News > Minorities in Armenia > Armenian Jews express deep anger at the statements of the Chief Rabbi of Azerbaijan
The Jewish community of Armenia has published an open letter, expressing its deep anger at the statements of Meir Bruk, the Chief Rabbi of Azerbaijan.
Head of the Jewish Community of Armenia Rimma Varzhapetyan, Chief Rabbi of Armenia Gershon Meir Burshtein and the President of "Menora" cultural center Villy Veiner have undersigned the letter (below is the abridged form of the letter):
"Baku based Zerkalo newspaper published G. Inandj’s article in its June 12, 2007 edition, where the author cites his interview with Meir Bruk, the Chief Rabbi of the European Jews of Azerbaijan. The above-mentioned article was also posted on the Internet.
It is not proper for Mr. Bruk to talk profusely about political subjects, including the situation of the Jews in Armenia and the State’s attitude towards them. He speaks about such subjects, where he is quite an ignoramus. Let’s analyze concrete statements made by Mr. Bruk:
1- "Heidar Aliev is the author of the modern ideology of tolerance in the process of building the state," end of the quotation.
It looks like, because of his young age or maybe due to his inadequate education Mr. Bruk does not remember or does not know that the "father of tolerance" used to do everything in order to make minority nations either fully assimilate or leave their original places of residence. Let us not go into details. But it would be good if Mr. Bruk familiarized himself with the population statistics when the republic was first established at the beginning of the last century and now. Where are the greater part of Lezghins, Ayrums, Karapapakhs, Kurds, Tats, Talyshs and other national minorities of Azerbaijan, not to mention the Armenians of Nakhichevan? Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh would have suffered the same fate. And today we witness the "tolerance policy" carried out by the successor son Ilham Aliev. As a vivid example is the cruel murder of the Armenian officer in Hungary by Azerbaijani cadet Safarov, who has become a national hero in Azerbaijan. Fortunately, the world community has adequately condemned this act of violence.
For Mr. Bruk to know, even during the heaviest times of the community regime Armenia was among the few republics, where there wasn’t any place for anti-Semitism and where people treated well the national minorities – Russians, Jews, Kurds, Ezyds, Greeks, Assyrians and other nations, among them Azeris.
Mr. Bruk's statement in which he says that there are few Jews in Armenia because there aren’t any conditions for national and religions tolerance, is at least proof of illiteracy. Even if we take the figure presented by Mr. Bruk for the Jewish population of Armenia ((200 persons), which he has spun out of thin air, it does not speak in his favor. How can we understand the fact that in case of actual absence of the Jews in Armenia and the lack of national and religious tolerance, there are four officially registered Jewish public, religious and cultural organizations in Armenia, which are recognized by all world Jewish organizations. Here we have a working synagogue headed by the Chief Rabbi of Armenia. The Chief Rabbi of Azerbaijan must know this fact taking into account the post he occupies.
2- "Armenians see the economic and political prosperity of Azerbaijan and there is nothing left for them than to take that model as an example”, end of quotation.
Not so bad example. Only a quite waning man may think that Armenia or another country may take as an example the political model of Azerbaijan. Doesn’t Mr. Bruk know the opinion of the European Parliament on countless violations of democratic bases and human rights committed by Azerbaijan, the continuing political and judicial prosecutions of all kinds of dissents?
And of course God forbid Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh from goods that Mr. Bruk promises them in case if Armenia returns Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan. Nobody here has forgotten Sumgait, Kirovabad, Baku, and Karabakh.
We think that the wise Rabbi has forgotten that his and our mission is in peacekeeping and helping our countries to settle the accumulated problems and not in compressing the complex relations between the two neighbors, which are already intense.