Early Saturday morning the Beverly Hills Police Department, through its Twitter page, announced that it was investigating anti-Armenian flyers around Beverly Hills and adjacent areas in Los Angeles.
The hate-filled flyers were posted around the city on the same day that the Armenian Youth Federation was holding a march and protest to demand an end to the seven-week-long blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan. The demonstration commenced at the U.S. Federal Building, with protesters walking toward the Azerbaijani Consulate, both located on Wilshire Boulevard.
The protesters were greeted by flyers taped on lamp posts with a threat on wiping out Armenia from the face of the map.
“Azerbaijan; Turkey; Pakistan; Israel = 4 BROTHERS WILL WIPE Armenia OFF the MAP Inshallah!!!,” read the message on the various iterations of the flyers that were found posted around the city.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region immediately contacted local officials and law enforcement and began a social media messaging campaign denouncing and deploring this blatant attack on the Armenian community in Southern California and the threats to annihilate Armenians.
The Azerbaijani blockade has cut-off Artsakh from the rest of the world, creating a massive humanitarian crisis that harkens to the beginning of an ethnic cleansing campaign aimed at wiping Armenians away from their homeland in Artsakh.
“Anti-Armenian rhetoric and direct threats of genocide are extremely harmful aggressions toward the Armenian-American community in Los Angeles, and compromise the safety and security of over 500,000 Armenian Southern Californians,” said the ANCA-WR on its social media platforms on Saturday.
Beverly Hills Mayor Lille Bosse immediately denounced the flyers on social media as the city’s police department reviewed surveillance camera footage around La Cienega and Wilshire Boulevards in search of those responsible.
“Today, a resident alerted BHPD that anti-Armenian flyers were posted on street poles in our City. I’ve said it over and over again, hate has no place in Beverly Hills or anywhere. I will always stand up, I will always speak out against it,” Bosse wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
“This hate speech is yet another manifestation of the genocidal intent continued to be displayed by both Turkey and Azerbaijan toward Armenians everywhere. We are grateful to Mayor Bosse for her swift condemnation, and we look to our Jewish coalition partners and all who condemn hate to do the same,” said Nora Hovsepian, the ANCA-WR chairperson.
Rep. Adam Schiff voiced his “shock” at the anti-Armenian flyers in a statement on social media.
“It was shocking to see posters advocating genocide against Armenians,” Schiff said in his message.
“We must all condemn this bigotry in the strongest terms,” Rep Schiff said. “Armenia and Artsakh face the real threat of war from Azerbaijan,” the Congressman said, adding that “the community needs support — not hate.”
The AYF-WUS strongly condemns this blatant act of Armenophobia that very clearly calls for a new Armenian Genocide to take place. This hate crime is unacceptable and must be properly dealt with to prevent any future threats to the Armenian American community of Los Angeles,” said the AYF Western U.S. in a statement.
This latest manifestation of hate crimes against Armenians goes back to four years ago when Turkish flags were hung on the campuses of the Ferrahian and Manougian Armenian schools in the San Fernando Valley. Anti-Armenian and pro-Azerbaijani graffiti also defaced the walls of the Krouzian-Zekarian Vasbouragan school in San Francisco in the summer of 2020. This incident also was followed by an arson attack on the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in San Francisco and the adjacent building, which housed many community organizations.
Beverly Hills has also seen a rise in hate crimes. Anti-Semitic flyers that were plastered throughout the city in 2022 rattled the Jewish community in the city and made headlines nationwide.
The anti-Armenian flyers and the threats against Armenia were also condemned by West Hollywood mayor Sepi Shyne, who in a Twitter post said, “The rise in hate is indicative of a serious threat to democracy and we must all continue to stand for love and against hate.”