History of Armenians in Israel

History of Armenians in IsraelA small share of the Armenian Diaspora dwells in Israel. Most of the Israeli Armenians lives in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem. However, there are also few Armenian families living in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, and Ramla.

In the recent years, a fairly numerous commune was formed in Petah Tikva. Its founders had come from the USSR. Most of them aren’t recognized as the members of an officially acknowledged Armenian religious commune, like in the case of Jaffa and Jerusalem.

In total, 20 thousand Armenians live in Israel. The vast majority of them are the followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the rest being the adherents of the Armenian Catholic Church.

The first Armenians settled in Israel in the 1st century BC during the campaigns of Tigran the Great in Palestine. In fact, Armenians of Israel are the oldest national minority in the country. In the early 20th century, some of the Armenians who survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915 would also migrate to Israel.

Nearly all ethnical Armenians dwelling in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem are the descendants of those Armenians who came here in the 1st century BC. Remarkably, the turmoil of history didn’t leave considerable marks on the Armenian Quarter: it went through the Roman, Byzantine, Persian, and Arab occupations, whereas the rest of the city was being mostly left in ruins.

In Jaffa, the Armenian presence is traced back to the 5th century AD. The small but close-knit commune of Jaffa has survived numerous wars and shocks, just like the Armenian Quarter. However, the times of the Six-Day War left a noticeable impact on Jaffa’s commune. Hundreds of Armenian families left Israel. Apart from that arose some disputes concerning the expulsion of Armenians from their domains.

The Armenian commune of Jaffa saw its second birth after the renovation of the Saint Nicholas Monastery. New arrivers to the Armenian commune of Jaffa also strongly contributed to its upswing.

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2 thoughts on “History of Armenians in Israel”

  1. We have been living for 2000 years in Jerusalem we survived all the invasions, after the last invasions we are all out, “some disputes concerning the expulsion of Armenians” what a nice way to say it.

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