%), their being more loyal to Israel rather than the country of their residence (68%), the people’s hatred of the Jews for their behavior (63%), the Jews’ attaching importance to nobody but themselves (60%), their considering themselves above other nations (53%), their big power in global matters (51%), the big influence of the Jews over the US power (51%).
The article also states that the typical official answer to anti-Semitism in Armenia is the rejection of its existence. The monument erected in the Armenian capital Yerevan was brutally destroyed several times in 2004-2005. However, negating the information, the police reported that the monument had sunk all by itself, thus no investigation was conducted in this connection.
In an article published in the Armenian newspaper “168 Hours” the journalist Emil Danielyan writes that the roots of the Armenian anti-Semitism go back to the 1960s and 1970s. According to some Soviet historians, the young Turks were governed by “the Zionists” when committing “the Armenian genocide”. Many Armenian nationalists make use of this funny theory. The nationalist forces have become more active by disseminating anti-Jewish comments within the last few years. The outstanding representative of “Tribe Worshippers” Armen Avetisyan was the man most spoken about in Armenian media in 2003-2004. In one of his interviews Avetisyan threatened with an exile of all the Jews from Armenia. Even the owner of the ALM TV network Tigran Karapetyan enjoyed cursing the Jews.
Danielyan also noted that although in 2006 different representatives of the local Jewish community, Armenian state officials and public figures were invited to the event dedicated to the Holocaust memory in Armenia, only the member of the Parliament Mkrtich Minasyan decided to take part there.
The author emphasizes that Armenian anti-Semitism is a serious problem and this problem should not be denied and neglected. It is most probable that due to this reason Israel displays so little interest in bilateral relations with Armenia, whereas it hugs the highly tolerant neighbouring Muslim country Azerbaijan.