Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Armenians and the Jews

The Sunday Times reports that Armenians are among the most successful immigrants to Britain. Ara Palamoudian, chairman of the Armenian community & church council of Great Britain, said that: “Armenians have always tried to be self-sufficient and not to be a burden on any country. It could be the history of the Armenian people, the way their lives have been over centuries. They had to find shelter around the world.”

When you think about it, there are many similarities between the Armenians and the Jews. Both are small in number and have been without a State, both have endured a holocaust (but unlike our Shoah the Armenian genocide of 1915 is still denied by the Turkish authorities), and both have been forced to look after themselves and not rely on others.

Self sufficiency is a major plank of US immigration policy and it goes a long way towards explaining why the Americans are far more successful than Europe at integrating their immigrants. As Kennedy once said: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country...".