BY APPO JABARIAN
EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER | MANAGING EDITOR
USA ARMENIAN LIFE MAGAZINE
Last Thursday, Lebanese Armenian TV Host Neshan Der Haroutiounian, and the Armenians of Lebanon in general, received threats by Turkish agents in Lebanon.
During a talk show on “Al-Jadid” (“New TV”) channel presented by Neshan Der Haroutiounian a tweet from a Turk called him “a refugee pussy, who showed his racism and called Erdogan an evil Ottoman.” The Guest of the episode was Lebanese politician Wiam Wahab, who also received his fair share of insults.
Later, a Turkish apologist, Muhammed Ziyad Jaafil accused Neshan of “verbally abusing a friendly country (Turkey), undermining the national unity and arousing sectarian and racial strife.” But the issue didn’t end there.
In a YouTube video, a self-proclaimed ‘Ottoman Turk,’ head of Lebanese-Arab “Mardelli” organization Mounir Hassan made death threats against the Lebanese Armenian personalities and community. He threatened to “slaughter Armenians in Bourj Hammoud,” adding that “my Ottoman ancestors did a good job slaughtering Armenians.” He called Armenians “traitors, evil, disrespectful,” suggesting Neshan is “a migrant and insidious foreigner” offending him with other epithets. He also poured his insults on Lebanese politicians, Wiam Wahab and Walid Jumblatt, who represent the Druze Community of the Mountains, calling Wahab “a traitor and liar etc.” Neo-Ottoman Turks also called Lebanese Armenians “bunch of refugees.”
Parallel to online anti-Armenian insults, a couple dozen Turkish apologists staged a protest rally in Beirut with hurling anti-Armenian insults. The protest didn’t grow.
Neshan Der Haroutiounian countered that “Erdogan, Turkey and the Ottomans are insidious,”
Lebanese Armenians and diverse Lebanese groups and individuals condemned the Turkish hate speech and expressed solidarity with Neshan.
Lebanese from Christian and Muslim backgrounds and various political parties rushed to remind the Turks that “Armenians are an integral and respected part of the Lebanese Society” and that “although they have endured all the crises caused by civil war, social inequalities, poverty, absence of social support, they still vowed to remain in this beautiful country – Lebanon that hosted Armenian refugees that had survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and shared in establishing the Lebanese Republic in 1943.” (This article writer’s late father Krikor Jabarian has served as a founding soldier in the Lebanese Army.)
Many non-Armenian Lebanese are calling for holding Turkey and neo-Ottoman Turkish hatemongers in Lebanon, accountable, by bringing them to Justice.
On Friday June 12, over a dozen Lebanese Christian, Muslim and Druze Lebanese youth and major political parties in Lebanon expressed solidarity with Lebanese Armenians and demanded the authorities to prosecute those elements for expressing hate speeches.
Turkey and its ‘Ottoman’ collaborators are frustrated that Armenians in Lebanon continue to be held in high regard and are very popular among both Christians and Muslims in Lebanon and the region.
Many Lebanese hailing from Christian and Muslim backgrounds readily identify with Armenians because these neo-Ottoman Turks’ forefathers perpetrated the 1916 systematic famine against all Lebanese. They have also perpetrated mass hangings of both Muslim and Christian Lebanese and Syrian leaders who were fighting for their individual peoples’ independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The Martyrs’ Square and the statue in Downtown Beirut and Martyrs’ Day (May 6) commemorate the Syrian and Lebanese Arab nationalists executed in Damascus and Beirut on May 6, 1916 by Turkish minister of Navy Jamal Pasha, also known as ‘Al Jazzar’ or ‘The Butcher.’
As part of the vibrant Diaspora, Lebanese Armenian community has always been in the cross-hairs of Turkey. Traditionally, Diaspora Armenians have maintained a sizable physical presence in Lebanon and Syria — lands that are in close proximity of the Turkish-occupied Western Armenia.
Many Armenians are aware that one of Turkey’s top enemies is the Armenian Diaspora. Reportedly, Turkey has secretly developed a foreign policy to systematically weaken the Armenian Diaspora. Interestingly, Turkey and Azerbaijan are more aware of the 10-million-strong Armenian Diaspora’s potential and resources than Armenia.
In recent decades, World Armenians have achieved resounding political success against Turkey and its junior partner Azerbaijan. Armenian Diaspora also served as a political, economic and technological bulwark against the two archenemies of the twin republics of Armenia and Artsakh.
The Diaspora has successfully defeated a series of Turkish and Azerbaijani public relations stunts in the Middle East, Europe and such countries as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico and Australia.
In 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan cancelled a trip to Argentina after Buenos Aires authorities halted the display of a bust of Turkey’s founder Ataturk, a move Turkey blamed on Armenian lobbyists.
In 2013, authorities in Mexico City removed a controversial statue of Azerbaijan’s late authoritarian President Heydar Aliyev from a prominent area of a park in the Mexican capital.
In 2015 – Los Angeles Armenian-American and Greek-American communities successfully defeated a Turkish initiative to erect a statue of Founder of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Carson, CA.
THE CASE OF ARAB NATIONALISM VS. NEO-OTTOMAN TURKISH AMBITIONS IN MIDDLE EAST:
During the last few years, Turkey has spent millions of dollars in order to gain a political foothold in Lebanon – the ideological, communication and economic gateway to the Middle East. Now Pres. Erdogan has practically nothing to show for except for a few paid protesters like Mounir Hassan and Muhammed Ziyad Jaafil. Making matters even worse for Erdogan, the latest orchestrated anti-Armenian outbursts in Lebanon have triggered a strong backlash against Turkey.
The Turkish assets and agitators in Lebanon who are dancing to Erdogan’s tune, are angry that Armenians in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the entire Middle East, have actively joined Arab Nationalist forces in defeating Turkey’s political and military plans in Syria and Iraq by helping the local patriotic forces fight against terrorist network directly sponsored by Ankara.
Lebanese Army has been systematically averting any terrorist presence in the country.
Pres. Erdogan, a top leader of Muslim Brotherhood organization, is dismayed that his organization is now outlawed in many countries of the Middle East. Compounding his political woes, Erdogan was dealt a major defeat in Egypt in 2013. In July 2013, his fellow Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi who had become President of Egypt in June 2012 was removed from power by the Egyptian Army.
Furthermore, like his boss Erdogan, Mounir Hassan is frustrated that Armenians are not giving up on their rights for Justice and are getting better organized and stronger worldwide.
In October 2019, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives struck a historic blow against Turkey’s century-long obstruction of justice for the Armenian Genocide, unanimously adopting two separate measures that strongly reconfirmed U.S. recognition of the 1915-1923 Turkish-perpetrated Armenian Genocide.
The House resolution was adopted 405 to 11 officially rejecting Turkey’s denials of its genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christian nations.
In 2019, Turkish thugs vandalized Armenian schools and church properties in Los Angeles. A clear act of ethnic hatred against Armenians.
During the last few decades Turkish Grey wolves killed several Armenian writers and journalists in Turkey and Europe. The denialist Turks and agents of Turkish government are implicated in poisoning the late Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, His Eminence Arch. Mesrob II Mutafyan.
The denialist Turks are troubled by the emerging multinational federation among peoples and nations with common grievances against Turkey: Greece and world Greeks, Armenia and world Armenians, Lebanon and world Lebanese, Assyrians, Syriacs, Kurds, Syria and world Syrians, Yezidis, Alexis, Shias, and others. The denialist Turks are also concerned that an increasing number of Turkish youths is recognizing the veracity of the Turkish-executed 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide and Massive Dispossession.
Lebanese Armenian and Lebanon as a whole should not get caught off guard when the next Turkish incursion into Lebanon internal affairs under the cover of anti-Armenian propaganda campaign is unleashed. They need to be well prepared. As a starting point, Lebanese authorities must bring Ottoman Turkish thugs to justice for committing ethnic hatred through anti-Armenian Lebanese hate speech.