Pavel Elizarov: I was amazed by the respectful and kind attitude towards Jews in Azerbaijan
Director of the human rights center «Magen David Group» David Seliverstov sent an appeal to Chairman of the All-Israeli Association of Mountain Jews from the Caucasus, General Director of the Mountain Jews Parliamentary Lobby Pavel Elizarov, asking him the following questions:
- What do you know about Azerbaijani multiculturalism?
- The first time I visited Azerbaijan was in 2019 and I just fell in love with this country and I had a desire to come to this country more often, where as a Jew I felt as safe as in Israel. And over the past three years, I have visited Azerbaijan six times. Hospitality, kindness and humanity very strongly characterize the inhabitants of this beautiful country.
I love to travel around the regions of this unusually beautiful country, which has 9 out of 11 climatic zones, which is reflected in the nature of Azerbaijan. When the locals found out that I was a Jew from Israel, they treated me with even more warmth. I was amazed by the respectful and kind attitude towards Jews in Azerbaijan. I was convinced that Jews and Muslims, using the example of Azerbaijan, can live in peace and harmony. Religion is not a hindrance here.
In the 90s, some Jews left Azerbaijan for developed countries in search of an even better life. In a conversation with local residents, I learned that they are very sorry that they left their native places and left. These ordinary people really want the Jews to return. I was very pleased to hear this.
- What, in your opinion, is the secret of a warm attitude towards Jews in Azerbaijan?
- The Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples have historically always been very close and friendly. I think that the secret of the warm attitude towards the Jews in Azerbaijan lies in the many years of friendship and trust between the two peoples, who in different periods of history have proved this not with words, but with deeds. These peoples were together both in joyful days and in difficult days. During the war in Karabakh, Jews fought shoulder to shoulder with the Azerbaijanis for the restoration of territorial integrity and the liberation of the historical lands of Azerbaijan.
The Jewish community of Azerbaijan is under the comprehensive attention and care of the state. This is felt at every step in Azerbaijan. For centuries, the Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples lived in peace and understanding, and this friendship and fraternal relations continue to exist today between our countries. The Jewish community of Azerbaijan is actively helping to strengthen our bilateral relations.
I am sure that these relations will always be warm and friendly and never and no force will be able to influence good relations towards Jews in Azerbaijan.