Anti-Semitism in Azerbaijan, 2009-2010
рус   |   eng
Sign in   Register
Help |  RSS |  Subscribe
Euroasian Jewish News
    World Jewish News
        Activity Leadership Partners
          Mass Media
            Xenophobia Monitoring
              Reading Room
                Contact Us

                  Anti-Semitism in Azerbaijan, 2009-2010

                  The main manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Republic of Azerbaijan in recent years have been connected with Islamist activity in connection with radical displays of solidarity with Palestinian Muslims (first and foremost with those in Gaza), and instigated, on one hand, by the evolution of the internal and foreign policy of the moderate Islamists who are in power in Turkey (and on whom the position of Azerbaijan's leadership depends greatly) and, on the other hand, by the attempts of the Iranian regime to influence the population of Azerbaijan through religious kinship (both Azerbaijani and Iranian Muslims are Shiites) and ethnic ties (there are more Azerbaijanians in Iran than in Azerbaijan itself).

                  Like in many Muslim countries, the events surrounding the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” became a catalyst for an outburst of anti-Semitic feelings. The culmination of these events were the tragic circumstances of the stop of the flagship Mavi Marmara by the IDF. The Mavi Marmara had been on its way to Gaza, when it had been stopped in the night of May 31st, 2010. As a reaction, anti-Israeli demonstrations took place in Baku and other cities, and they featured radical anti-Israeli and overtly anti-Semitic slogans. A number of these meetings were not authorized by the administration, and the attempt to hold a protest under the Embassy of Israel had been stopped by the police.

                  Earlier, in 2008, four Azerbaijanians and two citizens of Lebanon (caught with fake Iranian passports) were arrested in Azerbaijan on the suspicion of them being involved in the preparation of a terroristic attack against the Embassy of Israel and a number of other places. In October 2009, they were found guilty of the preparation of a terrorist attack, as well as of spying and treason. The criminals were sentenced to 12 to 15 years in jail.

                  But in August 2010, the criminals from Lebanon were set free through a contract between Baku and Tehran. Iran set free an Azerbaijanian scholar who had been imprisoned earlier. In the fall of 2010, the terrorists returned to Lebanon through Iran, having made a promise that they will not act on the territory of Azerbaijan again.