BY MADELEINE MEZAGOPIAN
Throughout history, especially during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the transformation of the world order has often involved confrontations among key actors who, obsessed with victory, predominance and their own national interests, overlook the welfare of the small actors facing existential threats and having their centuries-old homeland colonized.
Armenia, once an empire with an ancient, multifaceted civilization, today represents one of these small actors who have and continue to face existential threats amid complete world silence and indifference.
During the First World War between the allied and central powers, the Ottoman empire, an ally of Germany at the time, carried out ruthless and vicious forms of ethnic cleansing of the Armenian nation, among other nations, on their centuries old lands and forced mass deportation — resulting in one-and-half million victims of the first genocide of the 20th century (1915-1923), which represented but a continuation of the Ottoman massacres of Armenians in the end of the 18th century and the start of the 19th century.
Despite its criminal history and annexation of occupied territories, the Republic of Turkey, upon its birth in 1923, received international recognition while the Armenian Genocide — mass deportations and the loss of Western Armenia — were overlooked and forgotten by all key actors.
The transformation of the world order continues amid repeated Armenian Genocide denial, with a number of countries and states refraining from recognizing it. Their refusal to recognize the genocide of 1915 has only encouraged dictators to continue their attempts to ethnically cleanse Armenians during the twenty-first century.
Today, the world is witnessing fierce confrontations between the advocates of the unipolar world order and the multipolar world order, with Russia and China attempting to redefine the world order as multipolar, while NATO — spearheaded by the U.S. — attempts to consolidate the unipolar world order and fiercely resist the advocates of the multipolar world order. This conflict helped revive and empower NATO, as well as its member, Turkey, and its ally, Turkic Azerbaijan. An even worse recent development has been NATO heading towards expansion. Attracting new members, e.g. Finland and Sweden, necessitated Turkey’s approval, which in its turn resulted in these new members compromising their democratic ethics and human rights obligations, specifically towards the Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Amid this global transformation and forceful confrontation, the Armenian nation faces ethnic cleansing yet again, by the same perpetrators. Using military aggression, Turkey and its ally Azerbaijan are targeting territories in Artsakh and Armenia proper, terrorizing Armenian populations and killing young soldiers. And since December 12, 2022, Artsakh has been under blockade by Azerbaijan, representing another form of attempted ethnic cleansing — a genocidal blockade, a new genocide.
Thirty one years ago, like today, the Armenian population of Artsakh regained its centuries old independence. However, after a a brief war over territorial claims, Artsakh was colonized and its native population began to feel the effects of living on lands governed by their enemies. From September 27 to November 10, 2020, Azeri forces equipped with the latest vast military resources provided by many states — including NATO member states — with the assistance of NATO member Turkey and with the participation of Syrian mercenaries, bombed the civilian Armenian population of Artsakh and hundreds of vital structures and tortured the Armenian prisoners of war for 44 days while the world remained silent.
However, despite the years of immense hardships and cruel sufferings that Armenians in Armenia, Artsakh, and the diaspora have endured, Armenia’s response to the major earthquake that recently hit Syria and Turkey was unexpected. Given Turkey’s criminal history towards Armenia and the cruelty of Turkey’s response to the 1988 Spitak earthquake in Armenia, no one anticipated that Armenia would be on-the-ground with tons of supplies and rescue teams at sites hit hardest in Turkey. Thus, the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide were rescuing the descendants of those who potentially participated in the genocide of their ancestors, who were destined for a life in exile.
This is Armenia — a great Christian, peaceful, humane nation that indiscriminately serves humanity. However, this humanity is clearly not reciprocated, as the world remains apathetic to the sufferings of Armenians in Artsakh.
The Armenian Nation continues to suffer without a single voice of support, without any real tangible efforts from governments or nonprofit organizations to prevent yet another genocide.
Today, the Armenian Nation, who has historically enriched civilizations, continues to be a peaceful and constructive contributor to the world at large. Armenians are on their own, without a single voice echoing care or attention to the ongoing anguish and torture they experience at the hands of the same enemy, Turkey, who is the ally of those who claim to be advocates of human rights and of truth and justice. Indeed, double standard and hypocrisy rule the world today, just as they did from 1915 to 1923.
Today, only 34 states out of 193 United Nations member states recognize the Armenian Genocide. Perpetrator Turkey, its ally Azerbaijan, and Pakistan, all members of the UN, actively deny the genocide.
Not identifying a crime, if not denying it, will surely further empower its perpetrators to repeat it, especially at a time that these perpetrators are enjoying partnerships of convenience with world super powers.
Governments of nations who have survived ethnic cleansing, like the Israeli government, yet refuse to recognize the Armenian Genocide are betraying all victims of genocide, including the victims of the Holocaust. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, the vast majority of Jewish Americans stand for Armenian Genocide recognition and against arms sale to Azerbaijan. On August 1, 2016, the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee announced its recognition of the Armenian Genocide and urged the Israeli government to formally acknowledge it as well. The City Council of Haifa recognized the Armenian genocide on March 30, becoming the second Israeli state to recognize it, after Peta Tikva.
It is high time that Israel, as a state and as a nation, put a stop to its support of Azerbaijan by feeding the Azeri military an array of arsenals. It is time for Israel to recognize the first genocide of the 20th century, as well as the second, the third, and the current, ongoing ethnic cleansing and uprooting of Armenians from their historical lands by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Further, nothing justifies overlooking the appalling crimes of the oppressors with whom people share the same religion. Indeed, Muslim Arab leaders shaking the bloody hands of Erdogan is a betrayal to all the victims of Erdogan’s ongoing crimes, whether in Turkey, in different Arab states, e.g. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and especially in Artsakh. It is high time for the Arab states, who never spoke out against the atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani government — soldiers targeting Armenian soldiers and civilians and the blockade imposed on Artsakh — to be courageous enough to speak out. First, they must expose the atrocities committed against Arabs by Turkey, foremost the execution of Arab intellectuals, and second to follow the steps of Lebanon and Syria in recognizing not only the Armenian Genocide of the 20th century, but also acknowledging the ongoing racial annihilation of Armenians by Turkey and Turkic Azerbaijan.
This said, it is indeed a promising development towards the recognition with Abu Dhabi becoming the first Emirate in the United Arab Emirates in April 2019 to openly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide while the country had announced to slowly recognize the Armenian Genocide. 2019 is also the year which witnessed Libya becoming the third Arab and the first African state to recognize the Armenian genocide with its Eastern-based interim administration’s Council of Ministers adopting a proposal from its foreign minister Abdelhady Alweij to recognize the Armenian genocide, in addition to Saudi Arabia sponsoring the final solution to recognize the Armenian Genocide and the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addressing his recognition of the Armenian Genocide during Munich Security Conference and urging for complete recognition of the genocide by Egypt (Wikipedia).
Today, amid Azeri terrorist attempts to usurp Armenia and annihilate its people, Armenians world-wide are bleeding and in mourning while the world remains not only silent and indifferent, but it continues to feed Azerbaijan with all it needs to continue with its atrocities.
Today, while we pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the far and in the near past, we remain hopeful the advocates of human security, the advocates of truth and justice, no matter how few of them left, will concert their efforts to prevent yet another Armenian Genocide amid shameful global silence.
Today, we ask the world not only to acknowledge and condemn Azerbaijan’s clear violation of the international law through its expansionist schemes targeting the territories of the Republic of Armenia and Armenian Artsakh. We urgently ask the advocates of human rights to recognize and strongly condemn the terrorist and the criminal schemes of the government of Azerbaijan which involve radicalizing its own people, foremost its soldiers, and unleashing them towards physical annihilation of Armenians, both civilians and soldiers, and eventually annihilating the whole Armenian Nation.
Today, we pray for the awakening of the World Conscience to prevent Armenian Genocide in Armenian Artsakh under blockade by Turkic Azerbaijan.
Despite the ongoing anguishes, the Armenian nation worldwide will peacefully continue seeking the support of all the advocates of truth and justice including governments, regional and international organizations and NGOs, while simultaneously strengthening Motherland Armenia through consolidating its democracy, uprooting all forms of conducts by officials and civilians that threaten Armenia’s national interests, and foremost through upgrading the ability of the military to best defend Motherland Armenia, and last but not least through building solid bridges with strong and trustworthy allies serving mutual national interests.
Today is a day to remember the victims of Armenian past and present genocides and ethnic annihilation. And foremost, today is a day to refuse and vehemently resist the unconditional normalization of relations between the current government of Motherland Armenia and Turkey, the occupier of Armenian territories with determination to occupy together with its ally Turkic Azerbaijan further Armenian territories including Armenian Artsakh. Today is also a day to stop the current government of Motherland Armenia signing an agreement with the Azeri government at the expense of Armenian Artsakh’s right as an independent Armenian entity with historical right to get united with its Motherland Armenia.
Yes, today is a day to stop such approaches and policies which is but a criminal betrayal to the past and ongoing sufferings of the Armenian Nation, foremost to the memory of the victims of the Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians and to the memory of thousands of deceased Armenian youth defending Motherland Armenia and Armenian Artsakh.
Today is a day of determination and perseverance to put an end to the ongoing ethnic annihilation of the Armenian nation at large through safeguarding and fortifying the sovereignty of Motherland Armenia over its territories and peoples, including Armenian Artsakh, thus remaining loyal to the memory of the past and present Armenian martyrs.
Madeleine Mezagopian is a scholar and an academician based in Amman, Jordan.