jeudi 1 septembre 2011

Wikileaks révèle la prégnance du complotisme antisémite et antimaçonnique sur la scène politique arménienne en 2008 et plus particulièrement dans les médias pro-gouvernementaux

Reference ID     Created     Released     Classification     Origin
08YEREVAN497     2008-06-18 09:06     2011-08-26 00:00     UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

VZCZCXRO2084
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHYE #0497/01 1700906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 180906Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY YEREVAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7682
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0022
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0022

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 YEREVAN 000497

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, EUR/OHI, DRL/FO, DRL/IRF AND DRL/SEAS

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KIRF AM
SUBJECT: ARMENIAN PRESS CONTINUES TO USE ANTI-SEMITISM TO VILIFY THE
OPPOSITION


REF: YEREVAN 214

YEREVAN 00000497  001.2 OF 003


-------
SUMMARY
-------

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Beginning in mid-May, pro-government print media
and state-run Public Television have made outlandish anti-Semitic
and anti-Masonic accusations against former president and current
opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian (LTP).
  Most of the
accusations appear to be harsher versions of previous allegations
that surfaced right before and after Armenia's disputed February
presidential election (reftel).  The small, pro-government Armenian
Jewish community has expressed deep concern over the attacks,
given
the fact that anti-Semitic rhetoric has not been an issue in Armenia
before.  Post intends to raise the issue with Armenian officials
during the impending visit of DRL Assistant Secretary Kramer.  End
summary.

---------------------------------------------
PRO-GOVERNMENT PRINT MEDIA GOES ON THE ATTACK
---------------------------------------------

¶2. (SBU) The first accusations appeared in late May in the
pro-government Russian-language Golos Armenii (Voice of Armenia) and
Armenian-language Hayots Ashkhar (Armenian World) dailies, both with
circulations under 3,500.  President Sargsian reportedly sponsors
both outlets, and in the past
the two have had ties with the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun) political party,

which now is part of the four-party ruling coalition.


¶3. (SBU) The accusations that appeared in several scathing articles
portray LTP as a traitor to Armenia, claiming his true allegiance
lies to the West -- particularly to Israel and the Freemasons.
  In
an identical article published in both papers entitled "Levon Hakob
Ter-Petrosan or Levon Frayim Pliskovsky -- Armenian National
Congress or Jewish Congress?"
the author questions LTP's loyalty by
speculating on his alleged conspiratorial meeting with a wealthy
Russian Jewish businessman in January where he presumably got the
businessman to give him USD 100-200 million for his presidential
campaign.  The author then alleges that "the Jewish-Masonic lobby
spent USD 65-70 million" on the same campaign.

¶4. (U) The author attacked LTP's Jewish wife, Lyudmila
Ter-Petrossian, accusing her of being the go-between for LTP and
Masonic structures. 
"By involving Lyudmila Ter-Petrossian in the
leadership of their infra-structures, the Masonic organizations of
the United States, the Russian Federation, Europe and the Near East
managed to maintain permanent and reliable ties with Levon
Ter-Petrossian and offer him assistance."  The author also alleges
that the only trips that LTP has made to Armenia's regions after his
leaving office in 1998 have been repeated trips to a Jewish
cemetery.  "And here is an interesting fact: after resigning from
office, L. Ter-Petrosyan never visited any marz (region) of the
country apart from Vayots Dzor. After he and his wife paid several
visits to the cemetery of the Jews (situated near the village of
Yeghegis), they decided to have it renovated and reconstructed.
What's more, L. Ter-Petrosyan promised the Jewish community that
right after being elected President in 2008 he would deal with the
reconstruction of the cemetery in person."
¶5. (U) The author also alleged that the May 27-28 visit to Armenia
of representatives of the American Jewish Committee was for LTP to
receive further instructions on how to advance the Jewish cause.

"It will be extremely interesting to ask L. Ter-Petrosyan why the
members of the Jewish-American Committee (the second largest Jewish
lobbying organization in the United States and Europe) are arriving
in Armenia on May 27-28?  It should be noted that those arriving in
Armenia are not ordinary members of the organization but rather, its
leaders, i.e. Peter Rosenblatt, Barry Jabes (sic) and John Waters,
as well as American-Armenian translator Ross Vardanyan (sic) who
will accompany them.  According to available information, the
leaders of the Jewish organization want L. Ter-Petrossian to report
them on his accomplishments; thereafter, they will specify the
ex-President's further steps in the following three directions:  1.
Armenia's domestic problems; 2. US-Armenian relations; and 3.
Turkish-Armenian relations"
¶6. (SBU)  Subsequent articles have rehashed and built upon these
themes, roughly mirroring the lines of the ugly, anti-Semitic
remarks that were made in an inflammatory DVD that was distributed
just days prior to the election (reftel).

---------------------------------
STATE-RUN TELEVISION AIRS ATTACKS
---------------------------------


YEREVAN 00000497  002.2 OF 003


¶7. (SBU)  On the evening of Sunday, June 1, state-run H1 Public
Television channel aired a ten-minute segment on its weekly 360
Degrees news magazine program whose sole focus appeared to be
character assassination of LTP.  The footage incorporated the
anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic attacks by Golos Armenii and Hayots
Ashkhar. 
In a bizarre twist, the segment accused LTP of mounting a
PR attack against Armenia's beloved pop star "Sirusho" prior to her
performance -- and eventual fourth-place finish -- at the late May
Eurovision Song Contest.  The segment then detailed the newspaper
articles:  it showed the captions of their offensive doctored
photographs of LTP wearing an enormous yarmulke (with a Star of
David on the top just in case the yarmulke was too subtle for some
of its readers); the presenter read selected excerpts from the
articles; then it showed H1's February 27 news coverage -- almost in
its entirety-- that zoomed in on the Israeli flag flown at some of
the LTP-led post-election opposition rallies (reftel); and ended
with showing captions from a website entitled "The Grand Lodge of
Armenia."  According to USAID's Media Programs implementer, the show
captured an audience of nearly 100,000 households, or 23 percent of
those watching television at the time.

-------------------------------
NOTED SCHOLAR ADDS FUEL TO FIRE
-------------------------------


¶8. (SBU) On June 12 Hayots Ashkhar published an interview with
Samvel Karapetian, a noted Armenian historian and architecture
critic, who asserted that LTP is not an opposition leader but a
traitor, since he made speeches under the Israeli flag.
  He asserted
that people don't call LTP a traitor because they are afraid of his
masters -- Washington and Tel Aviv.  Karapetian also suggested that
Alexander Arzumanian, Armenia's jailed former Foreign Minister,
would have been named Foreign Minister in the Sargsian
administration if his Amcit wife were not Jewish. 
(Note: Post has
no idea whether or not she is, but the statement smacks of an
anti-Semitic smear tactic.  End note).

--------------------------------------------- --
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IS PERPLEXED...AND WORRIED
--------------------------------------------- --

¶9. (SBU)  Rimma Varzhapetian, head of Armenia's Jewish community,
told Emboffs that she is distressed about the articles, calling them
"a provocation and a kindling of anti-Semitism" in a country with no
such record of similar attacks. 
She added that "I am afraid to
think that this has the backing of the people in power."
Varzhapetian said that she has no plans for a public response,
though she believes it is incumbent upon the GOAM to condemn the
hateful rhetoric.  She noted with concern that people are starting
to believe these malicious lies, including some of her
acquaintances.  They have reacted to her remonstrations about the
anti-Semitic articles by attributing her objections to the fact that
she is Jewish.


¶10. (SBU) Varzhapetian also spoke about the community's recent
failed initiative to create a tree-lined Israeli alley.  The plan
had been to plant 60 trees in a Yerevan street with which to mark
and honor Israel's 60th anniversary.  She said that then-PM Sargsian
and Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosyan refused this request without
explanation.  She noted that in spite of the rejection, the Jewish
community still held a significant celebration of Israel's
independence, which she claimed received no media coverage
whatsoever.

----------------
POST'S REACTIONS
----------------

¶11. (SBU) Post has responded to the anti-Semitic articles in several
ways.  This has included mention of the attacks in the 2008
International Religious Freedom Report, and reaching out to the
Jewish community and like-minded diplomatic missions to forge a
common front against Armenian media's promulgation of anti-Semitic
rhetoric.  Post also plans to raise the issue with senior-level
officials during DRL A/S Kramer's June 23-25 visit.  Post
contemplated lodging a complaint with the National Media Ethics
Board until it learned that out of the 31 media outlets that signed
the joint Code of Conduct for Media governing the board, neither
Hayots Ashkhar nor Golos Armenii are members, nor is Public
Television.  (Note:  In late February, post raised the issue of the
inflammatory DVD and Public Television coverage before and after the
election with the Armenian government's Director of Ethnic and
Religious Minority Affairs.  Regrettably, this person resigned her

YEREVAN 00000497  003.2 OF 003


post in early March, in protest of the fatal March 1 crackdown
against the LTP-led opposition, and post never got an official
response.  End note.)

-------
COMMENT
-------

¶12. (SBU) The emergence of anti-Semitism as a crude political tool
appears to be new in Armenia's political arena.  Its use by
pro-government print media, and its airing on Public Television,
suggests it is being condoned and even orchestrated by the current
authorities, who are employing it to weaken the opposition leader
challenging their rule. 
Introducing such a phenomenon in a country
without an anti-Semitic history, even for politically expedient
reasons, is dangerous and irresponsible.  Post will say as much
during A/S Kramer's discussions on the topic.  End comment.


PENNINGTON
Source : http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/06/08YEREVAN497.html

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