Flyers addressing the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan were recently discovered in Beverly Hills, causing outrage among the local Armenian community.
The flyers were first discovered during a pro-Armenia demonstration on Jan 28.
They say, “Israel + Azerbaijan + Turkey + Pakistan = 4 Brothers…erasing Armenia off the world map.”
In Beverly Hills, the flyers were found around Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevards, according, according to an alert from the Beverly Hills Police Department. Additionally, at the pro-Armenia rally, protestors discovered flyers while marching from the Federal Building, in Westwood, to the Azerbaijani consulate in West Los Angeles, according to Tenny Alaverdian, a member of the central executive board of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western United States.
“We do have a lot of faith in the Beverly Hills Police Department, which I know are actively working on the case,” Alaverdian told the Courier. “Apparently, whoever put them up put them up because of the demonstration, and they were enabled by hateful ideologies in plastering hate speech.”
As of press time, the Beverly Hills Police Department was aware of and investigating the incident.
Alaverdian, an undergraduate student who has been involved in pro-Armenian activism since she was 16, said it was important to understand the context behind the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict along with Armenian history to understand why the flyers were offensive. Of the four countries named in the flyer, none of them recognize the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against the Armenians in the early-20th century, she said.
“Those four countries, to my knowledge, have not recognized the Armenian genocide of 1915,” Alaverdian said.
The recent rally, she said, was spurred by the current conflict in Artsakh, also known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The disputed region in the South Caucuses is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan and is a source of ongoing violence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in that part of the world.
In Los Angeles, home to one of the world’s largest Armenian diasporas, the Armenian community is sensitive to language that could be interpreted as hate speech.
“It was really shocking to find,” Alaverdian said of the flyers.