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Mouradian: ‘Missing Hitler’s Spirit’: The Problematic Post-Flotilla Discourse in Turkey

On June 5, at a demonstration organized in Istanbul by the Islamic Saadet Party, one of the banners read, in Turkish: “Legendary leader Hitler, our patience is running out, we need your spirit.” The incident was just one of countless anti-Semitic statements, slogans, and banners made during rallies in Turkey after the Israeli attack on the flotilla of ships attempting to break the blockade on Gaza. I spoke to writers and activists from Turkey about the implications of this discourse.

Banner from protest in Turkey: “Legendary leader Adolf Hitler, our patience is running out, we need your spirit.”

“Israel’s lawless and irrational act of violence unleashed an exaggerated display of bravado on the part of the government in Turkey,” said Ayse Gunaysu, a human rights activist from Turkey. Gunaysu’s concerned about the anti-Semitic discourse used by the protesters and the way that Turkish intellectuals have been overlooking its dangerous undertones, even before the attack on the flotilla. She gives the example of a public rally on May 8, during which one speaker said, “From now on all Jews everywhere in the world and even all Jews in Turkey are our targets” (see http://fr.video.yahoo.com/watch/7462019/19667659 ).

“The protesters are not concerned about peace,” Gunaysu explained. “They are calling for more violence and more bloodshed. Because they—particularly Islamic protesters, at times backed by leftists groups as well—are not against a particular Israeli government and its particular policies, but against the existence of Israel itself.”

“It is sickening to hear the government suddenly assume the role of champion of international law, never mind that in 1974, the Turkish armed forces crossed the international waters, invaded a sovereign country [Cyprus], and its occupation continues to date,” she added. “Not to mention the decades-long war in Turkey [against the Kurds], which has caused tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of disappearances, and the destruction and evacuation of thousands of villages.”

For Gunaysu, the hypocrisy is astounding. “The killing of civilians by the Israeli special forces is outrageous. But it is equally upsetting to know that there is such fury here against what happened to fellow Muslims in another part of the world, while Turkey feels quite alright with its own denial of the genocide of Asia Minor’s Christian population, a legacy on which the Turkish republic was founded.”

Congratulating the Nazis: "Ellerinize Saglik" (Well done!). Photo from the same demonstration. Source: http://www.habervesaire.com/haber/1868/

On May 31, Bilgin Ayata, a scholar from Turkey, was in Taksim Square, where several rallies were held. She recounted what she saw: “The general atmosphere was very tense and full of anger, and some of the slogans targeted Jews, not just the Israeli state. The angry atmosphere takes sustenance from Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s fierce comments and attitude that fuels the anger against Israel.”

Ayata also raises the issue of hypocrisy. “There is a strange schizophrenia at place: Erdogan described the attacks of Israel as ‘state terrorism’ and declared that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. It would be nice if he would apply the same standards to his own country. Unfortunately, it seems that the opposite is happening. On June 4, Sevahir Bayindir, a Kurdish MP, was attacked by the police and hurt in Silopi during a protest against the military operations in the Kurdish regions. A day earlier, Firat Basan, a 14-year-old Kurdish boy, was killed when a tank rolled over him during a similar protest in Sirnak. Also on June 4, Irfan Aktar, a Kurdish journalist, received a prison sentence of one year because of an article he wrote on the Kurdish issue in a magazine. Over 1,400 members of the pro-Kurdish party DTP are in prison since 2009—some of them are elected mayors and prominent members of human rights organizations. More than one million Kurds have been displaced in Turkey in the past decade, and they can not go back to their villages because the state does not clear landmines. Paramilitary forces and military operations are leading even to new cases of displacement.”

“I wholeheartedly condemn the violence employed by the Israeli state last week, just as I did when I was actively working in the region and writing about the Palestinian issue,” said Talin Suciyan, a journalist from Turkey. “But the social and political atmosphere created in Turkey has other dimensions. On the one hand, there are journalists, artists, and public opinion leaders talking about ‘banging up Israel’ with literature and arts, while there are others who carry posters asking Hitler to send them his spirit. And frequently, ‘Tekbir’ (chanting ‘Allahu ekber’) accompanies these. In the past, such reactions have invariably led to hostile attitudes against citizens of Turkey—in this case the Turkish Jews. One always has to keep in mind that the republican and also pre-republican history is full of such attacks against Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, incited in the aftermath of international events.”

“If this is an issue of condemning state violence,” she continued, “I have to say I have not, to this day, encountered such decisive attitude, when it comes to issues concerning the people of Turkey itself.”

Ayata agrees. “If PM Erdogan really has a problem with state terrorism, he should stop it in his own country.”

68 Comments on Mouradian: ‘Missing Hitler’s Spirit’: The Problematic Post-Flotilla Discourse in Turkey

  1. I thank the readers from Turkey who brought other horrible slogans and posters to my attention. We just posted the “Ellerinize Saglik” photo above. We cannot, however, add all photos and videos. What is important is speaking out on these horrible slogans, rather than putting them all on display.
    Khatchig

  2. Turkey, what hypocrites. They have been blockading Armenia for fifteen years. Note that Hitler’s Mein Kampf is still a best seller in Turkey.

  3. And yet the rest of the world still won’t even have to break a sweat in continuing to deny that the unfairly harsh criticism of Israel is antisemitic in nature.

  4. As Turkey undoes the Attatruk revolution and the Islamist resume control, we are now able to witness again the genocidal heritage of the mass-murdering, imperialist Turks.
    Maybe Israel could trade with the Turks; Israel gets the Kurds and Turkey gets the palestinians…
    Will the Turkish Military save their country from joining the rogue terror states?
     
     

  5. Turks are like Dogs; they always bark from the distance in their own territory.
    A we say “Dog Barks and the wind takes it away”

  6. avatar arra zeibarian // June 8, 2010 at 10:25 am // Reply

    and just recently i heard that turkey would NOT hurt armenians if the genocide were admitted to by the usa.  i think we armenians have much to worry about as we pursue justice, are they going to kill armenians living in turkey if they admit it? what’s going to happen?

  7. Arra,  1.5 million of our ancestors did not walk to their deaths in the desert rather than convert to Islam, for us today to be afraid of pursuing our just cause.  Yes, it is wise for us to be aware of the danger, but we must honor our dead and persevere nonetheless.  If those martyrs had all converted, there would be no Armenians today and we would all be turning to Mecca on our prayer rugs several times daily, while Azerbaijan and Turkey enjoyed their interstate highways through the Armenian highlands.  The Republic of Armenia needs our support and commitment to normalization with its neighbors but not at the cost of compromising everything that our martyrs died for.

  8. now we see that the turks are like other muslims in the middle east area: fanatics and irrationals.
    simon
     

  9. simon,

     
    Any attempt to paint all nations or all religions black or white must be categorically rejected. Other Muslims in the Middle East area cannot all be fanatics and irrationals. Thos is a very atypical approach to the Muslims. Armenians never group the murderous Turks with other Muslims. Our confrontation with the genocidal Turks is NOT a religious stand-off, it has never been. Remember also, and respect, those many Muslim Arabs who saved the starving Armenians in Deyr Zor, who accepted them in their societies, and came to respect us greatly for our hard work and loyalty. Never have I seen any Muslim in the Middle East: a Lebanese, a Syrian, a Jordanian, an Egyptian, an Iraqi, an Iranian, who wouldn’t indicate sincerely the great respect that they hold the Armenians. Please, PLEASE, do not mix the Turks with other Muslims, it’s inadmissible, untrue, and potentially hazardous.

  10. Zaven is absolutely correct. I could not agree more…and we need to include Iran among the friendly and supportive Muslim states, as well.

  11. avatar Arsen Nazarian // June 9, 2010 at 6:49 am // Reply

    To Simon and Osik,

    By using the language you speak over the Turks, you are denigrating yourself to the level of  the fanatics on thier side. When you say “Turks are like dogs”, you don’t surely mean those brave Turks who speak out against their government risking theier lives and carreer and the hundreds of thousands who poured into the streets chanting: “I am Armenian”, “I am Hrant Dink”. So, stop please making such irresponsible propostions and generalizations. Also, viewing the conflict between us and the Turks from a riligous perspective is in not only historically incorrectt, but can also be very hazardous, as Zaven puts it correctly, costing us friends and well-wishers among the many Arab and Musim nations. 

  12. To Arsen’s point, I would encourage every single Armenian to keep a safe distance from those in the US who have been, for the last 8+ years or so, painting every single Arab or Muslim they see, as a ‘terrorist’.  Armenian experience over the last several hundred years in the Arab world, India and Iran is quite the opposite. If it were not for the Muslims,  Armenians would not have survived at all.  Even in Turkey, as Zaven says, the genocide was not religiously based, it was more about theft and economics, and minority scapegoating based on a CUP  manufactured campaign of fear.   Please resist the temptation to jump on the Muslim bashing bandwagon….because it doesn’t head in the right direction, and puts you in the same league as George Bush & Co. and the neocons, none of whom are good company.

  13. I’m not saying that we should hate muslims … please do not misunderstand my post; nonetheless, Zaven,Karekin and Arsen should dig more into the reasons and the way the Arabs “helped” Armenians.Most Armenians who were taken in by the Arabs were used as slaves, my great grandmother had a tatoo implying she was a slave for Beduin Arabs in Syria who had bought her from the turks.
    There are many resaons behind why the Arabs took us in, please remember that Lebanon,Syria,Egypt refused to welcome the refugees at first and it is France who helped and still helps the Armenians the most… again I am not saying the French are saints .. they as well hurt us alot! 
    I want to make a comment on the expression some Armenians have towards “righteous” turks, those who speak of Human Rights; please remember that the Young turks promised equality and got d help of Armenians to overthrow the Sultan & they themselves planned and undertook the Genocide!
    Ov Hay joghovourt ko myag pergutuine ko Myasnagan oujin mech g gayana!

  14. If you were in a desperate situation compelled to choose between being starved to death or killed and becoming a slave in a non-Turkic environment, what would you choose?

  15. Dear Arsen,
    It looks like you are a “Fanatic” from one of those countries yourself where DOG is unholy and is “Najis” and word Dog is used to insult each others; what I was saying was dogs when are in their own territory roar like a lion but when they are away put their tails between their legs and walk away, by using it I was trying to say they are “Chicken” not Lion referring to Turks harsh comments (starting with their PM) for Israel from their own territory which sound “Brave” like lion in the Arab world.
    Don’t get excited because the layer who poured out shouting that slogan on Hrand’s funeral are all Kamalist secular people who lost the election to Islamists and Erdogan, and if you won’t start educating me again; as it said in Farsi “The yellow Dog is brother to the Jackal”,  again intention is not to insult any side; the saying is using Dog & Jackal and that means they are all the same; my friend.  

  16. Dear Karineh,
    I hope you read my reply to Arsen; I’ve been much longer than that in US but I agree 100% with you; to my knowledge what matters is the Culture not the Religion, I even don’t paint all the Christians with same brush; but to me Turk is Turk.
    I would like to finish with my favorite quote from the movie
    “The Italian Job”…..
    “I trust them I just don’t trust the demon inside them”
     

  17. avatar Liad Malone // June 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm // Reply

    For those who claim the Armenian Genocide by the Turks was not religiously based, read the Armenian-American writer, John Roy Carlson:
    “An ally of Imperial Germany, the tyrannous Turk determined to exterminate the Armenians in Turkey…Turk natinalists embarked on a Moslem “holy war” of massacre, starvation, brutality and mass deportations…unparalleled among the so-called civilized nations.”
    “Under Cover”, 1943, chapter I, page 18

  18. Those people who protest in Turkey and elsewhere, who are promoting the same vile nonsense that allowed a group of fanatical people during the last great war to commit the mass murder of millions of others…all based on some twisted notions of race and genetic superiority, should think twice before they incite these flames of hatred. The problem is they eventually get out of control and once they do it’s damn hard to put them out as they usually have to run their course and burnout themselves. In the interim, there’s great suffering and hardship for whoever is in the way of the conflagration. As with anything it’s the innocent and those that want nothing to do with it all that are the ones who suffer the most.
    What Turkey (and everyone else) has to realise is this. An example…what if the Kurds in Turkey decided (with another country’s help) to lob rockets into Turkish communities on a regular basis. Do you honestly think that Turkey would just sit by and take it all on the chin…well, they do have something to answer for considering they’ve been harassing the Kurds for decades. NO…Turkey would retaliate, just the same as the Israelis have with the Palestinians, with those amongst the Palestinians who would see not only Israel, but every Jew they could get their hands on wiped off the face of the planet. Now, I don’t condone the heavy handed actions of the Israeli security services over this latest incident, but you also have to look at the situation through the eyes of the average Israeli…both Jew and Arab, as both are being targeted by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. There’s two sides to any hypocrisy when it concerns the Middle East and the Palestinian/Israeli question. What only makes it worse is when outsiders play one another off against the other, which has been happening for decades. First it was the Ottomans, French and British imperialist, Germany to some degree and a few other countries with lesser interests in the region. Now it’s a combination of those same old interest, except in a different form, in the guise of the multinational megacorporations (big oil, big military-industrial etc) and now a newish player as well…the United States. Russia (as the former Soviet Union) once held sway to a great extent in the area and will probably now want to rekindle much of that influence again. China and some other eastern nations will want their slice of the pie too. It’s all too plain to see where this is all heading, if the juggernaut keeps going on in the same manner as before. There will be one ungodly mess occur and no one will have either the will or the means to clean it up. Mainly because they will be the protagonists in the whole shebang. God help us all.
     

  19. Liad, please, Armenians won’t take the bite about genocide as religion-based mass extermination. Overwhelming evidence testifies to the opposite. Some authors say it was a religion-based mass extermination, some others—normally those who’re on Turkish payroll—don’t even accept there was a genocidal intent in the exterminatory actions of the Young Turks. However, most scholars, and most Armenians, agree that the genocide was not a religiously based annihilation. Like Nazis, Young Turks were essentially atheists, preoccupied mostly with the ideas of Panturkism or Panturanism. From the conquered lands of the Serbs, Bulgarians, Albanians, and Greeks, the Turks could, reluctantly, withdraw, abandoning distant provinces and bringing the imperial frontier nearer home. But the Armenians, stretching across from the Caucasian frontier to the Mediterranean coast, lay in the very heart of the country—and to renounce these lands would have meant dissolution of the Turkish state. We’ve already lost everything we had—1.5 million of innocent lives, half a million of deported or expelled people, all of our historical homeland in Western Armenia which we inhabited starting 2nd millennium BC, and still call upon the world to recognize our genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century. In my view, Jews must have been the first to recognize given the archetype sorrow that befallen them at Shoah, but they chose to put political considerations above moral values. So, please don’t give us this rubbish about religion-based genocide. You aligned themselves with the Turks—you put things right.

  20. avatar Turkey for ThanksGiving // June 11, 2010 at 7:44 am // Reply

    The Turks are the biggest hypocrites on earth,not all of them though.Just the ones in this current government,that has lost all reason.

  21. avatar Turkey for ThanksGiving // June 11, 2010 at 8:31 am // Reply

    The Turks are backing the wrong horse,Iran is heading for a nasty fall,the world won’t allow Iran to go nuclear.

  22. Again, when discussing the masterminds of the genocide, we should not forget that the key leaders of the CUP were not even Turkish!  Yes, they were Ottomans, (so were Armenians), but the key players in the genocide were all descendants of Spanish Jews, who ‘converted’ for business reasons and were only marginally Muslim. The Salonika group used the Anatolian natives during a time of war in a divide & conquer way to steal them blind. They went to their own ‘mosques’ that on the interior looked exactly like synagogues.  This was a small, closed club that eventually produced Ataturk and fascist/nationalist policies that cut Turks off from their own history (and replaced it w/ myths and lies), forced ancient family names to be replaced w/ ludicrous Turkish words, prohibited traditional music on the radio and forced classical European music to be played, and worse…rewarded those who participated in the genocide w/ businesses, government and military positions of power , while making it against the law to discuss the genocide!  Come on people….wake up. No more sleepwalking…. 

  23. Whether the key leaders of the CUP were Turkish or crypto-Jews or whether the key players in the genocide were descendants of Sabbatean or Sephardic Jews doesn’t essentially matter. Whoever they were, they represented the official government of the Ottoman Turkish State that gave orders to deliberate mass extermination of the Armenians. Even if we admit that the key perpetrators of the genocide in the central government were not ethnically Turkish and religiously Muslim, what ethnicity were the local governors (valis) and city mayors, their apparatus members, army regiments’ commanders and soldiers, gendarmes, irregular band members (the cettes), Kurdish and Circassian gangs, criminals set free form Turkish prisons, and a great number of ordinary Turks who were ready to kill in order to steal the Armenians’ property? It is also important to note that had there not been Turkish general public’s animosity towards the Armenians, a few leaders could hardly accomplish their mass crime.
     
    The mastermind of the genocide was the official government of the Ottoman Turkish State.

  24. Keep in mind exactly who is masterminding all the sabre rattling against Iran…once again, Israel.  Iran has not invaded anyone, occupied anyone, bombed anyone, threatened anyone….yet those who have are still issuing threats. Remember, Iran is and has been a great friend to Armenia and Armenians…please do not encourage the anti-Iran bandwagon…as it’s going in the wrong direction, particularly since Armenia needs Iran in many important ways.

  25. Karekin,
    It’s not that simple Iran loves Armenia because Armenia still is a “Russian Bloc” country.
    If LTP was the winner in the last Armenia elections and Iran still loved Armenia then we would call it a true love, now Armenia is just a friend of their friend and that’s just a conditional friend.  

  26. Zaven…I get your point, but that is like saying the neo-cons were/are just ordinary Americans who went beserk and just had to obliterate Iraq, and now Iran.  They exploited fear and used it to their advantage, just as the CUP did in Turkey.  If, as you say, 1915 was just ordinary Turks going crazy, what happened during the prior 900+ years, when the empire was even more powerful and capable of destroying the Armenians?   That certainly could have happened, but it didn’t, because the ruling Turks knew who created the weath in Turkey.  The reality is that ordinary people can easily be manipulated into doing awful, crazy things, by awful, crazy manipulators who know how to do this to achieve a particular goal. The CUP’s goal was total domination and control of Turkey, which they achieved, and in the process, they eliminated their only competition, the Armenians, and eventually also the Greeks, who were natives of Anatolia and owned most of it.  If you can single out Kurds and Circassians, then it’s also appropriate to single out others who were also not Turkish who had the goal of stealing it all.

  27. avatar Turkey for ThanksGiving // June 11, 2010 at 10:23 pm // Reply

    The Turks are blaming everyone except themselves for the massacres that they caused in their dark past,the Kurds are still suffering enormous hardship under the Turkish yoke.The Turks are a  occupying Kurdistan and should get the Hell out of Kurdistan.and go back to Turkey.

  28. avatar Antoine Kouchakdjian // June 14, 2010 at 12:14 am // Reply

    Dear Armenians.
    What our ancestors went through at the hands of Turkey Ottoman empire.we all know about it.its heart breaking and unforgivable.but it did happen,and it will happen again and again in other part of this world.
    every year we are having the same talk referring the 1.5 million.the Armenian Genocide.we assuming.blaming.insulting.making comments to one another.
    94 plus years passed.nothing changed,and nothing will.Unless we Armenians all over the world do something like no one nation did.to unite not only on this issue but to amalgamate as ONE ARMENIAN AND ACT ON ONE RULE.
    And if you will think it is impossible and will never happen and you will believe it.
    then my so called Armenians you are no different then the Administrations of the <USA><ISREAL><TURKEY>ETC.
    and among all the Armenian Organisation And divisions all you are doing is poisoning our young generations MINDS.
    As the saying goes,to many captains on one ship? you know the outcome.

  29. Antoine — Many things have changed during the past 95 years. The concept of genocide is fully applicable to the Armenian case virtually worldwide. More than 25 foreign parliaments recognized it, as did the Vatican and the European Parliament. 44 US state legislatures have recognized it. Leading international professional associations, such as the International Association of Genocide Scholars, have recognized it. 53 Nobel Prize winners have recognized and urged the world to recognize it. Finally, many events that are happening in our times in and around Turkey (Hrant Dink’s murder and its international reverberations, Turkish-Armenian protocols, ‘I apologize’ campaign, sit-ins in Istanbul, even humanitarian aid flotilla incident) are directly or indirectly related to the Armenian genocide. To say nothing has changed is like playing ostrich. And by no measure what the Armenian organizations do ‘is poisoning our young generation’s minds.’ Rightful indignation against extermination of the race and injustice for not admitting the crime cannot be possibly qualified as ‘mind-poisoning.’

  30. I don’t think you fully got my point, Karekin. Neo-cons in America represent a specific ideology in the policy-making process, however, they are not united in one political party and they do not represent the elected government. They may just affect its decisions. With the CUP the picture is completely different. They came to the fore as a political party. They came to power as a result of a military revolt against the Sultan. They later came to represent the official government of the Ottoman Turkish state. Further, an overwhelming number of ordinary Americans were and still are against both invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan (note here that both wars are waged outside the boundaries of the U.S. not inside the country as in the Ottoman Turkey). That is to argue against your argument that ‘ordinary people can easily be manipulated into doing awful things by awful manipulators.’ The majority of the Americans do not support the war. Whereas in the Ottoman Empire there was a considerable amount of envy, spite, and religious prejudice in regard to the Armenians. And please don’t twist my words. Nowhere did I say that ‘1915 was just ordinary Turks going crazy.’ I said: ‘had there not been general public’s animosity towards the Armenians, a few leaders could hardly accomplish their mass crime.’ Indeed, after the government issued temporary decrees allowing looting and settlement in the homes of the Armenians, widespread killings and looting on the part of ordinary Turks started. If they were against it, I suppose they wouldn’t do it. I’m also not sure what you mean by ‘during the prior 900+ years, when the empire was even more powerful and capable of destroying the Armenians’? What 900+ years? The Ottoman Empire was formed in the 15th century AD, this makes it 500+ years, not 900+. I you mean the Turks’ Seljuk/Mongol forefathers, their destruction of the conquered Armenians was brutal, especially the Seljuks’. Then, again, the destruction and mass murders occurred under Bloody Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1984-1986. Was he, too, a Sabbatean Jew? I believe he had some Armenian blood. Nevertheless, up to 300,000 Armenians perished in massacres at the time when Abdul Hamid represented the official authority of the Ottoman Empire. I’d generally agree that ‘ordinary people can easily be manipulated into doing awful things by awful manipulators,’ but to say that in particular instances, such as the genocide of the Armenians, the crime was perpetrated only because several top CUP leaders were crypto-Jews is absurd. Almost all politbureau of the Bolshevik party in Russia were ethnic Jews, but to say that they succeeded in their revolution because of their ethnicity and not because Russian soldiers were fed up with wars and Russian peasants were fed up with poverty and destitution is absurd. However manipulated, masses won’t stand up for something that doesn’t reverberate in their own selves. As for Kurds and Circassians, they were bands slaughtering Armenians during the death matches. I singled them out to show that not only several CUP leaders of Sabbatean origin were committing murders, but also gangs of other ethnicities. The difference is that the official Ottoman Turkish government at the time was not represented by the Kurds and Circassians. It was represented by the CUP whatever ethnicity or religious beliefs some their leaders might have.

  31. Uneducated people are going to believe conspiracy theories.  They also believe a lot of other strange things (aliens from outer space, 9/11 conspiracy theories).  We ought to improve our educational system so people go beyond high school and get more information about current events.
    I want to question one statement here about the Jews being part of the Bolsheviks.  I believe that is also a false statement.  Few of the Jews supported the Bolsheviks.  My grandfather was a supporter of the Mensheviks and of Kolchak in Siberia.  What was tragic is that they lost, thanks to the Turks and Germans. 
    I read that Kerensky (Mensheviks) was a friend of the Armenian Nationalists and it was Kerensky who bought arms from the USA to arm the Armenians, who he feared would be killed by the oncoming Turkish army.  It it these arms from the USA I believe which were used by the heroic Armenians in fighting the Turkish army and saved Armenian lives. 
    My grandfather was Jewish; and Kerensky as most Russians was a little antisemitic, but he was more liberal than Lenin.
     The problem between Israel and Turkey today has to do more with the Kurds, I believe.  Since the war in Iraq, Turkey thinks the USA and Israel are supporting the Kurds.  They may send a flotilla to Gaza; however, I think what really worries them is their domestic problem with the Kurds. 

  32. “What Turkey (and everyone else) has to realise is this. An example…what if the Kurds in Turkey decided (with another country’s help) to lob rockets into Turkish communities on a regular basis…”

    Is this not exactly what PKK does?  Turkey does differentiate between “Kurds” and PKK, and so do most Turks.  Otherwise, with 10-20M Turkish citizens who identify themselves as Kurdish, a massive civil war would be raging by now.  Close to 6K soldiers were killed in the conflict in 30 years, not even counting other security personnel.  Not a week passes recently without more killed.  Imagine Israel losing not nine but thousands of their citizens and soldiers.  I have no idea why Gaza became the corner stone of Turkish regional policy while so many other matters await resolution, but this brutality has no excuse.  These people, even with the possibility of militants mixed among them, were not a threat to Israel directly or indirectly, unarmed and nowehere near Israeli borders, but over 40 shot and nine killed with multiple shots to head and back.  Sometimes murder is murder and it is wrong even when the victims are Muslim or even Turkish.

  33. avatar Antoine Kouchakdjian // June 15, 2010 at 3:20 am // Reply

    David z
    read my comment a few times ,and calmly.
    What you are telling me we already know, reality wise (not playing ostrich) 95 years  nothing happened . we  have lots off promises that they will recognise  the Armenian Genocide.but it has not happen,I am not holding my breath just on promises.AND
    Reference ALL our Armenian organisation and divisions each one  blowing their own horns and on different tunes .and you think that’s not poisoning their young minds? 
     
     

  34. anonymous,
     
    The issue that’s being touched upon here is not whether or not overt or crypto-Jews were part of this or that political establishment or revolutionary force, but that several statesmen or revolutionaries could hardly accomplish grandiose plans (whether benign or sinister) without getting a reverberation in the people’s masses. You don’t have to question about crypto-Jews being part of the Committee on Union and Progress (CUP or Young Turks) that gave orders at race annihilation of the Armenians. It’s well-documented fact that several of the CUP were indeed the Dönmeh, a group of crypto-Jews in the Ottoman Empire, as well as present-day Turkey, who openly affiliate with Islam and secretly practice a form of Judaism called Sabbatean (taken after a fake messiah Sabbatai Zevi). Not only were the the Dönmeh widespread in Salonika (modern Thessaloniki, Greece), but many of them were initiated as freemasons. This is a fact that I could give you tons of references, if you’re interested. Likewise with the Bolsheviks. You’re gravely mistaken in questioning the fact about the Jews being part of the Bolsheviks. The prevailing majority of the Bolshevik leaders that were active before and after the 1917 Russian Revolution, were of Jewish origin. Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein) is just one, most notable of them. This is not to say that other Jews could not be part of the White movement, but the fact that most of the Bolsheviks were, indeed, Jews is an undeniable historical fact. However, I reject the notion that because there were ethnic Jews in the CUP or the Bolshevik party, it was possible to carry out the genocide of the Armenians (whom the Jews, for some unexplainable and wrong reason, consider Amalekites) or the Russian Revolution. My point here is that the CUP or the Bolshevik Party represented the central authority of the Ottoman Turkey and Bolshevik Russia, respectively. It is in their official capacity not given their ethnic background that they carried out projects. Had there not been general animosity towards the Armenians in the Ottoman Turkey or general animosity of Russian peasants and soldiers towards the Tsarist regime and its oppression of the masses, events of such magnitude would have been impossible to carry out.
     
    We don’t principally disagree with each other, but in your case it is not a false statement that the Jews were part of the Bolsheviks. The evidence is overwhelming, although, for me, ethnicity and religiosity have little effect on state policy.

  35. Dear Zaven – I don’t think you can or should underestimate the power of a group of people, no matter how small, to influence outcomes or dictate policy, either thru legal or illegal means.  The masses are largely uninvolved, except on the receiving end. They can be made to feel as if they are involved, but they are often largely manipulated.  The CUP was made up of evil geniuses.  It’s odd how history is so specific about the Nazis…but the Germans, as a people, get off the hook, as if they were something different. Which speaks to my point….in looking at the genocide, its conceptualization and realization, we cannot look to or blame the Turkish people as a group. Psychological studies have shown over and over again that normal, sane people can very quickly and easily be manipulated into inflicting pain or worse on others. Why would that have been any different 100 or more years ago?  Usually, if there is evil at the top, as it was with the CUP or the Nazis, then everyone else, either in fear for their own lives or because they stand to benefit in some way, will follow the leaders. Think of all the rally cries across American against Iraq,  over the last 10 years, although it did nothing to the US.  Millions of people supported the invasion, occupation and creation of millions of refugees…in line w/ the evil triumverate of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  36. Karekin – I don’t underestimate the power of a group of people to influence outcomes or dictate policy. All I’m repeatedly saying is that in the case of  CUP they represented an official authority of Ottoman Turkey, whereas American neo-cons, whom you brought up as an example, are just an unelected, unrepresentative group of ideologists. Am I not making myself clear in terms of a difference between the two? I also believe that if the policy of a certain group—representative or unrepresentative—doesn’t reverberate in masses, the masses won’t largely support it. Despite massive anti-war rallies, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld went ahead, but it doesn’t mean their policy received majoritarian approval from masses. Millions of Americans supported invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, correct. Yet, tens of millions of others, i.e. the majority, opposed it. Have you checked the polls recently?

    Twisting words makes exchange of views unproductive. Nowhere have I mentioned that ‘we… blame the Turkish people as a group.’ We blame the Turkish State that in 1915-1923 was represented by the Young Turk and Kemalist regimes who gave orders at annihilation of the Armenians. Whether some top CUP leaders were crypto-Jews or members of the African tribe of Zulu, doesn’t essentially matter: at the time of mass extermination of the Armenians they represented the official authority of the Ottoman Turkish state. Period.

    I also disagree with the notion that ‘ if there is evil at the top, as it was with the CUP or the Nazis, then everyone else, either in fear for their own lives or because they stand to benefit in some way, will follow the leaders.’ Not all nations are capable of mass murdering fellow human beings belonging to a particular ethnicity and race. Those few who can are well known to the world as genocide-perpetrators: Ottoman Turks, Nazi Germans, Khmer Rouge Cambodians, Hutus, and Sudanese, are amongst them.
     
    The Turkish State has committed a crime against humanity by wiping out the Western Armenian civilization, and the Turkish State will be held responsible for the crime. Armenians will never cease their struggle for justice. This is for sure.

  37. Murat…even though I may not have worded it properly and used a not so great example, I think you can follow what I am getting at. Sure, Turkey is only protecting its own people from the PKK , and so is Israel trying to protect its own people from Hamas and others. Both sides (Turkey and Israel) can be held guilty of some pretty heavy handed and criminal acts. So for Turkey to come out and act all indignant and condemn Israel for what it has done, it should look a little more closer to home. There’s more than a strong stench of hypocrisy floating about in the air. Any Arab true to themselves and the truth would know this, but who’s going to knock back the support.
     
    Even if it is coming from their former colonial masters.
     

  38. Zaven….The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (Turkish: İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti) began as a secret society established as the “Committee of Ottoman Union” (Turkish: İttihad-ı Osmanî Cemiyeti) in 1889 by the medical students İbrahim Temo, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti and Hüseyinzade Ali. It was transformed into a political organization by Bahaeddin Sakir aligning itself with the Young Turks in 1906, during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire that carried out the Armenian Genocide. The CUP came to power between 1908 and 1918.
    At the end of World War I most of its members were court-martialled by the sultan Mehmed VI and imprisoned. A few of the members of the organization were executed in Turkey after trial for the attempted assassination of Atatürk in 1926. Members who survived continued their political careers in Turkey as members of the Republican People’s Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) and in other political parties as well.

  39. “America’s Secret War Against Bolshevism,” U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920, by David S. Foglesong. ”
    Nativism, Antisemitism, Racism and Anti-Bolshevism.  “Jewish immigrants were linked to bolshevism in a particularly virulent strain of nativism. ” In 1918, Russian monarchist military officers brought with them the “Protocols of Zion” (which even Putin does not believe) purported belief that there was a Jewish plan for world domination through financial control, war and revolution; and the naive and prejudiced and also NATIVE WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANT State Dept. believed it, and Wilson was just as prejudiced.  USA was afraid of bolshevism coming to the USA; that is why they sent any arms to the whites; they felt it was an internal threat to the USA also (and as a consequence, many social programs were put into effect to prevent bolshevism from coming here as early as 1894). 
    Wilson and the State Dept. were native americans, who didn’t believe in the mixing of races; at the same time they were sending arms to the white Russians, they were lynching the “niggers.” 
    Wilson half-heartedly intervened in WWI.  They wanted to fight Bolshevism, which they considered anti-religion and socialism; and thought that it would pass.  The book questions whether Wilson should have intervened at all in WWI; he could have intervened and overthrown the Bolsheviks, or left them along.  Intervention led to 7 decades of Russian mistrust of americans and bolstered the bolsheviks according to this book.
    Jews part of a bolshevik conspiracy. No, they weren’t.  My grandfather and many higher ups helped the mencheviks. 
    President Wilson’s idea of democracy would be considered strange to us today; it did not include minorities and women; and no programs for socialism.  What is Wilson’s democracy that Bush was trying to export.  God help us from these native americans. 

  40. anonymous,

    You wrote: ‘Jews part of a Bolshevik conspiracy. No, they weren’t.’
     
    They most probably weren’t, nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that the majority of high-ranking Bolshevik revolutionaries were Jews. The issue that’s been brought up here was whether or not we should emphasize the ethnicity of revolutionaries, whether in the Young Turk CUP or Russian Bolshevik parties or perceive them as the major state/political force at the time. I believe that whoever they were—Jews, Zulus of Africa, or Australian aborigines—these regimes must be perceived as regimes representing their respective states. Therefore, genocide of the Armenians is what it is: race annihilation of Ottoman Armenians by the Turkish State represented at the time by the Committee on Union and Progress, i.e. the government of Ottoman Turkey from 1909 to 1918. Likewise in Russia, revolution was carried out by the Bolshevik party who soon thereafter became the state authority. It is misleading and potentially perilous to single out the ethnicity of some of the members of various ruling regimes, disregarding the socio-economic, demographic, domestic political, and international environment at the time when the Armenian Genocide or the Russian Revolution occurred.

  41. Karekin… What exactly these widely known facts demonstrate? I’d add to these Wikipedia-like facts that many of the CUP leaders were also initiated to freemasonry in Salonika before coming to power in Constantinople. But how do these facts support your argument that it was several crypto-Jews in the CUP that actually perpetrated the genocide of the Armenians? How do these facts argue against my counterargument that regardless what ethnicity, religious beliefs, or secret affiliation some of the CUP leaders might have had, they still represented the official government of Turkey that gave orders at annihilation of the Armenians? They officially represented the Turkish State notwithstanding who some of them ethnically were. CUP’s governors, city mayors, village administrations that involved in deporting, looting, and mass murdering the Armenians were ethnic Turks. Their army commanders, soldiers, gendarmes, and chettehs were ethnic Turks. Their criminals released from prisons with the aim of massacring the death-marching Armenians were ethnic Turks. People who assisted the authorities in identifying the Armenians and then settling in their homes were ethnic Turks. People who envied trade, economic, and financial prowess of the Armenians were ethnic Turks. How is it possible to single out one fact about ethnicity of some of the CUP leaders and completely discount the atmosphere of revenge for Turkish losses in the Balkans for which Armenians were held scapegoats? How is it possible to discount the fact that despite being an oppressed millet, Armenians held roughly 80% of the Ottoman banking business, were successful in trade and commerce, arts and literature, architecture and education—all raising envy and resentment of the ethnic group that was supposed to be dominant in the country—the Turks? How is it possible to discount what even a notorious genocide-denier Bernard Lewis, who sold his soul to the Turks, has indicated as, perhaps. the major reason for the annihilation of the Armenians? In The Emergence of Modern Turkey he wrote:


    For the Turks, the Armenian [national liberation] movement was the deadliest of all threats. From the conquered lands of the Serbs, Bulgars, Albanians, and Greeks, they could, however reluctantly, withdraw, abandoning distant provinces and bringing the Imperial frontier nearer home. But the Armenians, stretching across Turkey-in-Asia from the Caucasian frontier to the Mediterranean coast, lay in the very heart of the Turkish homeland—and to renounce these lands would have meant not the truncation, but the dissolution of the Turkish state.
     
    There are no monosyllabic answers to historical events.

  42. Yes, Zaven…and the US will attack Iran of it’s own accord….?  I think not…..be willing to pull back the curtain and see who the puppeteer is…avoiding that or ignoring it is just being naive.

  43. avatar Antoine Kouchakdjian // June 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm // Reply

    Dear Armenians.
    Richard Ohanian comment of the 10 June 2010 ,his asking are WE innovative enough?a genuine question.read his article .
    My responce is that some of our Organisations and organisers don’t even know the word INNOVATIVE means,and  people put their for a particular job,have neither the time nor the knowledge. remember.we are 2010,some of our organisers ways of thinking have not change at all,my ten cents worth.
    What  say you all on this issue.ARE  WE  AND OUR ORGANISERS  INOVATIVE ENOUGH? 
    See if you can give us a few innovate new ideas?

  44. I’m confused, Karekin. Were we discussing the possible U.S. attack on Iran here? Calling a person naïve as you unwisely did in regard to me and being essentially Turkophilic as your comments clearly indicate are two different things. I understand that supranational and supragovernmental sinister forces are at play behind the curtains. But how does that relate to the fact who in practice commits a crime? In the case of the genocide of the Armenians, the Turkish State committed the crime. Legally, would you be able to demand justice from whoever might or might not be behind the Young Turks’ actions? No, because those supragovernmental sinister forces, those sons of b**** like freemasons and the illuminati, generally mud the waters covertly, like cowards. Therefore, in practice it is the Turkish State that’s committed the mass murder and the Turkish State will pay the price for the crime. If the U.S. attacks Iran (which I personally think won’t happen because Iranians are not Iraqis, their retaliation will be brutal and severe) then the U.S. government will be responsible for the crime, just like the U.S. government is responsible for the invasion of Iraq regardless who might or might not pulled the strings from behind.

  45. “How is it possible to discount the fact that despite being an oppressed millet, Armenians held roughly 80% of the Ottoman banking business, were successful in trade and commerce, arts and literature, architecture and education…”

    Now here is an excellent example of an oxymoron.  Maybe road to successs goes through “oppression” and we can expect anytime now Palestinians to take over the arts and sciences and finance in Israel!

  46. Zaven…you seem like a smart guy, so you should know very well that it is very, very rare that states or governments are ever held liable for illegal actions. Most often and in practice, it is the individuals who ran the state apparatus who are dragged into court and held accountable, not a state and not a government, because the legal requirements in international law are rather stiff, if not impossible.  Even more, when it comes to a long defunct government, whether it be that of the Ottoman Empire or the temporary govt of the Young Turks, good luck. If you want to wage that lawsuit, I wish you luck, as you’ll need it. This is why those who appeared at Nuremberg were individuals, not the state of Germany, and most were executed for their crimes. And, even if there were a legal judgement against the Ottoman Empire at this point, then what?  That would have as much viability as a judgement against the Roman Empire.  So, try to be realistic. 

  47.  
    I see a lot of paranoia here about Jews and Israel. As if the Young Turks were Jews, etc. Yes, there were some Jews among them but they were marginal in influence by 1914. As to the Donmeh, the originally Sabbataean followers of Shabtai Zvi who converted to Islam with their false messiah leader in the 17th century, they were not part of the Jewish community in the Ottoman Empire and do not identify with us Jews now. Further, the claim that we are being unkind to the Arabs now fashionably called “palestinians” [who never existed as a separate, distinct people in all history] is based on ignorance and distortion. Don’t forget that the Armenians [as the daredevils of Sassoun] were accused by  Turks of massacring  them.  Yes, there were  Armenians  whom the Turks called Fedayun who killed Turks in retaliation. Do you mean that we don’t have the right to defend ourselves from mass murder perpetrated by Arabs??What happened on the Mavi Marmara was that Turkish thugs hired by and inspired by the jihadist IHH mobbed the Israeli commandos who came down a rope one by one from a helicopter, assuming that those on board were pacifists. Haven’t you seen the videos of the Turkish goons on board attacking the first few soldiers who came down the rope?? The IHH worked closely with the Turkish govt of Erdogan. Don’t you know that?
    See this video for some satiric reality.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmffgIqlAYA
    I’m fed up with the hypocrisy of the Europeans, the US GOVT of Obama, of the Arabs and of most of your commenters.

  48. Hey, Murat, you seem to be good at just one thing on these pages: taking words out of context and then making your unintelligent and narrow-minded, remarks on them. Despite being oppressed and heavily burdened by taxes and unjust laws, Armenians succeeded in trade and commerce, arts and literature, architecture and education because of their natural wit, cultural superiority, and industriousness, and not because in your filthy empire, where all dominance was given to Muslims, ther was a freedom and equal civil rights for everyone regardless ethnicity and religious beliefs. Didin’t you know this? Then go get educated a bit. ‘Maybe road to success goes through “oppression”, ha-ha, what a typically Turkish mentality: oppression, repression, murders, tortures, genocides.

  49. Your invitation to be realistic is taken, Karekin. You seem like a smart guy, too, although overly Turkophilic, I’m afraid, so you should know very well that there was no German Third Reich at the time of Nuremberg trials, just as there was no Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time of International Court of Justice’ verdicts for Milosevic and several of his accomplices. Most importantly, there was no Young Turk Ottoman state at the time of Turkish martial courts’ verdict in 1919, where several notorious Young Turk mass murderers were tried in absentia. The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide declares genocide a crime under international law and the prescribed punishment for the crime is ‘not subject to the limitations of time and place.’ Did you know that? Although the above-mentioned states were defunct, in all three cases the verdicts were brought in against, as you correctly stated, individuals who ‘ran the state apparatus,’ but punishing genocide perpetrator state in the courts is not the only Armenian objective. The objective is to invite Turkey, as a successor state of the Ottoman Empire and the Young Turk regime, to admit the guilt for the crime against humanity. For that, there’s a plethora of various tools. History knows many cases when heads of states or governments offered apology on behalf of defunct states or regimes. Nazis ran the Third Reich state apparatus in late 1930s-early 1940s, but that didn’t prevent West German Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1970 to fall to his knees to express the guilt, sorrow, and responsibility of Germany for the Jewish Holocaust. German President Johannes Rau reaffirmed apologies before the Israeli parliament in 2000. Does this seem unrealistic to you? Here’s many other such facts in case this one didn’t suffice you:
    In 1988 the Civil Liberties Act apologized on behalf of the government of the U.S. for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
    In 1990 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev admitted the Soviet Union was responsible for the 1940 massacre of thousands of Polish POWs at the Katyn forest.
    In 1990 the East German parliament issues an apology for Nazi crimes and says it is willing to pay reparations and to seek ties with Israel.
    In 1993 Japanese Prime Minister Hosokawa conveyed apologies for the fact that Japan’s past acts of aggression and colonial rule caused unbearable suffering and sorrow for many people.
    In 1993 South African President F.W. de Klerk apologized for Apartheid.
    In 1995 Russian government offered apologies and unveils a monument to the millions of victims of Stalin’s purges during the Soviet regime.
    In 1997 Russian President Boris Yeltsin apologized for the mistakes and great loss of life during the Bolshevik Revolution.
    In 1998 The Canadian government formally apologized for its mistreatment of indigenous peoples.
    In 1999 two former Khmer Rouge leaders apologized to the Cambodian people for the nearly 2 million people killed from 1975 to 1979.
     
    In 1999 Australian Prime Minister John Howard apologized for mistreatment and mass killings of Aborigines.
     
    In 1999 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak expressed sympathy and regret for the suffering of the Palestinian people.
    In 2001 Indonesia president visited the troubled province of Aceh and says she was sorry for mistakes by past governments in the region’s separatist war that has left tens of thousands dead.
    In 2002 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein apologized for invading Kuwait in August, 1990.
    You can wish ‘good luck’ to the Armenians in obtaining an apology from the Turkish government, but however ‘sincerely’ you wish us good luck, the apology WILL happen and during your lifetime. With the same token I wish you ‘good luck’ in hoping that it won’t.

  50. I agree with Eliyahu. As an Armenian, I’m also aware that there were probably just as many Armenian and Greek traitors who sold out their own people.Blaming the Jews for what the Turks and Kurds did is wrong. The Ottoman Empire was based on divided and conquer and Armenians, Greek, and Jews still suffer from this. And yes, the Israelis have the right to defend themselves from Islamist thugs
    Murat, Armenian were successful in commerce despite the Turks and not because of them. Similar to Jews in Russia, Germany, Poland, etc prior to both the Russian Revolution and then the Holocaust.

  51. Yes, perhaps the Ottoman Jews were of limited influence and importance….but the donmeh are/were quite another thing…Shall we go thru the list of key donmeh figures in Turkey?  The list would quite long and include quite important including key members of the CUP (i.e, its founders), and those who ordered the genocide, along with quite a few later on as well. The difficult part is that donmeh, by definition, are secretive about their affiliation, but please don’t underestimate their role in the Armenian genocide, because that would be like saying the neo-cons had no role in the US invasion of Iraq.

  52. I want to bring to your attention that some of the most important witnesses to the Armenian genocide and some of the most important transmitters of such information were Jews and Zionists. Besides Ambassador Morgenthau, there was the NILI spy groups of Jews from Israel, Zionists, who were very instrumental in getting info about the massacres to the British. Sarah Aaronsohn took a train from Constantinople to her home in Haifa and witnessed the forced marches, the corpses of the starving, etc. Eitan Belkind was on the Euphrates near Deir ez-Zor. See some of his observations at the links below. Sarah’s brother Aaron wrote a report for the British called Pro-Armenia. The British didn’t act on it but that was not Aaron’s fault. He also was in touch with the Armenian delegation at the Versailes conference and urged them to declare an independent state as soon as possible.

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2008/05/activist-zionists-armenian-genocide-in.html

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2008/05/activist-zionists-armenian-genocide.html

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2008/07/armenian-genocide-german-role-in-it-as.html

    I thank Joseph for his understanding.

    Karekin claims that “Iran has not threatened anyone.” Iran led by A-jad threatens Israel about once a week or more.

    Carl believes that the Turks are the Arabs’ “former colonial masters.” In fact, many Arabs held high posts in the Ottoman state, including Arab belonging to notable families the Land of Israel. These sons of notable families who held high posts include Husseinis, Khalidis, and Abdul-Hadis. Both the Turkish nationalist historian Ziya Gok Alp and the Arab historian Zeine N Zeine believed that the Ottoman Empire was a Turkish-Arab empire in which the majority of  Arabs, as Sunni Muslims, held a status on a level with the Turks.

  53. Karekin… I believe I already pointed out to the difference between CUP that in its ranks had several crypto-Jews or the Donmeh, and American neo-cons, but you’re still advancing these two incomparable cases. Listen, CUP was the supreme authority, the official government of Turkey at the time of the Armenian genocide. Whether some of them were Jews or Zulus doesn’t matter: they represented the highest authority, a legitimate government of Turkey. It is this government that ordered race annihilation of the Armenians. Why are you concentrating so heavily on a few Donmeh? Stalin was a Georgian, should we say that all Georgian nation is to blame for purges? Bloody Sultan Abdul Hamid II was half-Armenian, but he massacred up to 300,000 Ottoman Armenians. What is it according to your mentality? A self-massacre? The majority of the Bolsheviks were Jews, shall we put the blame on the whole Jewish nation for the widespread atrocities, the Red Terror, that the Bolsheviks unleashed? I fully agree with Eliyahu: individuals of a certain ethnicity cannot be blamed for the crime committed by a government. This is a typical Nazi approach that we, Armenians, never had and will never have with regard to the Jews. Jews are an archetype nation, a greatly suffered nation that is close to the Armenian fate. Our only frustration with the Jews is that as victims of the Holocaust, Jews might be expected to stand beside the Armenians and their genocide that occurred earlier.

  54. Eliyahu…yes, that might be the case. But it hardly qualifies the Arab states as being anything other than colonial vassals of the Ottoman Empire, or any of its previous incarnations. Just because some members from those states happen to be in high and privileged positions doesn’t make them any less a vassal than it would’ve been if a poor man/woman had’ve attained those positions. Many Indian families attained privileged positions in the British Raj, many were also in those positions before the Raj, but that didn’t give them the rights as equal citizens of the regime. Ask the ordinary person in the street what they thought of the Ottoman Turk, and what they Turk thought of them. Most small minorities that managed to attain privileged positions usually do it through either being in those positions within their own societies prior to occupation or weasel their way into power through graft, corruption or outright betrayal of their own people….in effect, quislings.  You have to be careful about taking the words of historians as gospel, simply because they usually have ulterior motives for writing what they do. History is almost invariably written from the perspective of the victors, or from the opinions of one person writing in hindsight. The problem with that is the perspective invariably becomes skewed and much of the original detail becomes either lost or morphed into something else that it was never intended to be.
     

  55. The nature of antisemitism is that everyone thinks the Jews are all communists, just as the nature of prejudice against Italians is the Italians are all mafia, just the as the nature of prejudice against the Germans is the Germans are all nazis.
    This prejudice against Jews was propagated a lot by the antisemitic Russians; that a Jew could get in high places has always been the case’ and they were called “court Jews.” but they led a precarious life.  
    As for Italians, only a small portion of them are mafia; and not all Germans are nazis, esp. in the USA where they fought their own people in WWII.
    Jews in the USA have constantly to fight this prejudice that says they are all communists (bolsheviks).  My family came from orthodox Jews and the ones in Israel are religious.   The religious and secular people are fighting everywhere in the world now.  Should we become a world of religious extremists, like in Iran, for instance, or should we battle to keep moderates in control.  Prejudice against Jews exists in Iran, Turkey, etc.  In fact, in Turkey they have always disliked the Zionists (Zionists conspiracy theories) and that prominent Jewish people were able to intervene and save some Jews in Turkey and the Ottoman Empire before they were murdered like the Armenians is why they weren’t exterminated also.  Even in friendly Morroco that saved the Jews from the Inquisition, I read that the King ordered a pogrom against the Zionists.  

     

  56. anonymous,
     
    Not everyone thinks the Jews are all communists, just like not everyone thinks that Turkish crypto-Jews, the Sabbateans, were the instigators of the Armenian Genocide. On these pages you’ve seen many Armenians who denounced, and I believe, honestly so, any attempts to equate the Jewish nation with a few crypto-Jews in the Young Turk government or many Jews in the communist Bolshevik government. Armenians generally consider the Jews as an archetype nation both in terms of being one of the most ancient nations in the world and having a similar tragic page in their history such as race annihilation. Like I said before, our only frustration with the Jews is that, as victims of the Holocaust, Jews might be expected to stand beside the Armenians and be the first to recognize the genocide that occurred much earlier than the Shoah.
     
    Also, please refrain from using the term ‘anti-Semitism’ as antagonistic attitude or prejudice against Jews only. Arabs, too, are a Semitic people, therefore the term should be narrowed to ‘anti-Jewish’ or ‘anti-Jewishness.’

  57. This is ridicules, this column has been turned to a Ping Pong game, if the guy who called us “Uneducated” and the rest of those participants want to educate us then thank you very much I don’t know why I should know that someone’s “Jewish grandfather was friend with a Menshevik who was less Anti-Semitic” if this makes you proud and solves some of your complexes just be aware that we are not guilty of anything to be punished with such worthless information; I didn’t know that there is a measuring unit for something virtual like this; that would be educational for me to read; otherwise I’m suggesting  “The Armenian Weekly” to delete this article and give us a break from this nonsense.           

  58. Thank you Zaven. 

  59. I am really sorry I have offended you or troubled you with non information.  I shouldn’t post here. 
    I read the articles in the Armenian Weekly with interest.  I don’t think this article, which is a good one, should be deleted.
    I have only one thing to say to Zaven, who I like, and that is after reading the article by the psychologist who deals with ethnic conflicts, and who discussed the Jews and Israel after the Holocaust, is that I abstraced from the article that the Jews in Israel have become ethnocentric.  Zaven is frustrated they don’t feel his pain.  Having Armenian relatives and being Jewish, I am familiar with what happened to the Armenians.  Many Jews in Israel really don’t know what happened; and the Israelis have become ethnocentric like every other country. 
    Ethnocentrism and ethnic conflict, the “clash of civilizations” is very real. 
    I don’t want to say more because I think many of you are not interested in what I have to say.  I am just better understanding things.  That may be a personal matter and not of interest to you.  I apologize.  But to Zaven, I ask you to read the article by the psychologist about Israel after the Holocaust.  This psychologist is an expert in the Israel/Palestine conflict.  You have to understand ethnocentrism and how we have to overcome it to resolve conflicts.

  60. I have one more thing to say.  I want to refer you to the article by Andriani:”Echoes of the Past: Some of the Underlying Nuances of Holocaust Trauma in Israel,” in Armenian Weekly, June 3, 2010.
    I am interested in ethnic conflicts and how to resolve them.  My relatives live in Israel;they all lost relatives in the Holocaust. I also have relatives who are Armenian genocide survivors.
    I am truly amazed at what goes on in Israel.  I read Haaretz everyday.  I am becoming familiar with many books and studies mentioned in the Adriani article which they have read already.  I was truly glad to read this article in Armenian Weekly, of all places. 
    It may take a psychiatrist to heal ethnic conflicts.  The article by Adriani plus articles I read in Haaretz have enabled me to understand some of what is happening and why in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
    I can only explain it to the Armenians as ethnocentrism.  Every tribe and country is ethnocentric; and it has to be overcome to resolve conflicts. 
    Even Meretz party which will be bringing up the Armenian genocide in Knesset is ethnocentric Zionist.  Sorry Zaven, if that is what is bothering the Armenian people.  I am sure Meretz have good intentions, but ethnocentrism causes misunderstandings between people. 

  61. Look…as much as people might want to equate the Jewish experience w/ that of the Armenians, they are fundamentally not the same for a number of reasons. The main difference is that Armenians were turned into refugees and foreigners ON THEIR OWN LAND and murdered there by the millions  by any number of invaders – the most recent being the Turks. The only comparison is probably that of the native Americans, but not the Jews.  Sadly, while the Holocaust was a Christian, German, European event, lots of people who had nothing to do with it are being made to pay the price. The Palestinians are first on that list, but let’s not forget others who have and are being accused of all kinds of hateful behaviors in the face of horrific actions by Israel.  One by one, the list expands…and if you are not totally 100% with Israel, then you are seen as being against them…and some kind of terrorist. Yet, these stones are being thrown from a glass house that has lots of blood on it. Armenians have not behaved that way and considering the lifesaving help given to them by the Arabs, Persians and others….I hope they never forget who their friends have been over the last 100 years. Donmeh or not, the major Jewish organizations have acted against Armenians very consistently…if you can defend them in the face of this kind of behavior, something is very wrong. If the tables were turned, you would never be forgiven…believe me.  

  62. “Anonymous”,
    You did it again and said “I am just better understanding things”.
    That was a very self-conceited and arrogant comment, you are suppose to write about the subject not to promote yourself and your family; It looks like something is missing in your life and that’s the recognition by others;  in ancient cultures; like Armenian, Hindu and Persian cultures;  wise people never brag about themselves, and even there is a saying about this which says “Those branches carrying more fruit lean down more” that means you should be humble and wait, if others notice enough fruit on you eventually will recognize you.
    In my previous comment I tried to explain the same thing but in other language.
    Be humble like a fruitful tree and don’t worry; when people taste your fruit and like it then will recognize you, because recognition is not a right it’s privilege.

  63. No, Osik.  It is not missing in my life.  Some of my relatives from Israel just went to Nepal to work with the poor.  I have given to children in Armenia through World Vision.  I am trying to explain to you the concept of ethnocentrism is what keeps nations apart. You have to change the way children are taught in Turkey, Israel, USA and Russia to not be ethnocentric in order for nations to get along and avoid war.
    I get along with people of other cultures and enjoy studying them.

  64. Perhaps it might be ‘ethnocentrism’ that keeps peoples apart, but let’s not forget some very real and tangible things like WALLS.  Building physical walls is the most obvious sign that one group of people wants to keep others out. There is a very long tradition of this behavior among Jews, particularly the orthodox, and it comes in the form of an ‘eruv’…which is, in fact, a wall, real or invisible.  Bottom line…this is not an ‘inclusive’ thing…it is exclusive, by design, and when this concept is part of your religious tradition, it’s very hard to shake it. The result is that all kinds of walls get built or psychologically created, boundaries, if you will…that create animosity and division amongst peoples.  Instead of walls, how about a totally open society and mindset?

  65. Where did you guys find this buzz word “Ethnocentrism” from?   The good old “Discrimination” is the mother of all these new words, but I should admit this one sounds more Sexy!  
    What about calling some food Kosher and some not Kosher or calling some people “Najis” and some not “Najis”; are those “Ethnocentrism” too? Because I personally had the experience; being a Christian some of my Muslim classmates and neighbors were calling us and Jews “Najis”; and none of Jews were eating our and Muslim’s food because it wasn’t Kosher, but to be honest I should say the later group still continues even more modern ways; that is Kosher labeling but from Muslims I haven’t heard calling us “Najis” lately.

    (As they say “This is a true story”, is not a fabrication and I hope it doesn’t constitute Anti-Semitism)

  66. Karekin, yes, an `eruv” is an invisible wall. What is done is to put wire or cord around poles and/or buildings to mark off an area in which certain things can be carried without the violating the regular prohibition on carrying things on the Sabbath. So an `eruv is really not a wall at all. So why do you claim that is a kind of wall?? The wire or cord is high above the ground and does not interfere with anyone’s movement.
    More seriously, you seem unaware that the Land of Israel, called by the Greeks and Romans Judea [IVDAEA in Latin; IOUDAIA in Greek] or Provincia Iudaea, was the homeland of the Jews [Ioudaioi in Greek]. Even the Christian New Testament calls the country “Land of Israel” [book of Matthew, chap 2, verses 20-21]. Verse
    22 of Matthew 2, calls the country Judea. Multitudes of Jews were taken prisoner in the Roman suppression of the great Jewish revolts and taken into exile. The Romans excluded Jews from Jerusalem after they had suppressed the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE.
    Other Jews went into exile because of later oppression by the Arab/Muslim conquerors.
    So in this way the Armenians resemble the Jews, that is, both peoples lost all or part of their homelands.

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