Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Meets with Religious Leaders in Jerusalem

Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) Co-Chair and Massachusetts
Council of Churches President Anthony Barsamian travelled to Jerusalem
this month, where he met with religious leaders, including the Armenian
Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian.

“It was an
honor meeting with the Armenian Patriarch and Armenians in Jerusalem and
Bethlehem, and holding vibrant discussions with the Armenian community
in the Holy Land. The Patriarch made a point to welcome us and encourage
Armenian Americans to visit the Armenian Quarter and meet with members
of this important Armenian community. His Eminence made sure we had the
opportunity to pray with our Christian brothers and sisters at Saints
James Cathedral and participate in Divine Liturgy at the tomb of Christ,
also known to Armenians as the Holy Resurrection Church and the Church
of the Holy Sepulchre, while having an opportunity to visit the numerous
Armenian shops and enjoy Western Armenian culture which continues to
exist since the 4th Century,” Barsamian stated.

participants visited Srpots Tarkmanchatz (Holy Translators) Armenian
School within the Armenian Quarter. They were led by Fr. Mardiros
Chevian, Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and Fr. Krikor
Sabounjian, a member of the Eastern Diocese Council and Pastor of Holy
Translators Church in Framingham, Massachusetts. They had the pleasure
of meeting the Gulbenkian Library Director and Principal of the
Tarkmanchatz Armenian School, Very Rev. Norayr Kazazian, who reported
the number of students at the school has increased from 90 to 180 in
recent years.

“This trip
to the Holy Land was inspirational and eye-opening. Jerusalem is one of
the important centers for us and we should all make an effort to visit
the Holy Land and experience the richness of Armenian life unbroken
throughout the centuries,” Barsamian added.

During his
visit, Barsamian also met with Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish
Committee (AJC) and had the opportunity to join Rabbi Rosen in prayer at
the West Wall, where they both reflected upon the need for peace and
justice following the protests in Charlottesville.

AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris wrote a letter to President Donald Trump,
and stated: “What we witnessed in Charlottesville on Friday and
Saturday was nothing short of horrifying. It was sickening enough to see
people drawn together by the siren songs of white supremacy, the Ku
Klux Klan, and neo-Nazism. But however repugnant their views may be, so
long as they conducted themselves peacefully, their freedom of speech is
protected in our blessed land. But it was abundantly clear that at
least some of these racists, anti-Semites, and homophobes came to
Charlottesville looking for trouble.”

Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, recently held high level
meetings with the Israeli Government as relations continue to expand.
During his discussion with the Minister of Regional Cooperation of
Israel, Tzachi Hanegbi, Nalbandian highlighted
the deep historical roots between Armenian and Jewish people, “which
create a good basis for the development of inter-state cooperation.”
They also discussed holding consultations between the foreign
ministries, enhancing their collaboration within international
organizations, and increasing inter-parliamentary exchanges, as well as
developing mutually beneficial cooperation in culture, science, and

“I welcome
these encouraging trends in Armenia-Israel relations and extend my
appreciation to our friends in the American Jewish community who support
this development,” Barsamian said.

in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding
and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan,
501©(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

Caption 1: Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian with Armenian
Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian

Caption 2: Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian, St Nersess
Armenian Seminary Dean Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Gulbenkian Library Director
and Principal Very Rev. Norayr Kazazian, and Eastern Diocese Council
Member Fr. Krikor Sabounjian

Photo Caption 3: Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian and Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee

Dr. Gold Comments on Armenian Genocide, Israel-Armenia Relations

On January 11, 2016, the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Middle East Forum of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted the event “Current Middle East Meltdown: The View from Israel,” moderated by Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives at the Wilson Center.

Armenian Assembly of America Communications Director Taniel Koushakjian asks Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dore Gold about the recent delegation of the Knesset visit to Armenia and if normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey is a zero-sum game, vis-a-vis Armenia.