Armenian capital: Antisemitic movement marches with Nazi flag

Jerusalem Post
Jan 4 2024

Hatred for Jews has no boundaries: The few Jews remaining in the Armenian capital continue to endure harassment, and following several deliberate acts of arson on the country’s only synagogue, the climax was a neo-Nazi march in the heart of the city with no intervention on the part of the authorities or the police.

The hatred for Jews and for Israel never stops – with the current war being cited as the reason of course. On January 1st, the capital city of Armenia, a country not exactly teeming with Jews, was host to a serious incident when a group of neo-Nazis paraded down the streets of Yerevan with flags displaying stylized swastikas, and chanting derogatory slogans against internal and external enemies. 

The movement in question is the Husnak movement, a nationalist movement whose website praises Hitler and contains anti-Semitic caricatures, and articles calling for the deportation of Jews and for the “exposure of their activities towards children.”

More than a month has passed since the report, which circulated worldwide, of the second arson attack on the only synagogue in Armenia within weeks, by local antisemitic entities. The true reason for these anti-Semitic acts is not the current war in Gaza, but rather, as reported several times, it is due to the support given by Israel to Azerbaijan, Armenia’s sworn rival. 

There has been a recent increase in anti-Semitism due to the conflict in the Karabakh region, and at the start of the New Year, on January 1st, a crowd of young Neo-Nazis organized a march with stylized flags displaying a swastikas.. 

According to reports published on the networks, these same young neo-Nazis organized a march to the memorial of Garegin Nzhdeh, who was an Armenian collaborator of the Nazis (and whose birthday falls on January 1st).  A bouquet of flowers was placed on the memorial and they saluted him with raised arms.

The Jewish community is outraged that the Armenian authorities took no action against the “shameful acts, and against the extremist group that raised its head.” Additionally, Jewish community representatives added that “the police did not stop the march, nor summon any of the participants for questioning, and in all probability, seeing as what has been happening in the country lately, they must be quite satisfied with these acts.”

Moreover, no one was arrested for the arson attempts on the only synagogue in the country. According to media reports, a group calling itself the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia threatened to attack rabbis and Israelis all over the world, and praised Hamas and Hezbollah following the massacre of October 7th.

Also, according to an article in the Jerusalem Post, former advisor to the armed forces of Armenia, Vladimir Poghosyan, made anti-Semitic remarks and claimed to be helping Hamas and Hezbollah to kill Jews: “I will shout out to the whole world about the just killing of Jews.” In addition, a video clip features him claiming that Jews have no right to exist, as he says, “You are jackals that need to be exterminated completely.”

He also made several serious statements, including that Israel was lucky that he did not assist Hamas and Hezbollah: “I would have killed 100,000 Jews.” The state did nothing to stop him.

If that is not enough, Armenian-Iranian ties are strengthening and becoming more strategic. The Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, arrived in Yerevan last Wednesday, where he made clear the high level of importance of Armenia to Iran.

At a press conference, Amir-Abdollahian emphasized Tehran’s support for the territorial integrity of Armenia, and remarked that the bilateral trade has to reach one billion dollars in 2024, which, of course, was an allusion to the return of the Karabakh region to Azerbaijan, which is supported by Israel.