By Gary Gyultemiryan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
Tensions between people in their homelands and their respective diasporas are not unusual. Israel and Armenia are no exceptions. I use Israel as an example because of its similar characteristics to Armenia. First, Armenians and Jews are ancient peoples who have survived subjugation to one empire after another, through which they have maintained their identities. Second, both nations are relatively young as independent states. Armenia gained its independence in 1991 and Israel in 1948. Lastly, both nations enjoy influential and vibrant diasporas.
What makes the Jewish diaspora unique, however, is its foundational belief that Israel must survive; its concerns are primarily related to survival. While some Jewish communities returned to Israel, others chose not to and thus joined the Jewish diaspora, assisting Israel from abroad by financially backing social, political, and economic endeavors.
Here, I want to address the financial partnership between Israel and its diaspora and how this can be a model for Armenia moving forward. For a nation like Armenia to endure, it needs a strong economy to finance and raise a formidable military. Without this, Armenia is inevitably endangering her existence.
When Israel became a state in 1948, many Eastern European Jews began the repatriation process to their newly independent homeland, doubling its population within the first five years and leading to exponential growth in subsequent decades. This vast growth resulted in a scarcity of resources for its growing population, especially in developing neighborhoods across the country.