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World Forgot Plight of West Azerbaijanis

World Forgot Plight of West Azerbaijanis

Across the world, media outlets and non-governmental organizations are speaking about the plight of Armenian settler colonialists in Karabakh, who left their homes voluntarily.   For example, the International Crisis Group recently published a report, proclaiming: Armenia is having problems integrating over 100,000 refugees who fled Nagorno-Karabakh when Azerbaijan took control of the enclave in September 2023. Yerevan has tried to be generous, but it lacks funds and a long-term plan, leaving the displaced people exposed and facing an uncertain future.” 

They discussed the difficulties faced by Armenian settler colonists who left their homes voluntarily upon return to Armenia, while remaining deafly silent about the plight of the West Azerbaijanis, who faced similarly difficulties and who unlike these Armenians were the indigenous inhabitants of the land and not settler colonialists, whose presence in Karabakh violated four UN Security Council resolutions.  Similarly, the European Commission just released a statement, proclaiming: “the Commission is allocating an additional €5.5 million in humanitarian aid to support the Armenians displaced from the Nagorno-Karabakh region.”

Underlining EU’s humanitarian support to Karabakh Armenians, Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: This is the first winter for thousands of Karabakh Armenians who fled to Armenia last Autumn. In these challenging times, it is our humanitarian duty to provide protection and assistance to the people most in need. With this new €5.5 million funding, we will aim to further strengthen the existing EU humanitarian response to the displaced people in Armenia, by providing them with access to basic services.”

Interestingly, when Israel evacuated 9,000 Jewish settlers from 22 settlements in the Gush Katif community in the Gaza Strip, the European Union did not provide any of the Israelis who were displaced from their home with financial assistance, including in the winter months.  This remained the case, even though decades onward, not everyone who was evacuated from their homes has been able to establish a new home and a new life.  In fact, the Europeans praised Israel’s evacuation from Gaza, even though it led to this grave humanitarian disaster for the residents of Gush Katif and the brutal Hamas terror organization taking over the coastal strip.    So, why the compassion for the Karabakh Armenians and not the Israeli evacuees? Is this not hypocrisy?   Furthermore, why did the Europeans not raise a finger to help the West Azerbaijanis, whom no one ever argued were settler colonialists?   

Chairman of the Management Board of the Western Azerbaijani Community, MP Aziz Alakbarli, recently stated that today the world speaks about the plight of Karabakh Armenians, even though they are settler colonialists, but not the West Azerbaijani community, who are indigenous to the land: “the Western Azerbaijani Community does not accept the injustice committed against the western Azerbaijanis not only in the last 100 years but also in the last two centuries and rejects the consequences of this injustice. Based on the right of return established in the Convention and other important international acts, it declares as its main goal to create conditions for the return of Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of Armenia to their homeland and to ensure their individual and collective rights after returning there.”         




Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and the editor of the Economic Peace Center, which was established by Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel's Communication, Cyber and Satellite Minister. For close to a decade, she has been an Israel-based journalist, specializing in radical Islam, abuses of human rights and minority rights, counter-terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran, and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground-breaking book endorsed by Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that discusses how the media exploits the life stories of Palestinian female terrorists in order to justify wanton acts of violence. Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.