Baku, November 19 AZERTAC
"The Jerusalem Post" has published an article titled "How Azerbaijan restored my hope in Israel" where the newspaper highlights the tolerance environment of the country.
The author of the article is Yael Lerman Mazar, Director of Legal Affairs at StandWithUs, an international Israel education organization.
The article says: "We arrived in Azerbaijan knowing nothing about this ancient people and new nation-state. We left a week later in love with this proud country, its generous government, and its beautiful people. We left filled with a renewed hope that coexistence between Muslims and Jews can be genuine, deep-rooted and all-encompassing. There is simply no anti-Semitism. This is not just a function of no incitement to violence by clerics. The people are proud of their pluralism and ethnic communities. People on the street greeted us warmly when we told them we were visiting from Israel. In one of the high ranking government official's offices, an Israeli flag stood alongside the Azerbaijan flag.
While these are the facts that make Azerbaijan unique, the remarkable aspects of this nation are not in the facts but in the details.
Azerbaijanis love children—all children. Azerbaijanis love their culture. When at one of the many banquets lavishly hosted by the Azerbaijani government in honor of our Torah dedication delegation, spontaneous dancing began to Azerbaijani music. Muslims and Jews all got up to dance together. Religion and gender did not matter. The shared love of music and movement seamlessly bridged all possible differences.
Azerbaijanis embrace their 1500 year-old Jewish community. At the Torah dedication ceremony, our delegation of Jews from Los Angeles danced the Torah into its new home alongside the Mountain Jewish community in Baku."
The author also highlights their trip to Guba: "When we walked through the ancient streets of Quba, the oldest Jewish shtetl still in existence, homes proudly adored large Stars of David and Menorahs on their exteriors. I cannot say that I would feel equally confident decorating my Los Angeles residence with prominent Jewish symbols and not fear vandalism or unnecessary exposure as a Jew.
It showed me Azerbaijan's unique model for coexistence in a divisive world."