Hagop Djernazian - Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Land Lease Angers Worldwide Community | Ep. 261 - June 11, 2023 [EP261]

Posted on Saturday, Jun 10, 2023 | Category: Diaspora, Israel, Jerusalem | Series: cog

Hagop Djernazian - Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Land Lease Angers Worldwide Community

Guest:

Topics:

  • Intro to Armenians in Jerusalem
  • Escalating violence on Armenians
  • Intro to the Armenian Patriarchate
  • On the contract of the 99-year lease and its consequences
  • About the community protest movement
  • What if the contract goes forward?

Episode 261 | Recorded on Wednesday, June 11 2023

Show Notes

Intro to Armenians in Jerusalem

Hagop, many of us do not know the actual history of the Armenian presence in Jerusalem and about the Armenian quarter, can you give us a brief history of how the Armenian quarter came to be?

Questions:

  • What is the Armenian population in Jerusalem?
  • What exactly is the GOVEROO BARDEZ? How big is it?

We’ve read reports of the occasional spitting on Armenian priests, and this year we’ve also witnessed attacks on the Armenian church and on an Armenian business.

Questions:

  • How are the relations between the Armenians and Israelis?
  • Why are these hate crimes increasing in frequency in Jerusalem?

Intro to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Questions:

  • How is the Patriarch of Jerusalem appointed or elected? What is the process?
  • Is the Patriarchate of Jerusalem autonomous of Etchmiadzin, or Antelias?

A Troubled Lease

So now we come to the contract with which the Patriarchate has reportedly granted a 99-year lease for Goveroo Bardez, to an Israeli company that is allegedly going to build a hotel there.

Two years ago, right after COVID, rumors spread that a deal was signed, and the Palestinian Moslem-Christian coalition (?) met with the Armenian community to condemn the land sale.

The Armenians are also concerned that the contract includes more than the Goveroo Bardez.

Questions:

  • Have you seen the contract?
  • What do we know about the contract in question? What was signed, or what was promised to whom, and by whom?

The news then died down until a few weeks ago, when more information went around that the Israeli company was actually planning to build luxury condos and not a hotel, on the land.

Question:

  • What happened between these two events?

The Patriarch has started backpedaling, and is claiming that he was not aware of what the contract entailed.

Questions:

  • What can you tell us about this specific aspect of the controversy? What has been the involvement of the patriarch in this deal?
  • What does it mean that the King of Jordan and the President of the Palestinian authorities have withdrawn their recognition of the Patriarch?
  • What about Echmiadzin? Has the leadership in Echmiadzin voiced their opinion on what is transpiring?

Regardless of legal proceedings and the technicalities of the contract, it is evident that there is a large deficit of trust by not only the Armenian community in the Holy Land, but many other groups as well.

Questions:

  • Is this a situation that would call for the Patriarch to resign?
  • Why hasn’t the Patriarch been asked to resign?
  • Is there a process of impeaching a patriarch?

Now the Armenians of Jerusalem have been demonstrating every week.

Questions:

  • How did the movement start?
  • Who is organizing these demonstrations?
  • What can you tell us about the current movement?
  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • Can the contract be revoked, and do you have lawyers helping you with legal matters?

Maps of Jerusalem

The following maps were provided by Hagop Djernazian. Thanks to Hagop!

Map of Jerusalem 1

Map of Jerusalem 1

Map of Jerusalem 2

Map of Jerusalem 2

Map of Jerusalem 3, with Legend

Map of Jerusalem 3, with Legend

Map of Jerusalem 4

Map of Jerusalem 4

Map of Jerusalem 5

Map of Jerusalem 5

References

Here are articles we’ve posted on Groong in the past few weeks on this topic:

Wrap-up

That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode**. **As always we invite your feedback, Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Guests

Hagop Djernazian

Hagop Djernazian

Hagop Djernazian is an activist and co-founder of the Save The ArQ movement. He lives in Jerusalem and studies International relations and middle east studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Hosts

Katia Peltekian

Katia Peltekian

Katia Peltekian teaches at the American University of Beirut. She has published two books which compile newspaper articles and reports from the Genocide years published in the Canadian and British press. Katia has been compiling news for the Armenian News Network Groong since 1999.

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.

Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.