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Shout, Call Out: Jewish Community Leader Urges Armenians to Follow their Example

Ahead of the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Armenia’s Jewish community issued a statement on recognizing the Genocide:

“96 is a huge number, but for memory and national tragedy, for recognition of a people’s tragedy, there exists neither time nor distance. We find that the more distant these events become, the more serious, substantial and horrible they seem.” Community leader Rima Varzhapetyan (pictured below), who’s known as the president of Armenia’s Jewish community, presented and commented on the group’s statement during a press conference in the Armenian capital on Tuesday.

“Armenia’s Jewish community, which includes around 1,000 people, recognizes that these events are called humanity’s most terrible word, Genocide, and we call upon all the nations of the world, all governments, all states, which have thus far not uttered this word, to recognize the Genocide of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey,” she said.

Varzhapetyan noted that in Jewish forums and “high platforms,” she has repeatedly called for the recognition of the Genocide. “Many don’t even know about these events. You should do everything as we do, as do professionals; I think this is the most important step — to provide information, to shout, to call out, to act.”

The community leader referred to the Jewish people’s experience. According to her, no rich Jew “is afraid to give money for disseminating information and he considers it his duty to contribute to lessons on the Holocaust, seminars, and various publications.”

“There is a policy of Holocaust denial going on in the world because everything fades over time; the heart of the new generation no longer aches because they don’t know what’s happened. For this reason, Jews believe that measures should be applied so that there is a corresponding campaign and certainly, Armenians should do this [too].”

On Apr. 22, Varzhapetyan will fly to Washington to participate in the next meeting of the American Jewish Committee (presumably the 2011 Global Forum), where she will again address this issue.

The recognized head of Armenia’s Jewish community said she has received numerous calls in connection with the Armenian Genocide statement and that many Jewish organizations welcome this move.