Luke: "How does your activism fit with your scholarship?"
Yitzchak: "It complements each other. I try to be objective. I’m critical of Sephardic organizational life. I received a lot of resistance when I tried to organize a Sephardic March of the Living. In the end, I pressured a lot of organizations to get on but they would only give a token of help and it wasn’t enough. There was a guy named Nissim Gaon who had a loan fund of $500 million. Even before he went under because he gave loans to the Russians and never was paid back, he essentially abandoned the Sephardic world.
"There’s no active world Sephardic federation. They don’t do anything. I write about these things. You can see. I’ve written about it critically for example in the new Encyclopedia Judaica. Read what I wrote about Jewish communities and how they’re run. I’m extremely critical. You have to be diplomatic and work with some of these people, but in terms of scholarship, I don’t spare any of them. There’s serious scandals, serious embezzlement, serious leadership scandals."
"A long time ago, someone said to me, ‘You’re not really noticed, but what you write is important. And that’s what’s important. And that’s why I have to know you because I know you are going to write many things — for better and for worse — that are going to be the last word.
"Area specialists have an impact. I’m not creating things. I’m writing what is. I don’t write things off the top of my head. Historians base things on documents, on sources. The Holocaust and the historiography of the Holocaust, much of that is based on oral history because they have no choice. It’s based on individual stories. But what happens in a community is not based on individual stories. It’s based on documents. It’s based on articles. It’s based on interviews with community leaders. Maybe the leaders come and go, but I’m not coming and going and my students aren’t coming and going.
"Sometimes you decide not to write things, but for the most part, I write things. I try to write it in a diplomatic method and I try to be balanced. I may be critical, but I also give people credit where credit is due."
"Jewish communities are out of touch. If they weren’t out of touch, they would prosper more. They would be more moral, much more accountable. It’s not an issue of lack of transparency. There’s little democratization in the Jewish world."
"Despite the fact that the internet has opened the world up, very few people take advantage of that. Another hat that my interviewer here doesn’t really realize is that for the last 18 years, I edit a monthly email publication on Sephardic Jewry which has about 20,000 readers. My book reviews are looked at and people in museums and libraries order the books I review."
"I also had a radio program. I’m an activistic scholar. There are people who wouldn’t cooperate with me. Daniel Sperber said to me that it was beneath his dignity to appear on radio. I brought to the Jewish world some of the best minds, the best communal leaders. For three years, I had a show on the Jewish diaspora. I’d do an Ashkenazi community one week, a Sephardic community another week. I also did special shows on holidays. The point is I brought out the best of the Jewish world. I also talked about controversial things in Reform Judaism, about corruption in giur (conversion) by Orthodox rabbis in Latin America or Israel. It is our duty to bring these things up."
"Many of the people doing these terrible things are volunteers, but it is only volunteers who can counter all sorts of chicanery. Hopefully, all though this is a very low-key home broadcast, someone out there may decide to make waves about these things. I’ve learned, especially in Israel, that a small amount of people highly motivated can do a lot of things. I hope that if you haven’t been incited or inflamed or insulted that you’ll learn something from this and it will motivate you to take some action."
Luke: "Why did you come to Los Angeles?"
Yitzchak: "I came to Los Angeles to get away, but I don’t say that facetiously. I live in Tzur Hadassa. I tried to make Tzur Hadassa Jewish. I tried to make Tzur Hadassa develop. It’s like a suburb of Jerusalem. You have a very vehement anti-religious population. I was the so-called mayor for a few years. And a lot of people didn’t like me. The people who controlled the kitty before me didn’t like me because they would give out the money, even in cash, for favors. And people didn’t like me because I don’t take s—. I discovered since I ask a lot of questions and I’m aware, I’m a researcher, I’m like an intellectual detective, that the place had an anti-semitic background before I came in 2000.
"The first incident of anti-religious obsessive behavior which I call anti-semitic is when there was a threat to burn the siddurim (prayer books) in 1991. There was an active demonstration on Friday night at the Chabad rabbi’s house to burn it down. The head of the settlement then was given a political criminal record. I know of three attacks on sifre Torah (Torah scrolls), one of which I witnessed. I saw how the mob, the Jewish-speaking mob, became incited.
"Then because the ultra-secular saw how I was building buildings and developing and ruining their fields of weeds, they made all sorts of ploys. They made a ploy to oppose the building of a mikveh, which is legally mandated in Israel. They made a ploy that the charedim are taking over. They blasphemized one of my friends, who organized this with two ultra-Orthodox realtors… They opposed the building of a Modern Orthodox Sephardic shul.
"I wanted to go to Los Angeles and teach about Sephardic Jewry and do things that in Israel I couldn’t do because Sephardic culture is low culture in academia and you’re always on the fringe. In these middle-aged academic institutions in the Germanic system, a lot of what I do, which is contemporary history, isn’t recognized.
"I had a friend named Sam Adelman who became the dean at the American Jewish University. Two weeks after I arrived, he was fired and all the plans I had to establish Sephardic Studies at the university, to make it a serious academic program, to teach Judaic-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, all that was canned.
"I also came to make connections, to find donors on the West Coast for a future Sephardic museum. I also came to interview people, to do research on crypto-Jews, and I came to try to put Sephardic Jewry on the walls of LA Museums and the Holocaust. Hopefully in the new museum of the Holocaust, there will be some Sephardim on the wall. I’ve started to interview a few of them with rare stories. LA Jews also have to widen their scope. The Holocaust wasn’t just Northern Europe, it was also North Africa and the Far East. There were hundreds of Jews in Japanese internment camps where they were tortured. Not all the Jews were saved in Shanghai. Three hundred Jews died of cruel conditions in the Hongkuew Ghetto in Shaghai."
"Unless you stay in a place for a long time, a year or two years, you can’t meet a lot of people."
Luke: "How much success are you having in achieving your goals in Los Angeles?"
Yitzchak: "It takes time… It was very tough for me and my family here. We’re like new immigrants. Most Israelis come here to upgrade. We’ve downgraded by coming. I put out tens of thousands of dollars to get here. My wife wasn’t recognized for eight months as a physical therapist. Basically the Jewish community is very alienated with what goes on. She was the department head of Physical Therapy at the Alyn Children’s Hospital. She’s the authority in her field in Israel. Here, they never even related to her at Cedars-Sinai. At an international physical therapy conference she gave in Eilat, Israel, two of the heads of her profession in LA were there to hear her and they couldn’t even give her a position. Basically she does home visits in West LA. In a lot of ways, it’s a slap in the face. Someone like her should be an executive and making $14,000 a year, and basically she’s making $50 a visit and she’s hoping that people don’t cancel on her. That’s also something that’s morally corrupt. On a given day, she can make five appointments, and anywhere from one to four people all of a sudden will cancel on her. It tells a lot about LA and it tells a lot about the Jews also."
Luke: "What’s the difference between Sephardic Jewry and Mizrachi Jewry?"
Yitzchak: "Sephardic Jewry originally comes from the Iberian peninsula. Mizrachi Jewry is Eastern Jewry. It could be North African. These are academic terms and terms of social protest. The Ashkenazi world, not since the state of Israel, coined the others as "Sephardi." Some were and some weren’t."
"If you say ‘mizrachi’ in Israel, the connotation is someone who has an agenda because they’ve been done over by the Ashkenazi establishment and they’re on the fringe. In brushing over the issues of Israeli society, mizrachim are the ones who haven’t been acculturated to this day. You already have four generations of poverty, particularly from Southern Morocco. They’re included also in the Shas phenomenon."
Luke: "Is there anyone starving in Israel?"
"Israel has about 30,000 non-profit organizations which give out food and other items in the absence of government responsibility. It’s a pretty severe situation and American Jewry doesn’t catch it at all."
Luke: "What did you find when you came to Pico-Robertson?"
Yitzchak: "I was shocked positively… I think there have to be 120,000, 130,000 Jews who live in Pico-Robertson (within two miles of this intersection). The majority are Modern Orthodox. I’ve counted 68 synagogues. Less than ten are Ashkenazi. The rest are Sephardi or Mizrachi. I was stunned by the French aliyah to Los Angeles. There are a lot of Jews of North African extraction who’ve left France to come to Los Angeles… I didn’t realize there were so many Israelis in Los Angeles… You can’t really tell by who you meet on the streets but if you read the Israeli press here, there’s a huge Israeli population here, well beyond the 250,000 Israelis who’ve ever registered at the Israeli consulate since the creation of the state of Israel (in 1948).
"I would put the figure at 700,000 [Israelis who now live in LA]. That’s more than the 650,000 figure given for the general Jewish population [in Los Angeles]. It is known that many of these people are illegal. Many are here as tourists, students, academics, and people working on extended stays. In other studies I’ve seen, there are some 500,000 Israelis in the US, but that doesn’t include illegals. They are holding out just to get better opportunities. Why are they here? Because they don’t have the opportunities in Israel… Israel is a very in-bred society."
We talk about the leading Mizrachi rabbis in Pico-Robertson. There are the Persian brothers Zagori at Torat Hayyim on Robertson, it’s ultra-Orthodox, the Beverly Hills Nessah synagogue gets about a thousand people on Shabbat morning but most of them drive there, Rabbi Bouskila presides over the Sephardic shul Tifereth Israel in Westwood (it has mixed seating, mainly old people), Haim Ovadia was fired from Kahal Yosef, the Iraqi shul on Santa Monica Blvd and is now the rabbi at the Chalabi shul in Beverly Hills. The most dynamic young Persian rabbi is Lulian. He encourages Persian kids to go to university. Lulian is a rabbi in Encino and also is involved in a community center in Beverly Hills where Persian youth and young adults have sports activities. Rabbi Pinto at the Pinto shul on Pico and Bedford. They help Israel, they fund a subsidized supermarket for the poor in Ashdod, Israel. He’s influential among the French-speaking immigrants. Rabbi Netaneli, formerly Mashbiya of the Or Hehayim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, is the mekubal Kabbalist rabbi with a small young following which meets on Wooster Street.
"What I’m astounded by is the wealth of Persian Jews. I didn’t realize that even the poorest Jews from Iran, such as Shiraz, are excessive about $5000 Gucci purses. I met a poor Persian boy who only deals with real estate and a woman doesn’t want to marry him because he can’t buy them that kind of stuff. On her own, she bought four Gucci purses. This is just horrendous, to have a culture based on this. There’s a whole shtick about how a Persian-Jewish woman walks into an event and puts her Gucci purse down on the table for people to see… And these people hardly give to charity. They might give once and they’ll make a big noise. They don’t have a tradition of giving continuously and to a lot of organizations that need it."
"I came here with a friend during the war in Lebanon (in the summer of 2006) for a food fund called Kol V’Chesed. We raised money for 10,000 families throughout Israel to get food on a regular basis in 170 locations. Here we couldn’t get money for a truck because we can get more food if we can deliver it.
"I spoke in eleven Persian synagogues in LA and five of them didn’t give their pledges. Most of them are in the Valley."
Luke: "Anywhere close to their pledges?"
Yitzchak: "No. They didn’t give at all. They announced in the synagogues. They stood up. It was Shabbat so we couldn’t write it down.
"In Great Neck, we went to the poorest synagogue where the bidding for the honor of opening the Torah on a regular Shabbat morning starts at $5,000. We did well there."
"But [Persian Jews in LA] are not an integral part of the Jewish community and the Jewish community can’t really relate to them. It all goes back to problems of East and West."
Luke: "So the Persian Jewish community in Los Angeles doesn’t feel a part of the wider Jewish community?"
Yitzchak: "It depends where, but why are they starting storefront [shuls] all the time? They want to pray the way they want to pray. There are some minyanim that are based on city of origin. If they are from Shiraz, they don’t like the tunes from Esfahan. Most of them are not big givers to Federation. They have their own circles. Thirty years after, they want to make a civic input. But what is their Jewish input? Most of them have not gone to day schools. As Orthodox Jews know, if you’re not going to day schools, you’re going to drift away. Whereas these groups look very traditional, the younger generations are already drifting away."
On June 3, 2003, Yitzchak Kerem emailed this list:
While I am not convinced that many of the readers of the list will treat my response in a scholarly manner, I would like to raise the following points about the significance of the [Israel] Singer-Barthelomaios [His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople] meeting:
Unfortunately, there are two issues here. The first is that Sephardic Jews have been shafted in terms of reparations from the Holocaust and the second issue is the rift between the Old Church in Istanbul and the Greek Church.
For over 20 years, I have been active in protesting and rectifying that the Sephardim receive Holocaust reparations. Singer has manipulated, together with many predecessors beginning with the deceased Nachum Goldmann of the World Jewish Congress, and moving on with the late Sol Kagan of the Claims Conference, that reparations are denied to as many survivors as possible. The Greek, Sephardic, and Eastern European Jews from the former Soviet Bloc suffer from this the most. There are thousands of Greek and other Sephardic Jews who have never received Holocaust reparations. Most of the Salonikan women who were Mengele experiment victims in Auschwitz still have not received reparations from Germany and were denied recommendations from the Clains Conference. A group of 700 Greek Holocaust survivors in Tel Aviv were televised in 1989, and 1990 for not receiving Holocaust reparations. They lost 3 trials in Israel. Countries like the United States, Canada, Italy, and others have been very wicked in not giving Sephardic survivors reparations. Until this day, no Sephardic survivors have received insurance and gold indemnities. I testified against Israel Singer,m the World Jewish Congress, and the Claims Conference at the Israeli Knesset seversl years ago, but nothing has happened.
The Spanish government gve the World Jewish Congress a multi-million dollar fund for Sephardic Holocaust survivors, but the WJC does not want to divide it. The Greek government even has a fund that they never have distributed!
Anyone who has enquired, or read anything on Greek Jewry in the Holocaust knows that the Greek-Orthodox Church in Greece was exemplary in protesting deportations and in rescue of Jews. Not only was Daskinos recognized as a Righteous Gentile, but so was Thessaloniki Metrapolit
Gennadios and Zakynthos Metropolit Chrystostemos. Someone like Singer, who is a self-appointed power-broker, could care less about the Sephardic Jews and Greece. He wanted to meet Bartelomaos to discuss relations of Greek-Orthodox Church in Israel with Israel and the Palestinians.
While the Old Church is much more observant and traditional than the Greek Church, they are much more hostile toward the Jews. For example, In 1976, I met with the Metropolit of Chania (who follows the Old Church) and he couldn’t help refraining from emphasizing the validity and truth behind the famous anti-Semitic book "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". The Old Church with its proximity and representation of the Greek-Orthodox in the Arab world and in the Palestinian Authority, also is much more critical of Israel and its Jewish population. Some of the traditional hostile liturgy toward the Jews has not been removed.
Singer also came to Thessaloniki to deflect the local Jewish population, which did not receive monthly reparations as did most other Jewish survivors (that receive) and threw them a bone of a one-time sum of some 500$. In Israel and the Americas, the one time sums can add up to 5,000$ or even 15000 DM! While the system is not just, and those who were in Germany until 1947 get the most for a monthly sum, those that do get monthly sums usually get some 200-400$ a month. In Greece, this never happened! A group of Salonikans in Montreal who were in Auschwitz and elsewhere for almost 2 years, don’t get anything and they have never received a response to the numerous letters they have written to Canadian Jewish institutions. One woman in LA from Greece who was in Auschwitz received 6 rejection letters since 1953 from the Claims Conference in NY!!!
While many Greek-Orthodox who are divided between the Greek and Old Churches don’t talk and mix, Barthelemaois snubbing of the Thessalonikan Bishop is more of the same and more. Please try to keep your responses to a medium roar and please refrain from anti-Semitic remarks and perosnal insults.
I quote this to provide some context for Dr. Kerem’s remarks later in the interview about various genocides.
It’s a messy business with the Armenians and the genocide, one that Dr. Kerem delves into towards the end of our interview. Here’s a link on Armenian anti-Semitism and their blame of the Jews for the 1915 genocide. See this link for Armenian anti-Semitism and blood libels against the Jews in late 19th century in Ottoman Empire. See this link for details on Armenian Nazi activities in Shoa and their involvement in the genocide of the Jews. Here’s another link on Nazi-Armenian collaboration in genocide of Jews. Here’s a related link.
On July 8, 2007, Jewcy.com’s Joey Kurtzman wrote, "Denying the Armenian Genocide should be the last atrocity perpetrated by the ADL chief." Related posts on Jewcy.com. Here’s the 2006 New York Times on Armenian pressure to stop a PBS documentary on the Armenian genocide.
Luke: "Who were the collaborators with the Germans in the Balkans during the Holocaust?"
Yitzchak: "A lot of the other ethnic groups were involved. Surprisingly, in the Salonica, the Asia-Minor refugee immigrants who came in the 1920s were hostile to the Jews, but they weren’t major collaborators with the Nazis. The major collaborators were Ponts and Armenians. And they got away with it. They never were hunted down afterwards. Greece did have war trials and none of the major Armenians were ever found. The Armenians had a very dark history with the Holocaust. They had two pro-Nazi units. The Muslims, fueled by the Mufti of Jerusalem, carried out much of the genocide of the Jews in Bosnia and former Yugoslavia… The Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini formed two pro-Nazi Arab Muslim units. He was involved in planning 1941 Nazi-inspired Farhud riots in June 1941 which killed 180 Jews in Baghdad, several in Basra, and 11 Kurdish Jews in Kirkuk. There’s a woman in Washington D.C. named Flory Jagoda who sings Judeo-Spanish songs. Thirty-some members of her family in a small village were stuffed into a barn by the local Muslims and burned to death.
"This is a side of the Holocaust that you usually don’t see. You also have the Serbs who were involved in the annihilation of Jews. You had the Croatians who first exploited the Jews. They devoted their efforts in the Jasenovic death camp, first to destroying the Jews. They kept 40-something Jews alive. Then they killed 750,000 Serbs [during WWII]. Those Jews who remained in the camp in minor functions such as forced labor are blamed for the annihilation of the Serbs.
"Unfortunately, my fellow scholars of the Holocaust did not see the importance of putting the Balkans on the agenda. They had workshops in England on all sorts of issues related to genocide but I was rejected to lead a workshop on the Balkans.
I email Yitzchak after our initial interview for more details. He replies: "We have a bi-annual group of some 500 scholars of the Churches and the Holocaust. In the 1990s, they had a summer workshop in England on genocide led by scholars who proposed genocides despite ongoing genocide in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. My proposal to lead a workshop on those relevant Balkan and ex-Yugoslavia genocides was rejected and only issues of Jewish Holocaust and Rwanda were taught. Typical xenophobia of mainstream Ashkenazi or western scholars."
"In the 1990s, there were no real reports of genocides in the East. This is the sick man of Europe. It doesn’t rate. More people talk about Rwanda and its lessons, Darfur even, then what happened in the Balkans. It’s also a symptom of the distorted view the West has of the East.
"The Balkans has vehement ethnic and religious conflicts that won’t go away.
"Why does the world only focus on what the Germans and Poles did? What the Serbs and Croatians did was terrible. It involves hundreds of millions of people. What does the issue not rate? Because the West does not want to deal with it.
"In Bosnia, there was a Dutch unit of the UN that left their posts and allowed the killing to go on."
Luke: "How many Jews outside of Europe died in the Holocaust?"
Yitzchak: "In terms of numbers, it is very small. We’re only talking about a few thousand. That’s only because the war was very short. The British succeeded in thwarting the Germans in North Africa. In Tunisia, for example, you only had Nazi occupation for five months."
"The Italians are even worse than the Germans in terms of reparations [for the Holocaust]. They only started giving reparations in 1985. They really give survivors a hard time when they are making applications. That hasn’t been scrutinized. It’s a population out of the radar screen. They’re not exactly Ashkenazi."
Luke: "There’s been controversy over the past 20 years about Israel pushing Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide?"
Yitzchak: "It’s an extremely loaded issue. The Ottoman scholars have a different view of it, more as a perennial conflict. Turkey has been tricked many times. That’s more the issue. I’ll give you an example from Israel [in the early 1980s]. The first Turkish ambassador to Israel, Ekrem Gevenderum, became more Jewish and more pro-Israel than Israel would’ve liked. He went on [Israeli] TV in a show about the Armenian genocide and was going to give an official response sanctioned by the Turkish government. By the chicanery of the editors, including some Armenian influence… He wanted to say that it was time that Turkey reconciled with this and acknowledged what happened. He talked about when he was in Washington, he was very sensitive to the Jewish holocaust.
"What did the editors do? They twisted his words. They had him say that not only wasn’t there an Armenian holocaust, but there wasn’t a Jewish holocaust.
"This was on Israeli TV on Friday night. Turkey almost broke off diplomatic relations with Israel.
"Armenians have knocked off over 40 diplomats. There are 42 Turkish diplomats killed since 1973 by Armenians. There are additional assassinations which are more contemporary. Note the assassination of the Turkish consul in Los Angeles. (Link, Link,)"
Luke: "Turkish diplomats?"
"There’s a scholar in Minnesota who’s a Turk and totally sympathizes with the Armenians and is critical of Turkey. Taner Aksam.
"But there’s a middle road. The problem is when you have these scholars who twist reality. That’s where the friction starts. There’s an Ottoman scholars group. You have these people who come. We even pressed for the Turkish archives to be opened to these people. Then they come and they make up things and they twist things. So instead of having a genuine dialogue over what happened, it becomes overly politicized. The problem is the question is extremely loaded and there was not one incident in 1915. What happened in 1893-1895 was a blatant genocide. Extremist [Armenian] groups tried to overthrow the sultan six times. So, like a bully, Turkey retaliated in mass. It also was led by the treacherous Sultan Abdul Hamid. The 1915-1923 events of the Armenian-Turkish conflict are of a very different nature.
"In 1915, it’s more of a conflict. Turks will exaggerate and say that more Turks were killed in the fighting from 1915 to 1923 than Armenians. They do have responsibilities towards the Armenians, but to pattern itself as a Jewish holocaust which [some Armenians] have done, they were pushed by British intelligence, is a distortion of history.
"My point is, and this is what the Armenians don’t like, is that more Kurds killed Armenians than Turks. The Turks did terrible things to the Armenians. They butchered people right and left. They raped and pillaged, but it wasn’t an organized act by the regime. It was a byproduct of hate. The Turks did terrible things to the Greek Orthodox, especially in Izmir. To call that a holocaust and a genocide when you are equating that with the Jewish holocaust is a distortion.
"In academia today, if 100 people have been killed in a planned massacre, you can call that genocide. The issue here is — is it an attempt to wipe out an entire people? The Armenians had a state afterward. Not in the historic areas of Armenian kingdoms in the past, but in what became the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union essentially threw them out. The Armenians have a state today.
"What the Armenians do is not commemoration. They don’t have holocaust museums. They take a tramp on the Jews.
"Why aren’t Armenians all over the world giving millions of dollars to establish an Armenian genocide center? They’re just interested in provoking. To threaten a few Jewish scholars, a few Jewish historians, is not the way to deal with it.
"No Ottoman scholar is going to give legitimacy to any murder that a Turk did. After the war, the Turks did put 1800 people on trial."
"At a Holocaust conference in 1994 Berlin, the Armenians tried to take over the stage and demand that the Armenians issue get equal footing. This isn’t the way.
"In retaliation for what the Jews did in 1901 as loyal Ottoman citizens, the Armenians had a blood libel against the Jews in Istanbul. There were the 1909 Adana riots (the massacre of 30,000 Armenians in Adana, Turkey in 1909). In the Ottoman empire, you had to pay homage to the sovereign. At the beginning of the Easter ceremony, the Armenians didn’t say the hymn to the Sultan. So, unjustly, the Ottomans killed 30,000 Armenians. What’s the catch here? The Armenians blamed the Jews for this."
"During the Holocaust there were only three righteous Jews from Armenia. That’s an indication that Jews were not very well liked. But the Jews, even in the Vilna ghetto, made out the Armenians to be the symbol of the underdog, based on the perception of what happened in WWI based on the perception of a few written accounts in Palestine… How can you call one catastrophe a genocide if you have seven, eight, or nine parallel catastrophes? What did the Greeks do to the Macedonians and what did the Ottomans do to Bulgarians and vice versa? What did the Ottomans do to the Serbs and the Croatians? You have hundreds of years of forced conversions. This is why all these things are loaded issues. Turkey didn’t decide overnight to react to the Armenians. You had these provocations of attempts to overthrow the throne."
"Essentially, what [the Armenians] are doing is propagating hate. The Armenians are not establishing centers all over the world for genocide education."
"Extremist groups among the Armenians are involved in all these underground acitivities in Cyprus, the Bekaa Valley in Lebananon. The Jews should be sensitive to the Armenians, to what happened in Darfur, and in Bosnia. They should be sensitive to what happened in Cyprus with the Greeks losing part of the island."
"In terms of Israel, the Armenians a lot of the time were on the wrong side. They were in terror with the Palestinians against Israel, together with training with the IRA and all sorts of bad boys."
"Stanford Shaw was hugely sympathetic towards the Armenians. At UCLA, they organized a huge demonstration at his class. What kind of behavior was that? And then a young man put a bomb in his house in Northridge."
"The Armenians only go after Jewish scholars.
"Because the Western World ignores the East, ignores Eastern Orthodoxy. They don’t relate to these issues. The Eastern Orthodox don’t participate in interfaith religious dialogue. The Armenians want the cooperation of the Jews to publicize the Armenian genocide but they’re not willing to engage in interfaith dialogue with us or the Catholic Church or Western churches."