Sunday, November 19, 2023

Can we save Old Jerusalem's Armenian Quarter?

 On Saturday, the Patriarchs and heads of Churches in Jerusalem issued a joint statement declaring their total support and solidarity with the Armenian Patriarchate warning against Israeli settler takeover of Armenian Quarter land without saying explicitly.

It was the latest update in ongoing serious development that is not covered as it should in the media due to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Gaza by the Israeli army.

The statement of the Churches in Jerusalem and the Holy Land expressing deep concern about recent events in the Armenian Quarter of old Jerusalem.

They urgently appeal to relevant authorities to restore peace and harmony in the Armenian Quarter, emphasizing the need for legal negotiations to prevent further escalations.

Cathedral of Saint James in the Armenian Quarter
The door to the famous Cathedral of Saint James in the Armenian Quarter 
Arab Media considers it as a symbol of the Armenian Quarter 
with its words in Arabic "The Armenian Monastery"  

The statement of the Churches of Christianity's Holy Land comes after the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a statement on Saturday pleading with them to stand with it in what it called "unprecedented times," saying that what has been happening in the past few days was "another clear step taken toward the endangerment of the Christian presence in Jerusalem and the Holy Land."

So, What is happening in the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City?

Israeli Occupation Police aka IOP ordered local Armenians to vacate the Armenian Gardens, also known as the Cows' Garden, in the Old City of Jerusalem, alleging misappropriation of property.

How or why did this happen?

It turned out that the Armenian Patriarchate made a significant mistake, and there is now a genuine concern that this error may jeopardize the existence of the Armenian community in Old Jerusalem after 16 centuries of its presence.

The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, leased the "Cows' Garden" area which includes a parking lot to a developer, a Jewish Australian businessman for 99 years for some luxury development. The Cow’s Garden area represents about 25% of the Armenian Quarter, which already represents 14% of old Jerusalem's total.

This decision sparked significant controversy and protest among the small community of Armenian Jerusalemites, we are speaking about 2,000 Armenians including families who have been there for centuries.

Originally the Armenian Jerusalemites hoped that this area would turn into an affordable residential project for their young people to settle down there and complete living there as they have done since the 4th century AD.

Armenian Quarter Map
This is the area the Zionist settlers are trying to take over

The Armenian Patriarchate announced it cancelled a contract with the developer, who is now attempting to build on the Cow's Garden, despite the Patriarchate's legal ownership of the land.

The developer, who turned out to be backed up by Zionist Jewish settlers “as expected” has been harassing the Patriarchate, including destroying property and hiring armed provocateurs.

The IOP has demanded that all members of the Armenian Community vacate the premises, even though the developers have not presented permits from the municipality.

In recent days, the vast destruction and removal of asphalt on the grounds of the Armenian Quarter has been done without permits from the municipality by neither the developer nor the police.

The Zionist Jewish settlers backed by the Israeli government found the war on Gaza a golden opportunity to put their hand on part of its old Jerusalem kicking off its Christian owners.

It is a perfect moment as the world does not pay attention to what is happening in occupied East Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem where the Armenian quarter is located is a fully internationally recognized occupied area. According to the United Nations Security Council resolution above them the famous 242 Resolution, the Israeli army must withdraw immediately.

The UN and many countries do not recognize Israel's sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

The establishment of Israeli settlements and the alteration of the demographic and geographic character of East Jerusalem as violations of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of an occupying power's civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Therefore, many legal experts and international bodies argue that the actions and orders of the Israeli government in occupied East Jerusalem are not considered legitimate or legal under international law.

Truly the Christian patriarchates in East Jerusalem must unite and stand with the Armenian Jerusalemites and their Patriarchate because it is a matter of time before the Zionist Jewish settlers go after them.

Unfortunately, politically speaking, Armenia is not really Israel’s alley. On the contrary, Israel’s biggest ally in the South Caucasus is Azerbaijan.

Israel has armed Azerbaijan in its latest wars with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh which ended in a defeat to Armenia and the mass exodus of the Armenians from the area. Azerbaijan is Israel’s largest supplier of oil, meeting more than 60% of its demand for petroleum.

Azerbaijan already sent a million barrels of its oil to Israel last month. Speaking about oil and energy, I must point out that at the end of October, Israel made an important announcement concerning gas exploration in the Mediterranean. It awarded 12 licenses to six companies including Azerbaijan’s state-owned SOCAR to explore for natural gas in the Mediterranean north of the giant Leviathan field.

It is not a secret that the Azerbaijani people are one of the few people in the Muslim world who hold positive sentiments towards Israel. It was shown in the past weeks.

The Israeli support for Azerbaijan’s claim over Nagorno-Karabakh against the West as well as arming the Azerbaijani army with the latest Israeli war machines are enough for Azerbaijani nationalists.

On the other hand, Armenia began to strengthen its relations with Iran which supports its claim in Nagorno-Karabakh.

One must wonder if all of that played a role in the decision to unleash that attack against Jerusalem’s Armenians.

I believe the Arab and Muslim world must support and stand with Armenian Jerusalemites. Countries like Egypt and Jordan, officially have expressed their complete rejection of the Zionist Jewish attempts to change the identity of occupied East Jerusalem.

The Muslim world also must stand with them. Al-Azhar must stand with the Armenian Jerusalemites. 

The Armenian diaspora abroad and their so-called lobbies in the West can play an important role in stopping this new exodus of the Armenians of East Jerusalem and support their claim in the city. Now, it is the time to mobilize every power they have to stop this ongoing evil plan.

I want Kim Kardashian to write another letter to the US president in a paid page in the New York Times on behalf of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate.

There is no Hamas or any other Palestinian faction in East Jerusalem and the Armenians of East Jerusalem are not Arabs nor Muslims.

I hate saying that, but I think reminding the West of those facts could make it easier to support those people in their rights.

If the Western media is serious about supporting the Armenians in their quest to get the world to recognize the Armenian genocide then it should support the East Jerusalem Armenians and stop their forced displacement now.

Hopefully inshallah, those attempts to steal more land in East Jerusalem will fail.

Here is an old video representing the famous and ancient Armenian Quarter in Al-Quds and it seems to be a beautiful and peaceful place.

Please make enough noise to keep it like that.


  1. Too late to save the Jewish quarters in Egypt. Or any Jews. It is illegal to sell land to Jews in Egypt (not Zionists). Is there an Arabic word for Apartheid?

    1. The Arabic work for apartheid is...."Islam".

  2. Is that true?! It's a little hard to believe.

  3. It is the law


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