A famous Israeli political expert and public figure, Avigdor Eskin, who has been the target of Azeris lately, answered Aravot Daily’s question about what Azeri bloggers and Facebook users are accusing him of doing. He said, “After I visited Karabakh three years ago, the Azeri media with its bloggers who speak poor Russian write fantasies about me and how I was allegedly “won over” by the Armenian diaspora. They accuse me of shooting at Muslim sacred sites with “pigs’ heads.” I am not joking; propagandist Tofik Abasov really did write this about me and it was published in the official Azeri media. Azeri bloggers also regularly insult me, which they also cannot do well.”
When asked about the dangers that the closer cooperation taking place between Turkey and Azerbaijan as of late can impose on the region, especially on the Artsakh conflict, Mr. Eskin responded, “We have seen an escalation in Turkish revanchism over the past few years. This is radical Islam about Muslim brotherhood in addition to Pan-Turkism and nostalgia about the Ottoman Empire. We have seen the same thing happen in Gaza, Syria. At the same time, Ankara is trying to increase its influence on Azerbaijan. Turkey sees Azerbaijan as a potential territory for the future. This also impacts Turkey’s activities towards Armenia. The growing instability in Azerbaijan will cause Turkey to increase its activities. Now you will ask what the signs of this are. Look at how many people are moving towards Sunni Islam. This will cause Baku’s position to strengthen during peace negotiations and it causes a threat of escalation at the border,” the political scientist noted.
Aravot Daily asked him how he feels about being on Baku’s blacklist. “I was in Armenia seven times last year. Being on Azerbaijan’s blacklist did not have an impact on that at all, which is wonderful,” Avigdor Eskin said.
He was also asked about how he would evaluate Armenia-Israel relations and the opening of an Armenian embassy in Israel. “The time has come for there to be constructive cooperation between Yerevan and Israel. The world political developments in the region are causing that. This process was delayed a bit due to elections in Israel, quarantine, and internal problems in Armenia. But all the conditions are in place for this to begin. We are witnessing how to establish strong and harmonious cooperation in the diaspora. The US Congress recently recognized the Armenian Genocide. This happened due to the efforts of Representatives Adam Schiff and Engel with the support of the Jewish lobby,” the political scientist emphasized.
When asked if Azerbaijan has any right to have ambitions regarding Artsakh in his opinion, despite the fact that they frequently violate the ceasefire, the President of Azerbaijan frequently issues threats, and they have turned Ramil Safarov, who axed an Armenian soldier to death in his sleep, into a hero, Avigdor Eskin said, “The European Court of Human Rights officially condemned the acts of pardoning and making Ramil Safarov into a hero, and Armenia’s position on that issue has achieved international recognition.”
Aravot Daily also reminded him that he once said in an interview that Armenia represents peace in the region and Armenia and Artsakh need to become stronger. When asked to go into detail, he said, “There can be peace and harmony in the world if people live within their natural borders and they use their energy towards good things. The ability of Armenians to once again have statehood represents all principles of justice. It is also important that Armenia is able to open a new, constructive, and glorious page of its history. This means that Armenia needs to increase its population and attract talent. But if we are to look at this issue from a practical and political perspective, then weakening Armenia and assimilating Azerbaijan into Turkish revanchism is a threat to the whole world and the region’s stability. A strong Armenia is the way to achieve peace in the region.”
Upon the observation that Turkey does not want to face its past and accept that it committed a genocide, Avigdor Eskin said, “Unfortunately, that issue only became a part of the international agenda after the crime was committed. Unfortunately, Armenia filed several criminal cases against Turkey when it became independent, and different lobbyist groups had an impact on the parliaments of different countries during voting, which caused there to be no results. Meanwhile, it is important for awareness to increase across the world about the Armenian tragedy. This is necessary not only for Armenia, but for everyone so that it never happens again.”