Anti-Armenian flyers were found taped on light poles around the complex that houses the St. Mary’s Armenian Church and the Krikor and Mariam Karamanoukian Glendale Youth Center in Glendale on Friday. The flyer denied the Armenian Genocide and expressed that Israel “fully supports” it completion. The posting of the racist flyer drew condemnation from city and state officials, as well as the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region.
The flyer said: “Never Again Does Not Apply to Goyim” — a Hebrew reference to non-Jews. The racist messaging on the flyer also claims that “Israel our Azeri-Turk brothers to complete the Genocide.” The message is simply signed “Rabbi.”
The Glendale Police Department said it was investigating the incident.
Kassakhian, the Glendale mayor, called a press conference in front of the Glendale Police Department and condemned the act as “unconscionable and intolerable.”
“[We] continue to witness the efforts by hate groups today which continue to promote the atrocious act of genocide right here in the city of Glendale, home to one of the largest Armenian communities in the United States,” Kassakhian said in a statement.
Kassakhian added that those posting the anonymous flyers were “undoubtedly emboldened” by Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide and by the blockade in Artsakh.
“The ANCA Western Region strongly condemns the hate speech directed at the Armenian community in Glendale, and our nation worldwide,” said ANCA-Western Region Coalition and Community Development Director Edward Barsoumian during remarks delivered at the press conference on Friday.
“The posting of hate flyers at the headquarters of the Armenian Cultural Foundation in Glendale and the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church comes on the back of the arson attack and vandalism in San Francisco on an Armenian church and school, the vandalism of our Armenian schools and institutions here in Southern California, and similar hate flyers posted in Beverly Hills–on the eve of the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and in the midst of an illegal blockade imposed by Azerbaijan against the 120,000 Armenians in Artsakh whose very existence hangs in the balance,” Barsoumian emphasized, referencing the posting of similar flyers in Beverly Hills in January ahead of an Armenian Youth Federation demonstration to protest Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh.
“We hope the Glendale Police Department’s investigation into this heinous incident delivers better results than the one delivered by the Beverly Hills Police Department in identifying and exposing the persons or groups that are inciting another genocide against the Armenian nation,” added Barsoumian added.
After weeks of claiming to investigate the flyer incident in January, the Beverly Hills Police Department concluded that the flyers, which threatened to “Wipe Armenia Off the Map” were protected by the First Amendment.
“On the foreign policy front, the Biden administration must confront Aliyev’s genocidal campaign against the Armenians of Artsakh and on the domestic front, our local governments must do better to protect the Armenian communities across California and the country at large. The only path forward for our community is by standing together against hate in all its forms,” added Barsoumian.
“Flyers posted in Glendale denying the Armenian Genocide or calling for its completion are an affront to the innocent men, women, and children murdered by the Ottoman Empire. And deeply painful to their descendants. We condemn this hatred and incitement in the strongest terms. Violence and hate have no place in our community,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, who represents Glendale in Congress.
Joining Kassakhian in condemning the incident were Glendale City Councilmembers Dan Brotman, Ara Najarian, Ellen Asatryan, Paula Devine, and Glendale City Clerk Dr. Suzie Abajian.
The incident comes days after Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhum Bayramov thanked Israel for its support of Baku during the 2020 Artsakh War.
Following the Beverly Hills incident, the Israeli Consulate General in Los Angeles did not respond to numerous calls, emails and texts from Asbarez to comment on whether it condoned the anti-Armenian messaging on the flyers.