Why did Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib decide to support occupation and ethnic cleansing?
With her Jewish-Israeli problem, U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib often speaks about how Israel “occupies” “Palestine,” commits “ethnic cleansing” and how the Jewish state has caused Arabs to become refugees.
Nevertheless, when it comes to Armenia and its illegal military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region, Rep. Tlaib makes a sudden U-turn. She vociferously supports this internationally and US-condemned occupation, contradicting 28 years of US bipartisan policy and the four UN Security Council (UNSC) binding resolutions.
On October 8, 2019, the Los Angeles-based Armenian newspaper published an article with a gleeful title: “ANC-Michigan Applauds Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Commitment to Improve U.S.-Artsakh Relations.”
ANC-Michigan is an affiliate organization of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
According to the article, “The Armenian National Committee of Michigan recently met with Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) to discuss issues important to the American-Armenian community of Michigan, during which she committed to joining the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and co-sponsoring both the Artsakh Travel and Communication Act (H.Res.190) and H.Res.452, which aims to improve relations between the U.S. and Armenia.”
A few days after the meeting Rep. Tlaib officially put her autograph under both ANCA-promoted measures.
It appears that Rep. Tlaib has actually become a political prisoner of the Armenian lobby in Michigan that in all likelihood has been greasing her political career, helping her to gain a Congress seat, in a political term, “taking good care of her.”
Armenia’s Nazism adulation
Armenia continues defending its glorification of Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan, better known by his nom Garegin Nzhdeh, a Nazi General who served the Nazis with the Armenian Legion during World War Two. A memorial in his name opened in Kapan, a town at the southeast of Armenia in 2003 and the monumental statue of Nzhdeh in Yerevan, erected in May 2016. In a statement Ilham Aliyev, the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan lamented that “unfortunately, the new authorities in Armenia have not dismantled this monument.”
ANCA and its anti-Semitism trend
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has its roots in the ultranationalist and radical Dashnak movement. It is the lobbyist arm of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, also called the Dashnak Party. In the early 1930’s Dashnak members publicly lauded Hitler’s agenda, using their news media such as “Asbarez” in California and “Hairenik” in Massachusetts to thank Hitler and the Nazis for their efforts to “cleanse Europe of Jews,” as well as calling the Holocaust a necessary “surgical operation” and Jews “poisonous elements” (see Hairenik, August 19-20, 1936 issue; and, Who are the Dashnags, by James G. Mandalian, Boston: Hairenik Press, 1944).
Post-war ANCA became infamous for its radicalism and dubious activities. Mourad Topalian, the chairman of ANCA, who sat on the board of the ANCA-Western Region in Los Angeles until 2018, has been a suspect of terror acts in the USA and in 2001 was charged and convicted by the United States government with conspiracy acts, storing stolen explosives and owning two machine guns. After his conviction, ANCA gave him its highest “Freedom Award.” Topalian was associated with the terrorist organization called JCAG. In 2010, a Washington Post editorial even called ANCA, “a particularly noxious lobby that claims to represent Armenian Americans, many of whom live in California.”
Nowadays, ANCA continues with its Antisemitic trend, albeit in a disguised form. Quite often, it publicly attacks Israel and actively lobbies the Congress to pressure Israel to change its foreign policy vis-a-vis Azerbaijan, a majority-Muslim nation and a close friend of the Jewish state.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Rep. Tlaib has decided to side with such a radical and anti-Semitic – anti-Israeli lobbyist group. She is made of the same cloth.
‘Artsakh’ is a non-existing entity
The Artsakh Travel and Communication Act (H.Res.190), which Rep. Tlaib has sponsored is one of ANCA’s major legislative initiatives, they pursue on the Capitol Hill. It is the ANCA’s ongoing effort to legitimize the so-called “Republic of Artsakh” that Armenia established on Azerbaijan’s occupied territory, a territory that is an integral part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Act has not passed yet.
During the years 1991-94, Armenia’s armed forces occupied one-fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region (called “Artsakh” by Armenia), and forcibly expelled more than 800,000 Azerbaijani civilians from their homes and land. Together with 250,000 Azerbaijanis who were expelled from Armenia itself, the number of Azerbaijani refugees soon reached ONE MILLION PEOPLE, who, till today, are unable to return to their lands and homes.
The aggressive and unlawful military occupation of Azerbaijan’s territory was accompanied by massacres against Azerbaijanis, the largest of which took place on February 26, 1992, in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, when Armenian and Russian troops invaded the town and massacred 613 Azerbaijani civilians including around 300 children, women and elderly. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) called this act “the largest massacre in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
The four U.N. Security Council resolutions, adopted in 1993: Resolution 822 (1993), Resolution 853 (1993), Resolution 874 (1993) and Resolution 884 (1993), reaffirm Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the territory occupied by Armenia, and demand an immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from all of the occupied regions. Unfortunately, to-date, Armenia has not fulfilled these U.N. Security Council legally binding resolutions.
Promoting its aggression and in order to conceal its illegal occupation policy, Armenia went ahead and created on the Azerbaijan’s lands they occupy the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” (“NKR”) or “Republic of Artsakh” as they now call it. No country in the world recognizes “NKR” “independence.”
The territorial integrity, borders and sovereignty of Azerbaijan are recognized by all members of the international community, except Armenia. On many occasions, the United States has unequivocally stated that it supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state.
Due to the Armenian ethnic cleansing, the Karabakh region is currently populated only by Armenians while the hundreds of thousands forcefully displaced Azerbaijani civilians are not allowed by Armenia to return to their homes.
So the questions I present to Rep. Tlaib, a self-proclaimed “defender of human rights,” is, why she is giving her full and unconditional support to an unlawful military occupation and ethnic cleansing that has caused over one million Azerbaijani civilians to become refugees for the last three decades?
And, are the campaign donations from the Armenian special interests groups so significant and her Antisemitic sentiments are so strong as to make Rep. Tlaib take such a hypocritical and about-face stance?
I am afraid and saddened that the answer is YES!