ANCA Testimony Calls for an End to Israeli Arms Sales to Azerbaijan

Requests that Ambassador-designate Jacob Lew Press Israel to Join with America in Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), in testimony submitted this week to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called upon America’s next Ambassador to Israel to advance U.S. interests by working to end Israeli arms sales to Azerbaijan and encouraging Israel to join with the U.S. government and the American people in recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

In testimony submitted by Programs Director Alex Galitsky, the ANCA explained that up to 70% of Azerbaijan’s arsenal is sourced in Israel, and that these weapons – among them illegal cluster munitions, missile systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles – played a central role in Azerbaijan’s subjugation and ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the perpetration of war crimes against Artsakh’s population, including targeting civilian infrastructure, churches, schools, and medical facilities.

“As a party to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict resolution process, the United States has a responsibility to ensure that our military partners are not undermining long-term prospects for peace by pouring fuel on raging regional fires,” stated Galitsky. He further stressed that the US must ensure that “any Israeli military technology that is jointly developed with or subsidized by the U.S. is not used in a way that further undermines U.S. interests, promotes regional instability, or violates international law.”

Regarding the Armenian Genocide, the ANCA urged that Israel Ambassador-designate Jacob Lew “impress upon the leadership of Israel, a nation of genocide survivors, the moral imperative of ending its denial of the Armenian Genocide and joining with the American people in honest recognition and remembrance of this crime.” As US Treasury Secretary during the Obama Administration, Lew led a U.S. delegation to Armenia on the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015.

The ANCA testimony went on to note that our U.S. Ambassador should raise with the Israeli government the growing number of violations of the rights of Armenians and other faith-based and ethnic groups in Jerusalem. According to U.S. State Department human rights and religious freedom reports, “numerous cases of extremists spitting on and physically assaulting Christian clergy and pilgrims – including Armenians.”

“Such hate crimes need to be confronted wherever they take place,” stated Galitsky.

The ANCA’s full testimony is available here.