Interview with Director General of the Azerbaijan-Israel International Association (AZIZ) Lev Spivak
- How do you value the current level of Azerbaijan-Israel relations?
- Relations between the two countries are on the highest level today. Recently we have witnessed it during the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s visit to Azerbaijan. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received him and this meeting was an indicator of the high-level relations. Israeli President Shimon Peres also visited Azerbaijan several years ago. Azerbaijan and Israel have high-level political relations and economic ties are also developing too. Azerbaijan meets 70 percent of Israel’s demand for oil. Azerbaijan purchased $1.6-billion arms and ammunitions from Israel. This was largest arms sale in the history of Israel. As I know, recently Israel has sold arms to Azerbaijan again and the two countries reached an arms deal. It shows that Azerbaijan is the most important partner for Israel in the South Caucasus.
- How many Jews moved to Israel from Azerbaijan and what role they play in socio-political life of Israel?
- More than 70 000 Jews moved to Israel from Azerbaijan. Most of them moved during the Soviet period and others – after the collapse of the USSR. Azerbaijani Jews participate in all spheres of Israel’s life. As you know, Israel has the most developed health sphere in the world. 180 alumni of the Azerbaijan Medical University are working today in Israel. Azerbaijani Jews are working in the country’s leading newspapers. Editors-in-chief of three leading newspapers are Jews from Baku. Jewish people moved from Azerbaijan are working in all leading spheres. Azerbaijani Jews were elected to the Israel’s Knesset. Mayors of three regions are the settlers from Azerbaijan.
-What role do the Jews from Azerbaijan play in informing the Israeli public about the truths regarding Azerbaijan?
-The Azerbaijani Jews play an important role in informing the Israeli public about the truths regarding Azerbaijan. As you know, Armenians also live here. They have got a large community, too. They are also carrying out propaganda in the Israeli society. I have received a phone call from the Turkish embassy in Israel. They said Armenians are going to hold an event in Knesset regarding the “Armenian genocide”. As Israel’s national holiday is marked on April 24, Knesset will be on leave. Therefore, Armenians plan to hold the event early in May. This issue is under the control of the Jews from Azerbaijan.
Head of Azerbaijan-Israel International Association, member of the Knesset Alex Miller will prevent the discussion of the “Armenian genocide” at the Israeli Knesset. He is head of the Knesset’s education commission. In the past two years this person has prevented the discussion of the “Armenian genocide” at the Knesset. Parliamentarian Lia Shemtov also helps us. We are so powerful that we can not only achieve discussion of Khojaly genocide, but also its recognition by the Knesset. Now Israel recognizes only the genocide committed by Hitler against gypsies. But it does not mean that Khojaly genocide must not be discussed. Khojaly tragedy is one of the most terrible tragedies in the world.
- What activities does AZIZ carry out to achieve recognition of Khojaly genocide by Israelis?
-Every year we hold events on Khojaly genocide. These events are held on the highest level. This year we also held an event on the highest level. Members of the Knesset, famous Israeli political analysts and scientists, delegation from Azerbaijan attended the event. Exhibition on Khojaly genocide was organized during the event. Armenians attempted to impede the event. But they failed to do it. Israeli media covered the event. The Jerusalem Post newspaper, which is popular not only in Israel, but also in the US, covered the event.
The Jewish businessman German Zakharyayev, who lives in Moscow, helps us hold events on Khojaly, generally the events regarding Azerbaijan. He is Jew from Guba. Our events are financed by him. Azerbaijan State Committee on Work with Diaspora also helps us.
BAKU. 02.05.2012. APA.