Holon Institute of Technology, "Azerbaijani House in Israel" and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, held a joint scientific-practical conference on "Geopolitical reality of Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus: history and perspectives" in the framework of "Justice for Khojaly!" an international campaign on the 28th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.
Representatives of Israeli political parties, including former mayor of Jerusalem, MP from the ruling party “Likud”, Nir Barkat and MP Kathy Shitrit, MPs from the "The Israel Our Home" party Yevgeny Sova and Mark Ifraimov, as well as Deputy Mayor of Holon Mikhail Sutovsky, Chief Scientist of Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, Head of the Center for Strategic Studies under the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Professor of Ariel University, well-known Israeli expert on international relations, JPhil, Rabbi Michael Finkel, students and the faculty of the Holon Institute of Technology, Israeli journalists, numerous community members originally from Azerbaijan attended the event organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the documentary photo exhibition dedicated to the memory of victims of the Khojaly genocide.
Azerbaijan was represented at the conference by Javid Mammadzade, a representative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Participants of the event observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Khojaly genocide under the sounds of national anthems of Israel and Azerbaijan. "Justice for Khojaly!" documentary photo exhibition reminded the participants of the tragic events - the horrific scenes of the Holocaust committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people.
Arye Gut, executive director of the Israeli office of the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism and a well-known Israeli expert in the field of international relations, expressed his deep sorrow over the Khojaly genocide. He expressed hope that the occupied territories of Azerbaijan would soon be liberated and more than one million refugees and IDPs would return to their ancestral lands.
President of the Holon Institute of Technology Eduard Yakubov expressed his deep condolences to the people of Azerbaijan in connection with the Khojaly genocide: "We met with Arye Gut in Baku a few months ago and agreed to organize Azerbaijani Day at our institute. We are with you today. The successful community of Jews originally from Azerbaijan, and the "Azerbaijani House in Israel", which operates productively, form a positive image of Azerbaijan in our country. These talented, intelligent and educated people created a positive image of Azerbaijan in the eyes of Israelis in a short time by telling them about this extraordinarily beautiful nation. They told us about the tolerant and multicultural people of Azerbaijan, and that the Jewish people have never been persecuted, insulted, humiliated, looted and faced anti-Semitic activity in Azerbaijan. For many years, Israelis of Azerbaijani origin have been helping to build a strong and effective economic and even geopolitical partnership between Azerbaijan and Israel. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, said: "The best way to foresee your future is to create it yourself!". Let's work together for this happy future - for us, for our beautiful young people. We can and must do many things for a happy future! I wish the brotherly people of Azerbaijan success in their activities for peace, progress and welfare of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. "
Javid Mammadzadeh, a representative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, said that relations between Azerbaijan and Israel usually go beyond diplomacy and trade. "The history of the Jews in Azerbaijan goes back to ancient times, to the time of the Assyrian kings. It is worth noting that the Jewish Diaspora in Azerbaijan is one of the first in the world. It should also be noted that, unlike many other countries, including mono-ethnic Armenia, Azerbaijan has never shown anti-Semitism. On the contrary, there are 20,000 Jewish communities and eight synagogues in Azerbaijan, where the majority of the population is Muslim. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation recently restored a centuries-old Jewish cemetery in the village of Muji, Ismayilli region. In addition, the holy Torah was translated into Azerbaijani for the first time.”
The representative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation gave detailed information about the activities of the international campaign by addressing the participants of the scientific-practical conference "Justice for Khojaly!":”This international information campaign was established on May 8, 2008 on the initiative of Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva. The campaign aims to raise awareness of international community about the Khojaly genocide, as well as the main causes and consequences of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the need for unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding regions. Its main purpose is to preserve the memory of victims of the genocide as a sign of respect and pass it on to future generations, to support the survivors and find a way to alleviate their suffering, " said Mammadzade.
Then a 10-minute documentary of "Khojaly genocide" shot with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was demonstrated.
Former mayor of Jerusalem, MP Nir Barkad expressed his deep condolences to the people of Azerbaijan in connection with the Khojaly genocide. He thanked Holon Institute of Technology, Azerbaijani House in Israel and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for holding the scientific-practical conference at the highest level: "I am well aware that our countries are developing a strategic partnership raising it to a higher level. Our Prime Minister and the President of Azerbaijan often meet on international platforms. We must do everything possible to strengthen, deepen and develop our strategic cooperation. "
MP from the "The Israel Our Home" party Yevgeny Sova expressed deep sorrow over the events in Khojaly. Focusing on the strategic importance of Israeli-Azerbaijani cooperation, he said that Israel sees Azerbaijan as an important strategic ally in the South Caucasus and an active geopolitical actor in the region. "If I say that one of the real architects of the Azerbaijan-Israel strategic partnership, along with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, was Avigdor Lieberman from Israel, I will not reveal such a big secret. It is the foreign policy concept of the leader of the "The Israel Our Home" party that has transformed Azerbaijan from a simple country in the post-Soviet space to a strategic partner of the State of Israel in Israel's foreign policy strategy. It was Avigdor Lieberman who understood the strategic importance and geopolitical importance of Azerbaijan in the region," Sova emphasized.
Mikhail Sutovsky, Deputy Mayor of Holon, originally from Baku, also expressed his condolences to the people of Azerbaijan: “Today we have the honor to commemorate the victims of the Khojaly tragedy, which took the lives of 613 people - children, women and the elderly. They were brutally and cold-bloodedly killed in the middle of the night. These people were forcibly removed from the Book of Life. However, Khojaly tragedy had been engraved in the memory of people who do not want to reconcile and do not reconcile with this tragedy. Every year we remember the victims of the Armenian terror. Today, those who value human life, those who do not forget such terrible events and those who try to do their best to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies have gathered here. "
Zeyev Hanin, Chief Scientist of Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, Head of the Center for Strategic Studies under the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Professor of Ariel University, spoke about the strategic importance of Azerbaijan for Israel. "The reliable relations of friendship, cooperation and partnership between the State of Israel and Azerbaijan are now a real and ideal model for many countries around the world. These countries have always been together in the most difficult times, they have always supported each other. One of the main reasons for strong relations is the bridge among people, the unshakable brotherhood and friendship between Azerbaijanis and Jews living in Azerbaijan for many centuries. Today's conference, in which we discuss the bloody pages of Azerbaijan's history in the early 1990s, as well as multiculturalism and tolerance, shows that the "Azerbaijani House in Israel" represents Azerbaijan's interests in Israel at the highest level. This fact once again confirms that the citizens of Israel of Azerbaijani origin are closely watching what is happening in the homeland, in Azerbaijan, and are sympathetic to it. This is a unique occasion.
It is also a fact that Israel, thanks to the active lobbyists of Azerbaijan in our country, supports its just position and calls for the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.”
The speech of Asad Farajov, a retired colonel, now an Israeli citizen, a living witness to the horrific genocide in Khojaly, impressed everyone. “After 2-3 days we went to that horrible field again. There is a photo of me against the background of the consequences of the Armenian atrocities. The humiliated bodies of the dead residents of Khojaly are still in front of my eyes. This field is located 17-20 kilometers from Khojaly. After seeing this horrible scene - murdered, disfigured and unrecognized, raped women, burned people, severed heads, ears, peeled scalps of children and the elderly, pierced heads, we realized that journalists should be brought here to convey this terrible truth about the Khojaly genocide to the world. When the second helicopter with journalists came, the Armenians thought that we had come to collect the bodies of people of Khojaly. The late Chingiz Mustafayev was with me. He was sobbing and filming what he saw. You can also hear my voice in these shots as I tell him, "Shoot this, shoot that." "If the Armenians knew that we had brought a group of journalists from France, Turkey and Russia, they would have shot down this helicopter," Farajov emphasized.
Shirin Nehamiya Michaeli, head of the Azerbaijan House in Israel, thanked Eduard Yakubov, President of the Holon Institute of Technology, for Israel's loyal and genuine friendship with the Azerbaijani community and the Republic of Azerbaijan. "I am the son of the mountainous Jewish people of Azerbaijan and I declare that we will never forget the atrocities we witnessed in 1992. May the day come when my close friends and I visit the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. We, the mountainous Jews of Azerbaijani origin, are proud that Albert Agarunov was one of the first National Heroes of independent Azerbaijan in this war against the Dashnak invaders. His heroism demonstrated the courage of the Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples. Albert was accompanied by many Jews who fought for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Some of them are missing. My close relative Vugar Mikhailov is one of them. At present, members of the Mikhailov family live in different cities of Israel. Vugar's mother, brother and sister hope that they will be able to meet Vugar again after 28 years in Armenian captivity.
Rabbi Michael Finkel, a well-known Israeli expert on international relations, expressed his condolences to the people of Azerbaijan: “We have always condemned and will continue to condemn any form of violence and cruelty against the civilian population. These horrific photos displayed in the documentary exhibition about Khojaly confirm that the bloody massacre of peaceful Azerbaijanis by the Armenian armed forces was committed with special cruelty and violence.
As a people who lived through the Holocaust, we condemn these barbaric methods and inhumane treatment of the peaceful Azerbaijani people of Khojaly. "I want to recite the Jewish 'Kadish' prayer in memory of the victims of the Khojaly genocide," said Rabbi Michael Finkel, praying for the victims of the Khojaly genocide.
The moderator of the event, Aryeh Gut, Executive Director of the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism, a well-known Israeli expert on international relations, concluded the conference by emphasizing that the organizers, ideologues, and instigators of the Khojaly genocide, unfortunately, can still escape justice. For this reason, Robert Kocharyan, Serzh Sargsyan, Seyran Ohanyan, and others, instead of spending time in prison, become presidents, ministers, they are being received and awarded with foreign orders. However, the fear of being punished by Azerbaijanis does not leave them for a moment. We feel deep sorrow for the victims, cherish their memory, and demand justice, not revenge. The international informational campaign implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is called "Justice for Khojaly!". That is, the main goal of the campaign is to bring justice to those guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and massacres in Khojaly.