The Jewish Journal, which is the second largest Jewish newspaper in the U.S., serving a community of 600,000 Jews in Los Angeles, published an article on Azerbaijan on September 17.
Titled “Israel’s most valuable Muslim ally” (http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/israels_most_valuable_muslim_ally), the article was authored by Rabbi Mark Diamond, Director of the Los Angeles Regional Office of the American Jewish Committee, which is one of the largest Jewish organizations in the world.
Referring to his and 11 other Los Angeles rabbis’ meeting with Consuls General of Azerbaijan and Israel in Los Angeles, - Nasimi Aghayev and David Siegel respectively, - earlier this month, Mark Diamond highlights Azerbaijan’s unique history of tolerance and respect for its Jewish community. Calling Azerbaijan a “Muslim nation that enjoys positive relations with the United States, Israel and its own Jewish community,” Rabbi Diamond stresses the need to shine a positive light on Azerbaijan’s unique story.
The author writes: “World Jewry has a special relationship with Azerbaijan, home to a nearly 2,000 year-old community of approximately 15,000 Jews. Azerbaijan has been a haven of tolerance and respect of Jews through centuries of persecution and exile in many other countries. It remains so today, a remarkable achievement given the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations in the Middle East and elsewhere.”
Noting that “Azerbaijan invests in and supports its Jewish community and Jewish heritage,” Mark Diamond mentions that “the republic is home to one of the largest all-Jewish towns outside Israel, the centuries-old Red Village of Azerbaijan, whose Mountain Jews meet and pray in several stately synagogues,” and “Baku features a state-of-the-art Jewish day school with more than 300 students”.
The author concludes that “Azerbaijan is a rare blessing and a ray of light in our deeply troubled world. It is unfortunate that most Jews have never heard of Azerbaijan... A nation that has protected its Jews for two millennia and is an ally of Israel and the United States deserves our friendship and support.”