California Courier Online, Jan. 4, 2018

The California Courier Online, January 4, 2018
1 –    Commentary
Trump Gets Slapped Twice
        In One Week at
the United Nations
        By Harut Sassounian
The California
2    Historical
Drama Film ‘Lost Birds’
1915 Armenian Tragedy
3 –    Violetta Mailyan
        Sues Apple Demanding
        Almost $1 Trillion
4 –    2018 American Armenian Rose Parade Float
        Dedicated to ‘Women Who Make a
5 –    AAF Shipped $5.6 Million of Aid
        To Armenia and Artsakh, Oct.-Dec.
6    Izmirlian’s Company Files $2.25 Billion
Chinese Contractor Over Massive Fraud
7-     Azerbaijani
Teacher Dismissed for
Tolerance to Armenians
8 –    Paylan Says Assassination
of Armenians,
        Alevis, Turks
in Europe Plotted in Turkey
9-     Armenian Security Agencies Prevent Terrorist-
        Affiliated Suspect from Entering Country
1 –    Commentary
        Pres. Trump Gets Slapped Twice
        In One Week at
the United Nations
        By Harut Sassounian
        Publisher, The California Courier
Pres. Trump
added two new major mistakes last month to the long list of misguided foreign
and domestic policy decisions throughout the year.
On December 18,
2017, the United States
vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for the
reversal of Pres. Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem
as Israel’s
capital and move the U.S. Embassy to that city. All the other 14 members of the
Security Council, including Britain
and France, voted for the
resolution which correctly asserted that “Jerusalem
is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations.” It further called
for all states to refrain from moving their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem.
The status of Jerusalem is a highly
controversial and emotional issue for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem during the 1967
Arab-Israeli war and annexed it in violation of international law. Israel considers Jerusalem its “undivided and eternal
capital.” Palestinians, on the other hand, consider East
Jerusalem to be the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.
Immediately after the UN vote, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced his
refusal to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to the
Middle East. The trip was postponed to a later
date. Thousands of protesters demonstrated in many Islamic countries against
Pres. Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.
The Palestinian leadership announced that they will no longer consider the United States
as an honest broker of peace between the conflicting sides.
the Security Council session, UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladinov warned
that Pres. Trump’s unilateral action lessens the chances of peace, “undermining
moderates and empowering radicals.”
Pres. Trump
justified his decision by basing it on a 1995 law passed by Congress to move
the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
However, all U.S.
Presidents since then have signed a national security waiver postponing the
move every six months. They did not wish to undermine the Arab-Israeli peace
negotiations and inflame the passions of the Arab and Islamic world.
The fact that
Trump had made a promise during his campaign to transfer the U.S. Embassy from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
cannot excuse his recent decision. As I wrote a year ago, Trump had made an
unwise promise and keeping it could become dangerous.
To make matters
worse for the U.S., the UN General Assembly, where the United States does not
have veto power, overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on December 21, 2017,
declaring Pres. Trump’s decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as
“null and void.” It is highly embarrassing for a Superpower like the United States
to have 128 countries vote against it, only 8 other countries supported it, 35
abstained, and 21 were absent. Thus Pres. Trump has made the United States the laughing stock of the world,
particularly since the U.S.
and Israel were supported by
tiny countries that most people have never heard of, such as Togo, Micronesia,
the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau.
In contrast,
many of the major countries voted against the U.S.
in the UN General Assembly: France,
Britain, Germany, Belgium,
Denmark, Finland, Greece,
Turkey, Italy, Japan,
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,
South Korea, Singapore, South
Africa, Spain,
and dozens of others.
As if this
embarrassment was not sufficient, Pres. Trump and his UN Ambassador, Nikki
Haley, proudly declared that the United States
would cut off aid to any country that voted against the U.S. This is a ridiculous
statement, as the United
States is not going to eliminate aid from
many of these 128 states. Furthermore, when a world power like the United States
provides foreign aid, it does so to pursue its own interests. By cutting off
aid, the United States
would jeopardize its own national interests. Giving foreign aid does not mean
that the United States
automatically buys a country’s sovereign right on how to cast its vote at the
UN and try to intimidate it into submission.
Regarding the Jerusalem issue, there was much discussion in the Armenian
press about the appropriateness of Armenia
voting against the U.S.
at the UN on December 21. The fear was that Armenia
would not receive foreign aid from the U.S.
and would antagonize Israel.
In my opinion,
both of these points are not valid. I am confident that Armenia’s many supporters in the
U.S. Congress would restore the aid against the wishes of the White House, in
the unlikely possibility that Pres. Trump would carry out his threat.
ith regard to
relations with Israel, Armenia does not have much of a risk as Israel has not been friendly with Armenia.
It has no Embassy in Yerevan, has refused to
recognize the Armenian Genocide, and has sold billions of dollars of lethal
weapons to Azerbaijan
to kill Armenians! Even Azerbaijan,
despite its love-fest with Israel,
voted against the U.S.
decision. Needless to say, Turkey
also voted against it.
abstaining from voting at the UN or being absent would have isolated Armenia from the rest of the world, from
Armenian communities in Arab and Islamic countries, and contradict the wishes
of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem which
has condemned the US
Israeli leaders should not celebrate Pres. Trump’s decision on Jerusalem,
as it is not in Israel’s
interest to antagonize the rest of the world and isolate itself. Israel needs to
win over other countries, especially Palestinians, to arrive at a peaceful
resolution through negotiations, not bullying or violence!
2-     Historical
Drama Film ‘Lost Birds’
1915 Armenian Tragedy
ANGELES, CA (ABNNewswire)   
TriCoast Entertainment starts
off the New Year with Kara Kedi Films’ three-time award winning historical
drama, “Lost Birds” streaming on VOD platforms January 1 : iTunes, Google Play,
Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation, Hoopla, Vudu, DISH/Sling, and InDemand.
The historical fairytale, “Lost Birds” is noted
for its significance as the first film made in Turkey to tackle the 1915 Armenian
tragedy, as well as its unique storytelling, told through the eyes and
perspective of children. 
Lost Birds is
the first film to depict the great tragedy of 1915 that was made in Turkey.
Brought to the screen by the five years of work, persistence and courage of the
filmmakers Aren Perdeci and Ela Alyamac, who share writing and
directing credits. Lost Birds handles the task of telling a very dramatic story
in a fairy tale narrative and this leads the audience to feel something magical
yet so real at the same time,” wrote Aida
Takla O’Reilly
for the Golden Globes, Foreign Language Films (
Written and directed by Ela Alyamac and Aren Perdeci, “Lost Birds” is a
historical fairytale told through the eyes of brother and sister, Bedo and
Maryam, who were left behind during the mass deportations of the Armenians in
the Ottoman Empire of 1915.  
After Bedo and Maryam go against their mother’s
wishes and sneak out to play in their secret cave, they return to find both
their home and village empty. Along with Bacik, the wounded bird they’ve been
nursing back to health, the children embark on a dangerous, yet poetically
visual journey to find their mother.  
During an interview with Bill Higgins from The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Ela Alyamac said they’d tried to make a
film that “expressed the tragedy of the Armenian exile but tell it through the
eyes of innocent children. They don’t know what happened but they know they
can’t find their mother. But it’s more a search for a life that’s gone.”’
“Lost Birds” was first released and found
instant success at the Arpa International Film Festival, acquiring three award
wins: Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award  Best
and Best Feature Film
(Aren Perdeci, Ela Alyamac, Kudsi Alyamac, Kara
Kedi Films
and Perdeci hope the film
continues its global success, with their hopes that “‘Lost Birds’ will help
people to share and discuss their own stories after they watch the film, and
build a bridge between people who once lived on this land in harmony,” said Alyamac in an interview with Simone Zoppellaro of Yerevan.
added, “This film can not change the fact that this tragedy took place, but it
can help us to better understand each other and to look at the future with
The film will be available on VOD platforms
beginning Jan. 1 on platformsFor more information, please visit the film’s
official site:
3 –    Violetta Mailyan
        Sues Apple Demanding
        Almost $1 Trillion
LOS ANGELES ( – A California woman has filed a lawsuit against
Apple following the company’s statement that they deliberately slow down
iPhones as they get older.
Violetta Mailyan and her lawyers demand the
off-the-wall amount of $999,999,999,000,
Last week, Apple confirmed that it does
deliberately slow down the operation of older iPhones in order
to avoid the devices from shutting down because of aging batteries.
4 –    .2018 American Armenian Rose Parade Float
        Dedicated to ‘Women Who Make a
GLENDALE (LA Times) – The 2018 Pasadena Tournament of
Roses Parade once again featured a float by the American Armenian Rose Float
Assn., this time showcasing the theme “Armenian Roots.”
The float was designed by association board
member Johnny Kanounji and includes the bust of a woman holding a sprouting
pomegranate tree. She is wearing traditional Armenian headgear and garments
decorated with cultural symbols, motifs and colors.
Mary Der-Parseghian, another association board
member, said the group wanted to put together a cultural float and make it an
educational piece for the world to learn about Armenian culture.
The tournament’s official theme is “Making a
Difference” to highlight those who contribute to their communities, however
that community is defined, and never ask for recognition.
“Since this year’s theme for the tournament was
about giving back without any expectations, we thought of the Armenian woman:
the mom, the sister, the daughter who always has a commitment to their family
and community without any expectations,” she said.
The association went through the local Armenian
community and selected nine women who “have given back to the community”
featured as float riders.
They are Hermine Janoyan, who has received
numerous awards for public service; Grace Stepanian, a third-year student at
Cal State Los Angeles; Telma Ghazarian Altoon, an ultra-marathon competitor;
Ramella Markarian, vice president of business development at Adventist Health
Glendale; Alina Dorian, an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA, as well as
Sylvia Minassian, Sirvard Chimayan, Alice Petrossian, and Carmen Azinian
Southern California-based Phoenix Decorating Co.
was in charge of constructing the float, which is expected to cost roughly
Float decorations began Dec. 2. As New Year’s
Day approached, about 600 volunteers worked all-day shifts to complete the
finishing touches, Der-Parseghian said.
The association first entered a float in 2015
and took home the tournament’s President’s Award for “most effective floral use
and presentation.” This past New Year’s Day, it earned a second trophy for
“best design and best use of floral and non-floral design.”
For more information about the organization’s
2018 float or to make a donation, visit
5 –    AAF
Shipped $5.6 Million of Aid
        To Armenia and Artsakh, Oct.-Dec.
– The Armenia Artsakh Fund (AAF) delivered over $5.6 million of
humanitarian assistance to Armenia
and Artsakh during the fourth quarter of 2017.  
AAF itself collected $5.5 million of medicines and other supplies
donated by Americares ($4 million) and Direct Relief ($1.5
Other organizations
which contributed valuable goods during this period were: Dr. George Katcherian
of California
($99,000) and Birthlink of UK ($29,000)
2017, the AAF shipped to Armenia
$25 million of humanitarian aid to Armenia and Artsakh. In the past 28
years, including its shipments under its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund,
the AAF has delivered to Armenia
and Artsakh a grand total of $766 million worth of relief supplies on
board 158 airlifts and 2,376 sea containers.
Armenia Artsakh Fund is regularly offered free of charge millions of dollars
worth of life-saving medicines and medical supplies. All we have to do is pay
for the shipping expenses. We would welcome your generous donations to be able
to continue delivering this valuable assistance to all medical centers in Armenia
and Artsakh," Harut Sassounian, the President of AAF stated.
6-     Izmirlian’s
Company Files $2.25 Billion Lawsuit
Chinese Contractor Over Massive Fraud
(Reuters) -The owner of the Baha Mar Resort, BML Properties Ltd, has filed a
$2.25 billion lawsuit alleging a “massive fraud” by the Chinese contractor of
the luxury hotel and casino project in Nassau,
the Bahamas,
that opened its doors in April after years of delays.
The 259-page complaint, filed in state court in Manhattan on Dec. 26,
accuses Chinese state-backed contractor China Construction America (CCA) of
running a self-enrichment scheme that led to the failure of the $3.5 billion
mega-resort project in 2015.
“The scheme was based on CCA’s efforts to
falsely create the appearance that it was working toward an on time and on
budget opening in December 2014 while knowingly and fraudulently concealing its
real intent not to construct the Project on time and on budget and in the
process extort more money than it earned and was due,” the lawsuit said.
BML Properties is led by Bahamas
businessman Sarkis Izmirlian, son of Armenian billionaire Dikran Izmirlian.
7-     Azerbaijani
Teacher Dismissed for
Tolerance to Armenians
YEREVAN ( – An Azerbaijani teacher was fired for
promoting peace and tolerance towards Armenians
He said
he took that step intentionally and is constantly
teaching “tolerance, democracy, human rights and equality” to his students.
According to
local media reports, Roshan Azizov recently dressed an Azerbaijani schoolgirl
in an Armenian national costume, photographed her against the background of the
Armenian church in Baku
and published the photo on his facebook page, which caused a lot of
The Baku
resident also added that the girl’s parents were aware of his intention and
fully supported him in his undertaking.
“Those kids still call me and say they still
love me even after I was expelled from school for no reason,” Azizov said,
vowing to remain in Azerbaijan to continue straggling, even through his “life
is in danger”.
Azizov said people should treat other nations,
including Armenians, the way they’d like to be treated.
“I realized that somebody had to take a step
forward and say something in order to open the people’s eyes,” Azizov said,
adding that the Azerbaijani people are “merciful and kind” and will understand
one day that he is right.
“Armenians and our people must live in peace.
It’s possible for the two nations to coexist side by side. War is not a
solution, it’s an excuse.”
According to Azizov, who is a teacher of English
at a Baku public school, people shouldn’t rush into making wrong decisions, as
everyone deserves to be respected, regardless of their religion and
“Both Armenians and Azerbaijanis must take
certain steps and learn to treat each other with respect,” Azizov said.
8-     Paylan Says Assassination
of Armenians,
        Alevis, Turks
in Europe Plotted in Turkey
ANKARA (CNNTürk ) -Pro-Kurdish Peoples’
Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan on December 20 said he has confirmed
intelligence that exiled opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
including Alevi and Armenian leaders, journalists and academics will be exposed
to assassination or a series of assassinations in Europe.
“I confirmed it from various sources last
weekend. I have intelligence that Turkish citizens living in Europe in
particular will be targeted by assassination or a series of assassinations,”
Paylan said during a press conference at Parliament,
Turkey Purge
Underlining that he had informed the Turkish
National Intelligence Organization (MİT), police and government about three
hitmen prepared to carry out the assassinations, Paylan said: “Due to the
oppressive policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) thousands
of academics, journalists, politicians and leaders of society are forced to live
in Europe. Those people were labeled as traitors by the AKP government, the
president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] and the media.” “Unfortunately, this sort of
discourse and the atmosphere created by politicians moves certain circles,” he
Stating that a structure based in Turkey has readied the hitmen for the
assassinations, the HDP deputy said: “This intelligence has been taken
seriously primarily by Germany
but also by many other European countries. They have mobilized their
intelligence services, and certain people and groups have been taken under
questions from reporters, Paylan did not share details of the intelligence
sources or the names of the targeted people.
The lawmaker added
that he has informed the Turkish intelligence, the police and relevant
ministers about the tip.
German media reported that a Turkish
parliamentarian has provided money to a boxing gang in Germany to buy weapons,
organize protests, and go after critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, reported the
(DW) TV and radio company of Germany.
Metin Kulunk, a member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and
Development Party (AKP) and close confidant of Erdogan, directly and indirectly
provided money to the Turkish nationalist Osmanen Germania (Ottoman Germany),
according to research by Frontal 21, an investigative news program on German
public broadcaster ZDF, and the daily Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
Osmanen Germania describes itself as a boxing
club and “brotherhood,” but German authorities have long suspected it of being
involved in criminal activity and violence. It is estimated to have 20 chapters
and 2,500 members in Germany.
One of Kulunk’s main contacts was Mehmet Bagci,
the former head of Osmanen Germania who has been in pre-trial detention in Germany
since 2016. Another key figure was the group’s vice president, Selcuk Sahin,
who is also detained.
According to police investigations, Osmanen
Germania was instructed by Kulunk to go after Kurds and critics of Erdogan
living in Germany.
Also, he allegedly organized protests against last year’s Armenian Genocide
resolution passed by the German parliament.
9-     Armenian Security Agencies Prevent Terrorist-
        Affiliated Suspect from Entering Country
(Aravod Newspaper) – The National Security Service of Armenia prevented the entry of a foreign citizen
suspected in being affiliated with an international terrorist organization to Armenia.
confirmed the information in an interview with Aravot newspaper.
did not disclose other information because of an ongoing investigation, but
said that similar preventive actions are always being implemented in case of having
credible information of danger.
In 2017,
the entry of 960 foreign citizens to Armenia was prevented due to
suspicion of being affiliated with terrorist organizations.
said it is actively cooperating with security agencies of other countries to
prevent the possible entry of terrorist-affiliated suspects to the country.
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