PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian-Israeli relations have never been quite close or mutually beneficial; both countries have always been neutral to each other. But after the beginning of Karabakh conflict, Israel took the Azerbaijani side, which in itself was surprising. Perhaps, to some extent there played a role the fact that after the Soviet Union collapse it became clear that Israel has more in common with Azerbaijan than with Armenia. Not a small role was played also by the Jewish community of Azerbaijan. In Baku, as well as in other cities there lived a lot more Jews than in Armenia. 8 - 12 thousand Jews lived in the Armenian SSR, while in Azerbaijan they totaled 30 000. It’s the official statistics. According to the “Jewish Agency for Israel”, after the collapse of the Soviet Union 31.000 Jews left Azerbaijan, there remaining only 18.000. More than six thousand emigrated from Armenia. But let us leave the arithmetic on the conscience of draftsmen. Probably the thing is that a good number of Jews residing in Baku left for Israel and then... Then they did their best to prevent Israel from making friends with Armenia. It is also possible that things were not quite so, but the “service” of the Jews from Baku in the issue of absence of Armenian-Israeli relations is undeniable. Even now, visiting Baku they take the opportunity to once again “support Azerbaijan in its right to Nagorno-Karabakh”. That is, it’s the same as arriving in a third country, Armenians would begin to talk about the rights of Palestinians, which is unacceptable.
But it’s one thing to encourage in words and quite another - to arm Azerbaijan with modern weapons, knowing full well in what direction these weapon can fire. There is also the factor of Turkey. Until recently, Turkey and Israel were strategic allies. At least, such was the impression, and it’s not surprising that this cooperation should linger. Demarches of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Israel because of the operation “Cast Lead" and “blockade” of Gaza Strip pursue one goal - to present Turkey as a true ally of the Islamic world, which is known for its desire to wipe the Jewish state off the map. Against this background, relations with Armenia would be perceived almost as a betrayal. The position of Israel is understandable: the country is surrounded by enemies and it has to choose the lesser evil, i.e. Turkey with Azerbaijan. Naturally, Armenia has no place in the triumvirate Israel-Turkey-Azerbaijan. Let it be so; instead, Armenia shares normal relations with other countries. Besides, why should the whole East be friends with Armenia? It’s totally incomprehensible.
We can only say that the case with Israel is a bit atypical: Jerusalem has an Armenian quarter, Patriarchate, community that has a history of almost 2,000 years. There is a consulate there; there is even an Israeli ambassador to Armenia that sits in Jerusalem... But a really close relationship is lacking and not even foreseen for the near future. However, no one is to blame for it. The only thing that we really wish for is that the Jews, visiting Baku, won’t be talking about a country they know too little about and have nothing to do with. But it’s also possible that these Jews do not even touch upon us, and it’s the Azeri press that tries hard! Anything is possible. It’s also true that Azerbaijan has already tired everyone with its speculation on the gas-oil issue. Israel buys 20% of its oil from Azerbaijan. It’s not so much as to impose conditions, and not so little as to ask for a friendly favor. What Azerbaijan does is paying Israel a favor by buying weapons from her. In fact, the money spent on oil goes back to Israel. In this respect, Armenia can give nothing, and therefore the Jewish state shares no special friendship with her. As for anti-Semitism, which is so eagerly mentioned in Israel “thanks to” Azerbaijan, it’s just fiction. People that have suffered genocide cannot hate other people that have experienced Holocaust, even if the State of Israel never recognizes the Armenian Genocide.