Bukharan Jewish Reaction

by Laurence on 6/2/2005 · 3 comments

From Al-Jazeera’s analysis of Andijan, very interesting article in other respects, including a discussion of the “China card” angle.

New York’s Bukharan Jews support Karimov

Curiously majority of 40,000-strong Bukharan Jews in the New York ,who immigrated in early 1990s maintained their support for Islam Karimov, Many said that the United States, should stand by Karimov otherwise Islamists might take over the country and persecute the estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Jews still there. But they added that Karimov must allow more democracy and economic liberalization.

Rafael Nektalov, editor-in-chief of the community’s Bukharian Times, who was in Uzbekistan last week , said the Jews he met were calm and maintained staunch support for Karimov — a position he shared. &”I think the U.S. must support Karimov at this moment,” he said. “Do people who call for a new regime in Uzbekistan really think those who carried out the uprising and prison break in Andijan are humanitarians who would govern democratically if they ever take power?”

But some like David and Sarah Tamayev, disagreed. “We found that things were so bad economically in Bukhara that almost the entire male population of the city was away working in Russia in order to help their families survive,Karimov is guilty of creating a situation where people have nothing to eat. Karimov’s rule is good only for his relatives. The vast majority endure terrible poverty.” But they agreed that if Karimov falls, there might be a takeover by Islamic extremists. “Perhaps the U.S. should not try to push Karimov out, but we certainly should be pressing him to reform the system and allow democracy.”

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Nonnymiss June 2, 2005 at 6:42 am

Wow! That is on par with the Chinese lauding Karimov on Andijon.

Lyndon June 2, 2005 at 8:21 am

I would take this with a shovel of salt. Where is there verification of the “majority” mentioned in the first sentence of this segment of the article? The segment quotes 3 people, two of whom are jointly quoted saying things like “Karimov is guilty of creating a situation where people have nothing to eat” and “Karimov’s rule is good only for his relatives.” So, judging from the people quoted in the article, the majority (2 out of 3) is anti-Karimov.

Nathan June 2, 2005 at 9:04 am

It passes the smell test to me Lyndon based on my experience with other minorities from Uzbekistan. Not that it’s necessarily a widespread or strongly felt sentiment, but I have heard positive statements and find this highly plausible.

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