Azerbaijan is Hosting a Hanukkah Party at Trump Tower

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev (left) with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Baku on Dec. 13
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev (left) with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Baku on Dec. 13

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev (left) with Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Baku on Dec. 13


Prominent Jewish Groups to Boycott

A day after a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Baku, where he proclaimed ties between his country and Azerbaijan as a beacon of “Jewish-Muslim Coexistence,” the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington is hosting a Hanukkah party at the newly-christened Trump Tower,  a stone’s throw away from the White House.

But not everyone is in a celebratory mood for a “Hanukkah party celebrating religious freedom and diversity” cohosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. In fact, several American Jewish organizations, among them the ADL—Anti-Defamation League—are boycotting the event, calling it a “tone deaf”  because of the choice of venue or  “unthinkable”  due to Azerbaijan’s abhorrent human rights record.

“Your decision to hold a ‘party’ with the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan implicitly legitimizes a corrupt country where freedoms have been suppressed ,” said Peter Pepper and Ann Roback president and executive director, respectively, of Workmen’s Circle, one of the Jewish organizations boycotting the event, in  conference’s executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.

Other groups have cited President-Elect Donald Trump’s statements, which they say are anti-Semitic, as the reason for the boycott.

But the main question is: Why is Azerbaijan, a Shiite Muslim country, hosting a Hanukkah party in the nation’s capital.

In an article entitled, “Israeli Arms Sales, Big Oil and the Mossad: Why Is Azerbaijan Hosting a Hanukkah Party at Trump Hotel?” posted on  on Wednesday cited several factors, including a Wikileaks revelation that the two countries’ relations stem from similar “geopolitical difficulties.”

“Binding the two countries together on a practical level are the massive sales of Israeli-made weapons and defense systems that Aliyev alluded to, crucial to his country’s ongoing border conflict with Armenia,” wrote Allison Kaplan Sommer and Taly Krupkin in the Haaretz article.

“For its part, in addition to benefitting from the sales, Israel is heavily dependent on the Azeris in the field of energy. Azerbaijan is one of Israel’s largest suppliers of oil and gas,” added Haaretz.

The article also cites a 2009 US State Department cable from Wikileaks, which notes that “each country finds it easy to identify with the other’s geopolitical difficulties and both rank Iran as an existential security threat. Israel’s world-class defense industry with its relaxed attitude about its customer base is a perfect match for Azerbaijan’s substantial defense needs that are largely left unmet by the United States, Europe and Russia for various reasons tied to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Haaretz says commentators see US-Azerbaijani relations as the main reason for this gesture by Baku.

“Azerbaijan spends millions each year lobbying the American government – but every little bit helps and a friendly Hanukkah party in the Trump International Hotel certainly can’t hurt,” said Haaretz.

“It is an unspoken, but commonly acknowledged reality that many countries nurture their relationship to Israel in hopes of finding favor with influential American Jewish organizations who will in turn speak well of them to the U.S. government. The Conference of Presidents visited Baku last March and met with Aliyev,” added Haaretz.

When Azerbaijan overtly and blatantly used weapons it purchased from Israel against Armenian military and civilian targets during the April war, it engaged Israel as a player in the complicated Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Tel Aviv’s traditionally anti-Armenian posturing, coupled with the fact the both Israel and Azerbaijan have a common regional foe in Iran, makes it easier for Israel to slither its way into the Karabakh conflict.

At the same time, with Trump’s election last month, Azerbaijan’s paid mouth pieces are increasing their presence in conservative and right-wing circles and have already begun spewing their anti-Armenian banter in various publications that have a wide conservative following.

One such piece authored by the Azeri oil-lubed Jason Katz was published before Thanksgiving in

“President-elect Trump, owing nothing to the Armenian-American lobby, yet on record as having positive views vis a vis Azerbaijan, may take his characteristically pragmatic, national interest-based approach to Nagorno-Karabakh and move the conflict to finality,” said Katz, in an apparent advise to Trump and his advisers.

Aside from an official yet tacit rebuke of Israel for selling arms to Azerbaijan, Armenia’s policy vis-à-vis Israel has mainly focused on establishing relations with Israel, whose ambassador to Armenia operates out of Tbilisi. It is time for Yerevan to take a closer look at this unholy alliance of Israel and Azerbaijan and rethink its diplomatic overtures to Tel Aviv, as it is becoming deeply engaged in Karabakh—a matter that does not concern the Jewish State.

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  1. serop said:

    Both Israel & Azerbaijan are artificial states built on the blood & misery of its true owners
    Both are oppressive apartheid states
    They compliment each other well

  2. Ararat said:

    The birds of a feather flock together. Two war criminals are meeting to discuss business. Actually, I prefer to call this the meeting of an Israeli pimp with his pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani prostitute to drum up business. The Israeli leaders have no morals whatsoever and the only thing they care about is to exploit conflicts around the world toward their own political aims and to profit from them financially at the same time.

    Israel, under the false pretense of “friendly” relations is using the proximity of the artificial state of Azerbaijan to its arch-enemy Iran, as well as taking advantage of adversary relations between Iran and Azerbaijan, to establish secret military bases right next door to Iran for possible future attack on Iran, as they did on Iraq back in the 1980s, to take out their nuclear reactors in return for selling Azerbaijan arms, without any regard that they will without a doubt be used against the Armenians, to profit from and to get cheap Caspian oil and most likely in dirt-cheap prices.

    The Israelis are not stupid not to know who those weapons, they sell to Azerbaijan, will be used against. The weapons purchased from Israel can not and will not be used against Iran because if Azerbaijan ever tries something like that it will pay a very heavy price. Naturally, the Israelis know those weapons will be used against none other than against the Armenians and could care less about this which is consistent with their deliberate refusal to acknowledge the genocide of the Armenians at the hands of Azerbaijan’s criminal collaborator Turkey which in the past the Israelis have put to work, on behalf of genocidal Turkey, their agents in the US government to deny the 1915 genocide.

    Refusing to recognize the Armenian Genocide and helping Turkey deny it is another form of business for the Israelis in the sense that by doing so they monopolize on genocide victimhood thus getting billions in free tax-payer money from the US government every year to advance their cause and use it to develop more lethal weapons to sell to states in conflict to benefit from. Shame on Israel for stooping so low for not only benefiting from other people’s miseries but also turning the past suffering of its own people into big business.

    Not that I think it is a wise idea but I would like to see how Israel reacts if Armenia announces it will sell the Palestinians, and their affiliates, weapons in billions of dollars without any regard that they will be used against none other than Israel itself and its civilians. Let’s give Netanyahu a reality check by giving him a big dose and a bitter taste of his own medicine for once and let him taste how it feels to benefit financially from killing innocent civilians by weapons he sold to our arch-enemy.

  3. vartan said:


  4. Ari said:

    Having suffered a similar historical faith, both in theory and practice Israel should be one of Armenia’s closest allies. However, due to its false security misconceptions and for economic reasons, even the most pragmatic and respected Israeli politicians like Shimon Peres have always chosen to side with the Turks and even dare to deny publicly the Armenian Genocide.

    What are these Jews thinking? Are they so naive to think that corrupt dictators like Aliyev or the Islamist Nationalist governments of the Turkish Republic are or will remain reliable friends?

    To all Middle East dictators and governments, non-Muslim nationalities do not have a right to exist unless they are ruled by Muslims. This notion of superiority over other faiths has been the reason behind centuries of slave-like treatment of non-Muslims (called sharia law) in the Middle East or anywhere where Muslims have ever controlled.
    Allah says it so very clearly in Quran and no one has the right to dispute Allah’s will. These beliefs are ingrained into veins of every Muslim before they are 6 years old.

    Go luck our Jewish friends!

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