“Israel’s friendship with Azerbaijan carries profound meaning”

Society Materials 10 October 2016 11:58 (UTC +04:00)
Jewish awareness of the secular majority-Muslim nation of Azerbaijan has increased over the past few years
“Israel’s friendship with Azerbaijan carries profound meaning”

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 10


Jewish awareness of the secular majority-Muslim nation of Azerbaijan has increased over the past few years, Rabbi Simchah Aaron Green, who resides in Los Angeles, wrote in his article published in the US weekly online newspaper The Jewish Press.

“Azerbaijan has had an incomparable relationship with the Jewish people for centuries, and the country’s 30,000 Jewish citizens are treated with honor and respect, reflecting Azerbaijan’s humane traditions and its praiseworthy record as a haven for Jews through the Holocaust and into our day,” Green wrote.

The friendship between Azerbaijan and Israel stands in sharp contrast to the geopolitical and sectarian tensions that plague so much of the world, according to the article.

It’s no secret that Azerbaijan and Israel share a strategic alliance, with a particular emphasis on energy and defense technology, said the article.

“A telling example of the deep level of trust between the two countries is that Israeli citizens, per presidential decree, can have a visa issued at airports in Azerbaijan upon arrival, making Israel one of the few countries in the world with that kind of exemption,” the author wrote.

Cooperation between the Jewish state and the majority-Muslim secular democracy has strengthened and expanded in recent years, not only in the realm of security but also increasingly in the areas of energy, agriculture, telecommunications, cyber technology, construction, irrigation, medicine, and tourism, according to the article.

These connections started in the 1990s, and within a decade Israel had become Azerbaijan’s fifth-leading trade partner in the world, Green wrote in his article.

Today, approximately 50 percent of the oil used in Israel comes from Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan continues to make multi-billion dollar investments in Israeli defense technologies, the rabbi wrote.

The relationship goes beyond trade and is based on core values and plays out in social life and politics, according to the newspaper.

“I recall reading a statement made by Imam Malik, the head of one of Azerbaijan’s largest mosques, on the issue of Jews ascending the Temple Mount,” the author wrote.

“He said ‘There is nothing in Islamic law to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount and the one who claims otherwise is considered a heretic in Islam who transforms the sanctity of the place for political purposes’,” the author wrote.

“Imagine if the rest of the Muslim world thought about the Temple Mount, and a myriad of other related issues, in a similar way,” the rabbi says in his article.

In the face of intense regional turmoil and dangerous threats to Israel and Jewish life around the globe, Israel’s friendship with Azerbaijan carries profound messages and meaning, according to the newspaper.