OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Why did Armenia recognize a potential Palestinian terror state?

It is not a coincidence that Armenia is the most antisemitic country in the post-Soviet space.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at Villa Borsig on the first day of peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Berlin on Feb. 28, 2024. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images.
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at Villa Borsig on the first day of peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Berlin on Feb. 28, 2024. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images.
Mordechai Kedar
Mordechai Kedar
Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and is an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.

Recently, Armenia decided to recognize the existence of a Palestinian state in response to the Israel-Hamas war, leaving Israelis bewildered and outraged.

In a statement published on its website, the Armenian Foreign Ministry expressed concerns over the “catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza and the ongoing military conflict.” It added, “Reaffirming our commitment to international law and the principles of equality, sovereignty and peaceful coexistence of peoples, the Republic of Armenia recognizes the State of Palestine.”

The Foreign Ministry further stressed Armenia’s position in favor of a “peaceful and comprehensive” resolution to the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution, meaning a return to the 1967 borders, which “is the only way to ensure that both Palestinians and Israelis can fulfill their legitimate aspirations.”

The Armenian recognition of a Palestinian state brings the total number of countries that recognize such a state to 145 of the 193 member states of the United Nations.

This led Israel to call in the Armenian ambassador to be “reprimanded.” Israel is rightly outraged when nations recognize a Palestinian state because such recognitions might lead to the creation of a Hamas state that will be a great danger to Israel.

All of us, including the Armenians, must remember two important events. The first took place on Jan. 25, 2006, when general elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council were held. In these elections, the Hamas movement won the majority of seats, thus becoming the most prominent political body in the Palestinian Authority.

The second incident occurred on June 12-14, 2007, when the Hamas movement took over the Gaza Strip and its terrorists murdered, wounded and imprisoned many of the Palestinian security personnel who were operating on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Since then, the Hamas movement has turned Gaza into a terror state under Iranian guidance, funded by Qatari money and helped by smugglers from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Egypt.

The whole world, including Armenian politicians, has seen the results of the establishment of the terror state in Gaza, especially since the massacre committed by Hamas against some 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7, 2023 and its consequences in Gaza ever since.

If a Palestinian state is established, it will without any doubt become a Hamas state, whether through elections as happened in January 2006 or through a violent takeover as already happened in Gaza in June 2007.

Is this what Armenia wants?

The explanation for Armenia’s conduct is found in the events between Armenia and Azerbaijan in recent years.

Since Israel supported Azerbaijan during the Second Karabakh War (2020), there has been a steady rise in antisemitism in Armenia. According to The Jerusalem Post, Armenia is the “most antisemitic country in the post-Soviet space,” with 58% percent of the population harboring antisemitic views. The local synagogue in Yerevan and the local Holocaust memorial have been attacked several times.

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), one of Europe’s largest rabbinical organizations, demanded that the Armenian authorities detain Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) members, outlaw the organization and increase security for the Jewish community after the terror group targeted the local synagogue in Yerevan.

CER warned, “If there is no proper response and Jewish blood is spilt in the streets, the responsibility will be on the head of the Armenian government.”

Despite this, none of the perpetrators were detained.

It is clear that Armenia’s recognition of a Palestine state following the Oct. 7 massacre can be considered just another example of antisemitism.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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