fbpx
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Israel and Azerbaijan: Celebrating 25 Years of Friendship

https://jewishjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/jj_avatar.jpg
Milikh Yevdayev
Milikh Yevdayev was elected the Head of the Community of Azerbaijan’s Mountain Jews in 2012. Born in Azerbaijan’s famous Red Village (Qırmızı Qəsəbə), which is one of the largest all-Jewish towns outside of Israel, Yevdayev graduated from Azerbaijan Institute of Technology in 1971. During these times Azerbaijan was still part of the Soviet Union, and Yevdayev got employed at the Ministry of Light Industry, where in the following years up to his retirement he played an important role in the development of the textile industry in Azerbaijan. He is married, and has three children and six grandchildren. As Head of the Community, Yevdayev is actively engaged in intercultural and interreligious dialogue both in Azerbaijan and beyond. The purpose of this blog is to shed light on the Jewish life in Azerbaijan, which has one of the most ancient Jewish communities in the world. You can contact Yevdayev at [email protected]

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

 

On April 8, 2017, Azerbaijan and Israel will celebrate 25 years of friendship. As it says in the Talmud, friendship is a “critical element to our lives as Jews and for all mankind.”

On December 25, 1991 Israel became one of the first countries in the world to formally recognize the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and on April 8, 1992, the two nations established formal diplomatic ties, which have only grown closer over the 25 years since. As an Azerbaijani Jew, I have an intimate knowledge of how important and inspiring this friendship is. As a leader of my community, who has traveled across the world to many Jewish communities, I know this anniversary has profound meaning for us all.  

Israel and Azerbaijan are both exceptional countries that share much in common. They are both leaders in finding innovations in technology, energy, emergency management and international security. They are both home to diverse communities, where Christians, Muslims and Jews live as one. Israel stands alone as a progressive democracy in a region deeply embroiled in conflict and strife, and Azerbaijan stands alone in an equally unstable region; the world’s only nation to border both Iran and Russia and the only secular majority-Muslim democracy of its kind in quite a turbulent part of the world.

Israel and Azerbaijan have worked together closely over the years to establish deep and lasting trade, and today, approximately 50 percent of Israelis’ cars drive around each day with Azerbaijani oil in their gas tanks. Azerbaijan enjoys a close cooperation with Israel in the fields of technology and expertise, especially when it comes to defense, national security, medicine, IT and agriculture. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have both visited Azerbaijan several times, and on his most recent visit in late 2016, Prime Minister Netanyahu said of Azerbaijan that “Here is an example of what relations can be and should be between Muslims and Jews everywhere.”

The relationship goes beyond trade and mutual goals of safety and fighting extremism.  There is a tremendous understanding of mutual respect between the two nations. To demonstrate how far this goes, I remember when one of Azerbaijan’s lead imams stated that “There is nothing in Islamic law to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount and the ones who claim otherwise are considered heretics in Islam.” I remember only 2 years ago, when the European World Games successfully took place in Baku, and the largest delegation of Israeli athletes in history had flown into Baku to participate in the games, and how the crowds cheered so beautifully as they graced the arena. And last year, Azerbaijan hosted the joint exhibit of Simon Wiesenthal Center and UNESCO, titled “The People, the Book, the Land”, which tells the story of us, the Jewish people, as we trace 3,500 years back to the land of Israel. It is no small statement for a majority-Muslim nation to make. It was the undoubtable act of friendship and respect.

When i was growing up in the Soviet Union, I never imagined that I would one day celebrate the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan and Israel as diplomatic partners and allies. Such a notion to a Jew of this region was practically unimaginable. But like so many things in this life that are wonderful and inspiring, this friendship was a dream that came true.

As we come next week to Passover, I believe it is important to celebrate this anniversary and recognize that we are partners in peace across every continent. May the friendship shared between the Jewish state and the majority-Muslim ally of the Caucasus stand as a heroic model for the friendship that is possible between nations of any and every faith. My prayers and heart are looking forward to another 25 years of growing and fortunate friendship between Israel and Azerbaijan.

 

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

‘Free Palestine’ Spray-Painted on University of Wisconsin Hillel

Out of 44,411 students at the university, 5,200 of them are Jewish.

DeSean Jackson to Meet With Julian Edelman and Holocaust Survivor

Jackson had posted quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler on Instagram.

‘Spanish Schindler,’ Who Reportedly Saved Over 5,000 Jews During WWII, Finally Gets Tribute

“He never expected recognition or thought he had to have it.”

New York City’s Flagship Jcc Cuts 35% of Jobs as Pandemic Layoffs Continue

“They are vital to the core mission of the JCC,”

At Virtual Retreat, Jewish Men Embrace Vulnerability and Reckon With Patriarchy

“We have work to do as Jewish men with respect to how we show up in the world.”

Israel Outlaws Solicitation of Prostitution

LGBTQ and women’s rights groups had sought to delay the law’s implementation.

Sen. Susan Collins Is Facing a Major Challenge in Maine. Jewish Voters May Be One Reason Why.

The progressive J Street PAC is working to spend $300,000 to support Collin's challenger.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Bethany Mandel Will Not Be Canceled

Bethany Mandel wasn’t unnerved when the world dubbed her a “Grandma killer.”

Culture

DeSean Jackson to Meet With Julian Edelman and Holocaust Survivor

Jackson had posted quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler on Instagram.

At Virtual Retreat, Jewish Men Embrace Vulnerability and Reckon With Patriarchy

“We have work to do as Jewish men with respect to how we show up in the world.”

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Bethany Mandel Will Not Be Canceled

Bethany Mandel wasn’t unnerved when the world dubbed her a “Grandma killer.”

Latest Articles
Latest

‘Free Palestine’ Spray-Painted on University of Wisconsin Hillel

Out of 44,411 students at the university, 5,200 of them are Jewish.

DeSean Jackson to Meet With Julian Edelman and Holocaust Survivor

Jackson had posted quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler on Instagram.

‘Spanish Schindler,’ Who Reportedly Saved Over 5,000 Jews During WWII, Finally Gets Tribute

“He never expected recognition or thought he had to have it.”

New York City’s Flagship Jcc Cuts 35% of Jobs as Pandemic Layoffs Continue

“They are vital to the core mission of the JCC,”

At Virtual Retreat, Jewish Men Embrace Vulnerability and Reckon With Patriarchy

“We have work to do as Jewish men with respect to how we show up in the world.”

Hollywood

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

‘Expecting Amy’ Highlights a New Comedy Dynamic of Jewish Mothers Making, Not Being, the Jokes

Jewish moms like Amy Schumer, who were once the material, have become the premier comics of this age.

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 68: Finding Jobs in the New Economy

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A conversation with Ramona Schindelheim of WorkingNation on how to adapt to a radically changing U.S....

Pandemic Times Episode 67: What is the root of anti-Semitism?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A conversation with David Weinberg of the ADL on fighting anti-Semitism in the greater Middle East region. How...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x