The vicious war against the Armenian Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) and Armenia by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and thousands of their jihadist terrorists has passed the one month mark.
The jihadis’ presence, which includes ISIS, is consistent with the debauched political cultures and national ambitions of Azerbaijan and Turkey. It also tells us that the U.S./NATO/EU stance towards those countries continues to be dangerously passive.
Just days ago, right in our nation’s capital, Azeri demonstrators chanted “jihad, jihad, jihad” and flashed the hand signal of Turkey’s homicidal, neo-fascist Grey Wolves.
It’s not surprising. Azerbaijan and Turkey are longtime Turkic allies of jihadist terrorists.
Turkic Jihadist Terror
In the early 1990s, Azerbaijan deployed thousands of jihadis and terrorists, including Afghan Mujahedin, Chechens, and Grey Wolves against Artsakh’s Armenians who had voted for self-determination. Turkish army officers also took part.
Al-Qaeda cells in Baku, Azerbaijan helped to plan the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. A dozen Americans and 212 others were killed.
The U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center reports that ISIS ranks have included over 900 Azerbaijanis and 7,400 Turks.
Ahmet S. Yayla, Turkey’s chief of counterterrorism from 2010-13, wrote: “Turkey was a central hub for the travel of over 50,000 ISIS foreign fighters, and the main source of ISIS logistical materials … making Turkey and ISIS practically allies.”
Secret wiretaps revealed that Turkey has supplied ISIS in Syria via Ilhami Bali, codenamed Abu Bakr, a 36-year-old Saudi-born Turk.
Columbia University has issued two valuable studies: ISIS-Turkey Links (archive) and Turkey-ISIS Oil (archive) Trade.
Today’s Turkic Jihadist Terror
Since September, Azerbaijan and Turkey have brought in ISIS commander Sayf Balud, the Hamza and Sultan Murad Brigades, Syrian terrorists, and thousands of other jihadis to battle Armenians. Many were present even before September.
Some of the jihadis had committed atrocities against Christian Armenians and Assyrians, Kurds, Yazidis, and others in Syria and elsewhere.
Azerbaijan is using some jihadis as human shields for its soldiers. Others are thrust into battle while Azeris point guns at their backs to prevent retreat.
Armenian forces have dealt them severe blows. One jihadi warned, “Jihadi, don’t come, we have been deceived, everything is a lie. This is a meat grinder.”
In the early 1920s, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin transferred the ancient Armenian territory of Artsakh (96% Armenian) to Azerbaijan to indulge Turkey. No country/people named Azerbaijan/Azeri had ever existed before 1918.
Artsakh’s Armenians subsequently suffered brutal repression, deportations, and mass murders under Soviet Azerbaijan’s scimitar. By 1988, Armenians had been reduced to 76% of the population. All this was due to raw, ethno-racial, Azeri fanaticism.
Artsakh’s Armenians voted in 1988 and 1991 for self-determination and independence from Azerbaijan according to Soviet law and then international law. Armenians won the ensuing war.
Note that Azerbaijan claims not only Artsakh but Armenia too.
Artsakh and Armenia are reformist democracies. Dictatorial Azerbaijan is light-years away from that. Turkey is a similar political and human rights disaster.
If you lived in Artsakh, would you ever agree to Azeri rule? Of course not.
America’s Global War for Terror
The Global War on Terror (GWOT) has been American foreign policy’s pièce de résistance since 2001. Supposedly, therefore, regimes that use jihadis/terrorists against civilized people should become pariahs.
Yet American administrations and Congress have acted largely deaf, dumb, and blind regarding Turkey and Azerbaijan’s support for jihadis/terrorists.
In 2016, I presented evidence to Richard M. Mills, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, that Turkey supported ISIS. He foolishly lied and denied it all.
The U.S. (and Europe) fawn over Azerbaijan’s gas and oil deposits and westbound pipelines despite its sickening record on jihadis and human rights.
Our government lies about our GWOT, but we remain silent. What kind of people are we?
Rename the GWOT to GWFT: the Global War for Terror.
Azerbaijan has signed and is violating the “UN Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.” Neither the UN, State Department, nor Congress has spoken up.
America provides “counterterrorism” assistance to Azerbaijan. Thus, Americans pay it to fight terrorists while Azerbaijan turns around and hires terrorists. This is sick stuff in which we as Americans are complicit.
Now consider the jihad against Armenian/Armenia/Artsakh by Israel and the Jewish American lobby.
The disintegration of Syria and Iraq into regions, based on ethnic or religious criteria, must be, in the long term, a primary goal for Israel, the first step being the destruction of the military power of these states.
Countless Jewish academicians, writers, human rights advocates, and elected officials have supported Armenian Genocide recognition and helped Armenians in other ways. Not so for top Jewish organizations such as the ADL, AIPAC, AJC, and JINSA.
For decades, they have diminished/denied the Armenian Genocide and colluded with Turkey and Israel to defeat Armenian Genocide resolutions in Congress. The ADL and AJC have relented a bit, though insincerely and only under pressure.
For years, Israel and most of these organizations, led by AJC, have supported Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev has given his country’s highest award to AJC Executive Director David Harris.
Israel demands worldwide recognition of and legislation on the Holocaust but refuses to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Israel is probably Azerbaijan’s biggest weapons supplier. Israeli cluster bombs — usually banned under international law — are killing Artsakh’s civilians.
As Azerbaijan runs short of weapons and ammo, Israel is now sending more.
There are 24 righteous Armenians in Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial but no Azeris. Oh well, bomb the Armenian goyem anyway using Israeli weapons.
Meanwhile, scores of Jewish and Israeli writersdefame Armenia and Armenian Americans.
Israel always complains it’s the victim of terrorists and jihadis. Now it’s on the same side as the jihadis and terrorists in Azerbaijan.
Countless Americans, including Christians, sell their souls to the Jewish lobby for political expediency, money, and career advancement and dare not whisper a word of dissent. You know who you are.
Meanwhile, Armenian Genocide 2.0 looms.
Artsakh’s ombudsman correctly notes that “various representatives of the international community are either blind or incapable.”
How long will this remain so?
David Boyajian is an Armenian-American freelance journalist. For his activism and writing on the ADL issue he has been honored by Armenian American organizations, and has won commendations from the Massachusetts Governor’s Council, Watertown (MA) Town Council, and the Newton Tab newspaper. He also chairs the Armenian Americans for Human Rights. Many of his articles are archived at https://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/David_Boyajian
“For two decades, some Israeli officials and Israel partisans have worked to embed a new, Israel-focused definition of antisemitism in institutions around the world, from international bodies and national governments to small college campuses in heartland America. This effort is now snowballing rapidly. As a result, advocacy for Palestinian rights is well on the way to being curtailed and even criminalized as “hate.” The definition is increasingly being used to curtail free speech and academic freedom, as well as political activism.”
Editors' Note: To learn more, please read, The Israel Lobby by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt | Book | Article (PDF)
“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives over $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget.”
H.R.5141 - United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.
H.R. 5141 - United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 115th Congress (2017-2018)
Sponsor: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (Introduced 03/01/2018) Committees: House - Foreign Affairs; Armed Services; Science, Space, and Technology Latest Action: House - 05/22/2018 Referred to the Subcommittee on Research and Technology. (All Actions) Summary: H.R.5141 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Introduced in House (03/01/2018)
This bill extends Military Financing Program grants for Israel through FY2023.
The Department of Defense shall conduct a joint assessment with Israel regarding: (1) precision guided munitions needed by Israel in a sustained armed confrontation with Hezbollah and other armed groups and terrorist organizations, and (2) related U.S. assistance and resupply planning.
The President may utilize the Special Defense Acquisition Fund to transfer precision guided munitions and related defense articles and services to reserve stocks for Israel.
Authorities for loan guarantees and the war reserves stockpile for Israel are extended through FY2023.
The Department of Homeland Security shall establish a seven-year grant program with Israel to support: (1) cybersecurity research and development, and (2) commercialization of cybersecurity technology.
The U.S. Agency for International Development may enter into memoranda of understanding with Israel to advance common goals on energy, agriculture and food security, democracy, economic growth, education, and health.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shall continue to work with the Israel Space Agency to pursue peaceful space exploration and science initiatives.
The President may enter into a cooperative project agreement with Israel to carry out research and joint production of defense articles and services to detect and destroy unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones) that threaten the United States or Israel.
The bill states that it is U.S. policy to ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.
This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and analysis of current issues. For general information on Israel, see Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief, by Jim Zanotti.
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. Successive Administrations, working with Congress, have provided Israel with significant assistance in light of robust domestic U.S. support for Israel and its security; shared strategic goals in the Middle East; a mutual commitment to democratic values; and historical ties dating from U.S. support for the creation of Israel in 1948. To date, the United States has provided Israel $146 billion (current, or noninflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. At present, almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although from 1971 to 2007, Israel also received significant economic assistance.
Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans by Pamela Olsen - If Americans Knew Website | Report (PDF)
The US has given more aid to Israel than it has to all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined — which have a total population of over a billion people.
Surprisingly this aid does not serve American economic, strategic, or moral interests. Instead, the costs are tremendous – in dollars, jobs, lives, and moral standing – and the benefits are largely nonexistent. Given these costs, it is critical to reconsider our lavish aid to Israel, and whether it is worth Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.
Direct US disbursements to Israel are higher than to any other country, even though Israelis only make up 0.1% of the world’s population. On average, Israelis receive 7,000 times more US foreign aid per capita than other people throughout the world, despite the fact that Israel is one of the world’s more affluent nations.
Since Israel’s founding in 1948, it has received (adjusting for inflation) more than $252.7 billion from the U.S. – an amount that the majority of Americans consider excessive. In spite of its consistent, long, documented history of frequent human rights violations (often not reported in US media) and discrimination, Congress seeks to reward Israel and chastise Israel’s victim (read more about aid to Israel here and here).
The sheer quantity – and expense – of the advocacy work that our Congress has done on behalf of this pariah state are staggering: consider the hours spent in meetings, negotiation, research, and floor debates, the trips and calls to Israel, to name a few.
And while only a handful of the almost one hundred proposed bills will become law, our legislators will have spent their time (and our money) on them, instead of addressing American needs and concerns – especially in this time of pandemic, economic crisis, and civil unrest. Plus, the legislation that is enacted inevitably cost Americans taxpayers massive amount of money.
Skim the partial list below to get a taste of what our legislators have been doing in the last two years on behalf of Israel; for more detail, please read this, this, and this – commentary on the legislation we have provided throughout the congressional session.
A study of military aid to Israel uncovers a bottomless pit that only starts with $3.3 billion per year (recently changed from a “maximum” to a “minimum” amount of assistance), guaranteed for the next ten years. Another $500 million is immediately added each year, specifically for Israel’s Iron Dome, a massive (and expensive) anti-missile defense weapon.
On top of this, some bills expend an additional $9 million per day on behalf of Israel, making the combined total $19 million per day on behalf of Israel (and this estimate may be low).
Iron Dome is used to counter small projectiles shot from Gaza, the main form of resistance coming from Palestinians in the Strip. Rockets from Gaza have killed a total of 30 Israelis in the past twenty years, while Israeli airstrikes again Gaza have killed thousands of Palestinians.
S.3176 and H.R.1837 lay out the basic premise for the $3.3 billion a year. In addition, the legislation would give the President authority to provide Israel with unlimited weaponry and assistance if “needed” without prior authorization from Congress.
These bills also lay the groundwork for millions in new funding for various additional programs benefiting Israel (which will be discussed below). (Read more about some unscrupulous Congressional actions related to S.3176.)
These bills defy the Leahy Laws, which clearly state that, “when credible evidence of human rights violations exists, US aid must stop.” (For more on the Leahy Laws, read this.)
Collaboration with Israel (i.e. entangling us with a foreign pariah country) is a recurring theme in Congress. Below are several examples among many.
H.R.1459 endorses collaboration in security and law enforcement training between the US and Israel to “promote security against terrorism, peaceful resolutions to community disputes, and the protection of spaces for civil society.”
American law enforcement personnel have received training from Israel for years – in spite of the brutality of its military and police.
S.3775 seeks, in the words of Foundation for Defense of Democracies (recognized as an arm of the Israel lobby) reports that this bill seeks to create a “permanent and dedicated forum” for “ intelligence-informed military capabilities.”
H.R.2488 and S.2309 and H.R.7148 seeks to bring the US and Israel together to collaborate on cybersecurity and defense technology, in spite of Israel’s history of spying on the US, infringing on the decisions of our President, and attacking an American Naval ship.
S.4228 stresses binational collaboration between the US and “Middle Eastern countries, such as Israel” in developing hydropower technology – adding an irrelevant caveat that prioritizes countries with trade relationships with Israel.
H.R.7613 would set aside money for many American projects, including hurricane preparedness, clean energy. Inexplicably, it includes millions for a “US-Israel Cooperative Energy Center.”
S.3722 and H.R.6829 authorize funding for the US to collaborate with Israel in the development of health technologies, including COVID-19. Ironically, Israel has shut down or destroyed a number of Palestinian COVID clinics in recent months.
S.4537, a pandemic economic recovery bill, includes sections on safely returning Americans to work; job creation; retirement security; safely returning kids to school; COVID cures and treatment; and miscellaneous. Israel is embedded in this bill too. Under “COVID cures and treatment,” the bill proposes $12 million over a three-year period to collaborate with Israel (a tiny country funded by American taxpayers) vis-a-vis the coronavirus.
H.R.5063 is legislation seeking to increase US-Israel collaboration on anti-drone weapons – specifically for use against Iran. (Israel has been targeting Iran for decades.) The bill would bankroll Israel’s already lucrative development of cyberweapons, which would then be tested on Palestinians and sold around the world – including to human rights violators and enemies of the U.S.
S.4522 seeks to authorize “such sums as are necessary” for a US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund. (Some Americans might wish this money to instead go to struggling American farmers.)
H.R.5605 proposes funding for a US-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Program. If Americans Knew and B’Tselem are among many organizations that have reported on Israel’s victim-blaming and whitewashing of Palestinian suffering and extensive PTSD.
Vox reports that between 2005 and 2014, 23 out of every 24 conflict-related deaths have been Palestinian. Tragically, Palestinians’ experiences would provide a more abundant field for PTSD research than Israelis’. 54% of Gazan children who experienced heavy bombardment in the 2014 Israeli incursion known as Operation Protective Edge, suffer from severe PTSD. (Fyi – Vastly more Palestinians are killed than Israelis.)
In case some potential areas of collaboration had been overlooked in all of these bills, Res.324 “Recognizing the importance of the US-Israel economic relationship,” makes a blanket statement “encouraging new areas of cooperation” (and US money funneled to Israel).
LEGISLATION ON ANTI-SEMITISM AND HOLOCAUST EDUCATION
LEGISLATION DEMONIZING ISRAEL’S ENEMIES, CONGRATULATING ITS “FRIENDS”
S.2132 is designed to put Palestine in an impossible situation: choosing between financial solvency and international legitimacy. The bill would make the Palestinian government liable in potentially devastating lawsuits – unless it stops its quest for justice and recognition in the world (read about the bill here).
S.Res. 570 opposes the possible prosecution by the International Criminal Court of both Americans and Israelis validly accused of war crimes. Instead of calling for due process, the bill calls for impunity and considers the ICC a foe. (One of the few bills not on behalf of Israel, H.Res.855 points out that the US has never become a member of the ICC, and encourages it to do so.)
H.R.28 seeks to withhold aid from any country that disagrees with the US at the United Nations – referring specifically to the official American position of defending Israel’s atrocities.
H.Res.727 affirms US support for Israel’s “right to defend itself from terrorist attacks” and condemns Hamas rockets (without condemning Israel for the violence that brought on resistance).
In the year before the resolution was introduced, four Israelis had been killed by rockets from Gaza; Israeli snipers and airstrikes had in the same period killed over 150 Gazans.
H.R.2343, the so-called “Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act,” addresses the alleged failure of the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA to keep Palestinian textbooks free from incitement or intolerance toward Israeli Jews.
These allegations have persisted for years thanks to a faux, pro-Israel “peace” organization called the “Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace” (more info here). In fact, the opposite is true: Israeli textbooks consistently “marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity.”
H.R.1850, S.2680, H.R.4411, and H.Res.1131 all address the issue of terrorism – a word that means different things to different groups. What Israel considers terrorism is, to Palestinians, resistance against illegal occupation; what Israel considers military action, Palestinians see as state terrorism – consider this and this.
The most basic fact that these bills ignore is that while Israel’s 53-year occupation of Palestinian territories violates international law, resistance against that occupation is a protected right. (They also ignore the way the state of Israel was established.)
The charge of Palestinian “terrorism” is problematic to say the least, given the relative impotence of Palestinian weapons and the low number of Israeli victims, vs. Israel’s advanced military and the high number of Palestinian victims it creates (read more about terrorism here and about Israel’s actions here).
Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reports that, between 2000 and 2019, Palestinian militants killed a total of 301 Israeli civilians, while Israeli security forces killed over 5,200 Palestinians who were not involved in hostilities.
S.4482 seeks to police the Arab world, hunting down governments that punish their citizens who engage in personal relationships with Israelis. While the US wants to scold Arab countries for resentment toward Israel, it allows Israel to attack its Palestinian neighbors and violate their human rights daily.
H.R.7850 seeks to police Iran and the resistance groups that it may support. The bill is part of the ongoing effort by Israel and its partisans to target Iran (read more about Iran here and here).
The normalization of relations with Arab countries gives Israel a veneer of legitimacy while giving them access to US-made weapons – and giving the US and Israel access to Arab money.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was jubilant: “Everyone can see the fruits of this peace accord. The UAE committed to bringing massive investments to Israel, hundreds of millions of shekels. It’s already happening and it will happen even more..”
More treaties are expected, bought and paid for by the US.
H.R.3723 addresses the issue of aiding drought-stricken areas of the US, and prioritizes projects that have worked with international partners “such as the state of Israel.”
There is great irony in the idea of Israeli experts assisting with water projects in the US: is simple: Israel provides plenteous water to its Jewish residents for free (including the 600,000 that live illegally on Palestinian land), but is perpetrating a water catastrophe in the Palestinian territories – refusing to provide water to some areas, selling it at exorbitant prices to others. In Gaza, water is “scarce and mostly unfit for human use.”
In several pieces of legislation – including H.Res.326, H.Res. 518, S.Res.234, and S.567 – Congress attempts to impose decisions about land in Middle East countries (some of the decisions contravene international law).
H.R.5595, S.Res.120, H.R.336, H.Res.314, H.Res.348, and H.Res.246 seek to extinguish the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, which puts nonviolent pressure on Israel to obey international law. BDS patterns itself after the movement that aided in ending apartheid in South Africa, and “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.” Much has been written about BDS (for example, read this and this).
S.Res.745 and H.Res.1173 honor “the life, legacy, and example of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the 25th anniversary of his death” – a man whose life’s work has been whitewashed to erase atrocities against the Palestinian people.
LEGISLATION THAT APPEARS TO BE PRO-PALESTINE, BUT ISN’T
S.Res.171 seeks to restore economic aid to the Palestinians without bringing an end to the programs that caused Palestinians to be in need of aid – thus enabling Israel to continue unchecked in its oppression.
H.R.3104 promotes “joint economic development and finance ventures between Palestinian entrepreneurs and companies and those in the US and Israel.” Rep. Chris Coons, one of the bill’s sponsors, explained, “job creation is the best way to turn people away from violence” – implying that unarmed Palestinians are the violent party, and that employment – not freedom or self-determination – is the solution.
PALESTINIAN RIGHTS RECOGNIZED
H.R.8050 would prohibit the US government from recognizing Israel’s claim of sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, or assisting Israel with those efforts – because it violates international law. The international community, many Israelis, and many staunch Israel partisans, agree.
H.R.2407 seeks to protect Palestinian children from incarceration and torture by Israel using US aid money. It seeks not to end the practice, but only American complicity in it. (Read more about the bill here.) Although its language is mild and pro-child, the bill has been attacked aggressively by pro-Israel groups.
H.Res.496, the only pro-boycott bill, supports the right of Americans to take part in a political practice long used by Americans across the political spectrum. The bill does not mention Israel or Palestine – yet it has been denounced as “anti-Semitic.”
If Americans Knew has checked every legislator’s voting record on every Israel-related bill since January 2019, and reported them for your information. We hope you will make your voice heard in this election – and throughout the next congressional session – to bring accountability to our government vis-a-vis Israel, and to Israel vis-a-vis Palestine.
To view all the bills and Senators’/challengers’ record see this:
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.