Armenian and Jewish Communities Demonstrate Solidarity on Beacon Hill

By Andy Turpin

The Armenian Weekly
August 31, 2007

BOSTON, Mass. (A.W.)—On Aug. 30, State Representative Rachel Kaprielian (Watertown) and Boston City Councilor Michael P. Ross (District 8) hosted a demonstration of the strengthening solidarity between the Jewish and Armenian-American communities to underscore the importance of officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.

The event featured Kaprielian and Ross, as well as Rabbi Ronne Friedman of Temple Israel Boston; Rev. Gregory V. Haroutunian of the First Armenian Church of Belmont; Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter, president of the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Greater Boston; Armenian Genocide survivor Asdghig Alemian, 97, of Weymouth; and Nancy Kaufman, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

Kaprielian prefaced her remarks by emphasizing in the broader scope, “We are all here to say that we need to stop what is going on in Darfur.”

Councilor Ross stated, “I’m a City Councilor in Boston and I’m a son of a Holocaust survivor.” He put in context the pragmatism of Armenian and Jewish amity by saying, “It makes sense that we came together as community. Not just because we’re both small and active communities of Jews and Armenians, but also because we’re people. We respect our cultures and support each other, when we need to and when we don’t need to. We need to support each other and back each other up.”

Rabbi Friedman spoke about the genocide and Holocaust in historical memory and present-day politics, and quoting Maya Angelou, said, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

Rev. Haroutunian thanked the Jewish community for its recent efforts in the No Place for Hate controversy, which saw the dismissal of Andrew Tarsy, the New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League who spoke in favor of genocide recognition. “It has brought great light to the heart of God," Haroutunian said. "We commend Andrew Tarsy for his actions. So many people in the Jewish community demanded truth, not spin. After all, to deny the truth, even in innuendo, is dangerous. I commend the Jewish-American community in Boston. You stood for something, simply because it is right. We thank God for your community and we really do pray that others will follow your example.”

Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter spoke of his experiences with genocide, recalling, “I was a slave. I spent five years in a concentration camp.” He praised the gathered crowd for their attendance, and said, “I’m very happy this event took place, but I’m also very disappointed the entire Jewish and Armenian communities did not show up. Let’s hope from this small gathering that more will blossom. Let’s join hands and work together so that it will never ever happen again.”

Armenian genocide survivor Asdghig Alenian remembered, “I was five years old at the time the Turks took me. My mother starved to death on the [death] march. They called it Der Zor. They were told to take three days of food and that they would be taken back home. It never happened.”

“We must see acknowledgement by our government while there are still Armenian genocide survivors still alive,” Kaprielian said.

Nancy Kaufman said that it is the moral responsibility of Massachusetts citizens to ensure that the state divests from Sudan and investigates that taxes do not finance the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

She said of the Armenian genocide and its legacy, “The genocide represents the failure of the international community to prevent the worst crime in the world—the destruction of an entire people.”

Ross concluded amicably, saying to the Armenians present, “In the Jewish community, we say you are all mishpucha [family].”

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2007.09.02 -- Boston Globe: Letters to the Editor

The Armenian genocide debate, settled and unsettled

AS THE person who initiated the campaign for Watertown's No Place for Hate to sever ties with its sponsor, the Anti-Defamation League, I am gratified by the international support received, especially from many Jewish Americans. However, the ADL still opposes Armenian genocide resolutions in Congress. In addition, the national ADL's Aug. 21 statement is hardly a forthright acknowledgment of the genocide. It said, "the consequences of those actions [by Turkey] were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide." Who are "they?" Genocide experts, or just Armenians?

More important, the United Nations in 1948 defined genocide as acts committed "with intent to destroy." Genocide lawyers and scholars know that the word "intent" is crucial. ADL used the word "consequences" instead. If you cut down a leafy branch about to fall on your house, the "consequence" is that people have less oxygen to breathe, but that is hardly your "intention." Even Turkey admits that Armenians died or were killed between 1915 and '23. However, Turkey says that was not its "intent" but rather the "consequence" of wartime conditions. As the ADL's so-called acknowledgment is as disingenuous as Turkey's, I must reject it.


YOU FALL short of your standards of thoroughness and fairness in reporting on the Armenian genocide question ("ADL chief bows to critics," Page A1, Aug. 22). You consistently ignore reputable scholars such as Bernard Lewis and Heath Lowry at Princeton and Guenter Lewy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who dispute the genocide characterization of the gruesome mutual killings during and before World War I. You overlook that Armenians have attempted to intimidate and deride as a "Holocaust denier" anyone who disagrees with their view of history.

Genocide requires proof of killings "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such." Most of the Armenian casualties took place during wretchedly executed deportations undertaken by the Ottoman government for war purposes. No proof has been unearthed that the Ottoman government sponsored the massacres.

Turkey has opened its archives for further research on the Armenian genocide question, while Armenians have not reciprocated. Turkey has urged more debate and scholarship on both sides of the issue, which should ultimately be decided by an impartial international tribunal.

The suspicion lingers that American media are predisposed to shortchange the credible contra-genocide arguments because Armenians are largely Christian and Turks largely Muslim.

The writer is a resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America.

THANK YOU , Jeff Jacoby, for your excellent column of Aug. 22 ("No room to deny genocide"). As the grandson of genocide survivors, I find it quite insulting and painful to witness the continued denials, the downplaying, and unbelievably the recriminations against any Armenians who resisted slaughter.

My grandfather came to North America in 1912 to work as a sojourner, planning to return to his native Armenian village after making some money. In 1915 his village was wiped out and along with it more than 80 of his relatives, including his wife and children.

Your op-ed touches on much of the major evidence of genocide and squarely calls upon those who continue to deny it, in the face of incontestable evidence, to reconfigure their moral compasses and leave politics aside. Bravo.


THE PHRASE "there is much scholarly debate on the issue," recently articulated by the first counselor of the Turkish embassy in Washington, has found its way into print over and over as this unhappy discussion has unfolded. As the director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, I write to say that while there may be political debate coming out of Ankara, there is no scholarly debate.

Once again, for those who missed this history lesson: The genocide of the Armenian people by the Turks under cover of World War I is a settled matter among historians and genocide scholars. The jury has long been in on this question.

Like the Holocaust, the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians is not a matter of debate. It is established history.


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European Armenian Federation PR: Turkey's Blackmail on Its Jewish Community

August 31, 2007

The Anti-Defamation League recognizes the Armenian Genocide but is opposed to the US Congress resolution of recognition because of the Turkish State’s weight of threats on the Jewish community of Turkey.

On August 24, the Anti-Defamation League of the United States (ADL) made volte-face by definitively recognizing the genocide of the Armenians, after the steering committee of the campaign “No Place for Hate” of Massachusetts (USA) severed ties with ADL because of the latter’s hitherto denial of the genocide.

ADL’s new position, which had followed heated controversy, was immediately adopted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the other large Jewish lobbying organization in the United States. The pressure exercised by the constituencies of ADL and AJC, which brought about the progress in their position, caused hysteria in the Turkish political circles who “until then sub-contracted” to the American Jewish organizations part of Turkey’s communication policy and program in the USA. In the context of a possible voting this Autumn by the American Congress of the resolution on the genocide of the Armenians, these changes in position led Turkey to denounce its lobbying contracts in Washington, while the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had lengthy discussions with President Shimon Perez, summoned to bring the American Jews into step.

The ADL affirms that the League “had suddenly shared the appreciation that [...] the tragic events of 1915-1918 were actually the equivalent of genocide”. It adds however: “… we firmly continue to think that a resolution of the Congress would be counterproductive and would not facilitate the reconciliation between Turks and Armenians…”.

The principal reason of its opposition to a resolution of recognition by the American Congress is at the very least shocking: it is the safety of the Jews of Turkey which is brought forward. “As long as the ADL will remain an organization engaged firstly in the security and the safety of the Jewish people, we cannot in good conscience ignore the wellbeing of the 20.000 Jews of Turkey”, declares the last official statement of the ADL signed by its president Abraham Foxman.

Echoing a similar view, the Consul general of Israel in Turkey Mordehai Amihai, highlighted his concern in the declaration: “I hope that the Turkish population can differentiate between the State of Israel, the ADL and the Jewish population of Turkey”.

The Turkish government pressures on Israel aims to obtain the realignment behind Ankara the American Jewish organizations, like the ADL, and obtain support to their denial policy.
“The Jews of Turkey are hostages” declared Laurent Leylekian, the executive director of the European Armenian Federation; “contrary to the idea spread by a massive propaganda, this community, like all the other non-Turkish communities, does not enjoy any freedom, and is used to force the international Jewish organizations to betray the principles of defense, of justice and of human dignity for which they were however created” he explained.

“Blackmailing with the life and the safety of the minorities is usual practice and in line with Turkish traditional policy; the Armenians have had the horrific experience. It is urgent for the Jewish organizations of Europe to support their American counterparts in their refusal to yield to this odious blackmail” affirmed Laurent Leylekian.

The European Armenian Federation reminder: Anti-Semitic scathing attacks such as “Mein Kampf” or the “The Protocols of Wise Men of Zion” have been for several years the best-sellers in Turkey, like are many armenophobic booklets.

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ANC of Canada PR: Turkey Pressures Israel

Armenian National Committee of Canada
August 30, 2007

Turkey Pressures Israel to Persuade US Jewish Groups to Deny the Armenian Genocide

Ottawa—The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Armenian Genocide denial campaign and its lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government to block the passage of the United States House of Representatives and Senate resolutions to recognize the Armenian Genocide has turned into an international issue causing turmoil in human rights organizations and in Jewish communities. The upheaval came to light after the town council of Watertown, Mass. voted unanimously to cut its ties with the ADL and its nation-wide program “No Place for Hate.”

Many regional members have since resigned from the ADL board of directors and broke ranks with its national director Abraham Foxman.

Twelve Boston-area Jewish organizations issued a joint statement urging the ADL to “reconsider” its position and appealed to Jews to “never forget the Armenian Genocide and maintain our guard against those who deny its occurrence.”

A large number of human rights activists, journalists, genocide and Holocaust experts, politicians and historians in the US and in Israel have condemned the ADL for its unjustifiable stand on the Armenian Genocide.

Seeing that his position is untenable, and to avoid further criticism, embarrassment and damage, on August 24 Foxman issued a carefully crafted statement modifying the ADL stand. “On reflection, we have come to share the assessment of former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr., that the consequences of the painful events of 1915-1918 were indeed tantamount to genocide,” the statement read.

Within hours after the statement was issued the Turkish government went on the offensive and demanded the Israeli government to “deliver” American Jewish organizations and to ensure that the US Congress does not pass a resolution characterizing as genocide the massacre of Armenians during World War I.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Turkey’s ambassador to Israel Namik Tan said: “Israel should not let the [US] Jewish community change its position. This is our expectation and this is highly important, highly important. On some issues there is no such thing as ‘Israel cannot deliver.’”
Prof. Jack Nusan Porter, treasurer of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and author of “The Genocidal Mind” and “Facing History and Holocaust” called Turkey’s pressure on Israel “blackmail.”

Aris Babikian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) said: “We hope that the Israeli government, as a sovereign state, and Jewish organizations will not give in to the Turkish Government blackmail and the use of the Jewish community of Turkey as political hostage. Such immoral behaviour by a government which is known as one of the worst violators of its minorities’ and of basic human rights should not be tolerated by the civilized world.”

The ANCC director expressed the Canadian-Armenian community’s and the ANCC’s gratitude to Jewish leaders and organizations who have “shown moral and ethical courage by standing up for truth and justice in their efforts for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“We are confident that the excellent, positive and constructive relationship between the Jewish and the Armenian people will not be affected by this controversy. Our two people have too many common bonds to allow one individual’s misguided and shortsighted decisions to derail us form our joint mission for the betterment of mankind and of making the ‘Never Again’ concept a reality,” stated Babikian.

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Turkey: the ‘Pinocchio’ of Anatolia

(With apologies to the memory of Carlo Collodi)
By Michael G. Mensoian

The Armenian Weekly
Sept. 1, 2007

Turkey and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) seem to be relying on the same tactic from their respective playbooks. The play is called “parsing” the truth. Unfortunately, parsing the truth to accommodate spurious ends can never be a winning play. Turkey has been doing just that ever since the Ottoman Turkish government began what was to be the “Final Solution of the Armenian Question” on April 24, 1915.

During the past several weeks, the ADL has been caught in the crossfire between acknowledging the truth and parsing the truth. They have gone from not recognizing the Armenian genocide to almost, but not quite recognizing the Armenian genocide, to the here and now when they may have to come out “four-square” and fully recognize the Armenian genocide. Their vacillation has been a public relations fiasco. Their action is remindful of the Yiddish proverb that “a half truth is a whole lie.” Only under pressure from responsible leaders in the Jewish community did the national ADL change its position. But even with their qualified recognition of the Armenian genocide, the ADL immediately sought to placate Turkey by assuring Ankara that it viewed the proposed House and Senate Resolutions recognizing the Armenian genocide as “counterproductive.”

The ADL’s almost, but not quite recognition of the Armenian genocide was more than sufficient to have the Turkish Foreign Ministry immediately condemn the ADL for attempting to rewrite history. The Ministry stated that “…there is no consensus among the historians on how to qualify the events…” Based on that contrived assumption, which has been refuted by eminent independent scholars throughout the world, the Turkish government maintains that the planned systematic killing of over 1,500,000 Armenian men, women and children by the Ottoman-Turkish government cannot be called genocide because it is “…historically and legally baseless.”

In light of Turkey’s position, which their Foreign Ministry maintains is a “…very clear” expression of Turkey’s position, how can the ADL actually believe that its “…efforts to bring together Turkey and Armenia to resolve differences over their shared history” is a realistic proposal? It is ridiculous on its face. How naive must the leadership of the ADL be to expect Turkey to reconcile the overwhelming evidence that the genocide occurred with the lies and obfuscatory statements that its government has propagated since that fateful day on April 24, 1915? How can Turkish leaders admit to their citizens and to the world that Turkey has lived a lie for all of these years? Turkey is in a catch 22 situation. Name a country that would want to acknowledge perpetrating such a horrendous crime against humanity.

To further illustrate the dilemma the ADL faces in trying to serve two masters, they acknowledge that while “…independent scholars may have reached a consensus about the genocide, in an effort to help accomplish the reconciliation, there is room for further dispassionate scholarly examination…” If independent scholars have reached consensus on the genocide, who are the historians that the Turkish Foreign Ministry maintains have not reached consensus?

Answer: those historians on the Turkish government’s payroll. The ineptitude of its leadership has seriously eroded the ADL’s relevance and credibility.

In a further indication of its desperation, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has taken up a new tack in hopes of influencing Israel and the Jewish diaspora. In an appeal to the human emotion, the Foreign Ministry suggests that recognition of the Armenian genocide by the ADL would do “…an injustice to the unique character of the Holocaust as well as to the memories of its victims [and] we expect it to be rectified.” Is Turkey implying that recognition of the Armenian genocide would overshadow the Holocaust? In any event, the ADL has only almost, but not quite recognized the Armenian genocide. One would hope that this Turkish appeal does not tap a valid concern for the ADL.

Then to allay any fears that the ADL or the Jewish nation worldwide might have for their compatriots in Turkey, the Foreign Ministry sought to preempt any such worries. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, “[t]he Jewish community in Turkey is part of our society and there is no reason for them to worry.” This seems to beg the question: Why should the Jewish minority have any reason to be concerned about their well-being? Could this concern be related to the dismal record Turkey has in the area of human rights? In remarks to the Jerusalem Post, the Turkish Ambassador to Israel, Namik Tan, said that Turkey’s relationship is not with Israel alone, but with the whole Jewish world. The Turkish people “…cannot make that differentiation.” How does that square with the Foreign Ministry’s assertion that there is no reason for the Jewish minority to worry?

For the ADL or Israel or any other organization or government to advance the simplistic notion that Armenia and Turkey should reconcile their differences surely misunderstands what these differences are. As long as Turkey maintains its intransigent stance, its government must expect that its credibility will be challenged and exposed in every venue available for as long as it may take. The passage of time has not diminished the Armenian demand for justice. Unfortunately for Turkey, the Armenian Cause lives and only strengthens in its intensity as it passes from generation to generation.

Reconciliation can only occur when Turkey realizes that the ever-increasing weight of global opinion will no longer tolerate its refusal to accept the evidence stored in government archives in London, Paris, Germany, Washington and Ankara itself that provides incontrovertible proof that the Armenian genocide was planned and carried out by the Ottoman-Turkish government from 1915 to 1918.

Numerous eye-witness accounts add further evidence to support the Armenian position as well as an ever increasing number of independent scholars who continue to shed more light on this dark and tragic period in modern history.

Every page, every hideous photograph, every first-hand account and every document supporting the Ottoman-Turkish government’s plan to effectively and efficiently carry out the “Final Solution to the Armenian Question” is well known to the Turkish government and its paid “revisionists.” It is unfortunate that this same information is as well known to those governments that are pliant accomplices to a Turkish government that has long been morally bankrupt.

Let us pray that the members of Congress who support House Resolution 106 and Senate Resolution 106 will continue to let truth to be their only guide as they work to pass these nonbinding resolutions recognizing the Armenian genocide. Their passage will represent a symbolic affirmation by the United States Congress in recognizing the Armenian genocide that will create seismic reverberations within the Turkish government. It is time for the United States to realize that Turkey is not the keystone to a world order as perceived in Washington. Passage of these resolutions would be one more step toward achieving the justice that will allow the martyrs of the Armenian genocide to finally rest in peace.

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Reports of Possible Backtracking by Andrew Tarsy Following His Reinstatement

The Boston Globe: ADL Reinstates Regional Leader
August 27, 2007

The national Anti-Defamation League rehired its New England regional director yesterday, less than two weeks after firing him for publicly breaking with the national leadership and acknowledging the Armenian genocide that began in 1915.

But Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL's national director, said he did not rehire Tarsy to appease critics. What mattered, Foxman said, was that the two men now "see eye to eye."
Tarsy's reinstatement was effective immediately, and both men said they were happy to be moving forward together.

The ADL did, however, rehire its New England regional director, Andrew Tarsy, after firing him for publicly breaking with the national leadership and acknowledging the Armenian genocide. Foxman said he had made the decision after a series of conversations and that this effectively meant Tarsy agreed with the ADL’s opposition to the passage of a congressional resolution.

[In mid-August], the local board called on the national ADL to both acknowledge the genocide and support the congressional resolution, and Tarsy spoke out publicly, saying he strongly disagreed with the national position.

Within hours, Foxman fired Tarsy. But as board members, Jewish leaders, and Armenian-Americans rallied to support Tarsy last week, Foxman reversed course. Last Tuesday, he conceded that the Armenian massacres "were indeed tantamount to genocide."

The Jewish Daily Forward: Armenian Genocide Crisis Tests Tight Ties Between Turkey and Israel, ADL to Ankara: ‘Deep Regret’
August 29, 2007

Foxman told the Forward that he has had numerous conversations about the issue in recent days and stressed that the ADL had not changed its position on the congressional resolution.

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2007.08.30 -- Harut Sassounian: ADL's Domino Effect

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

For too many years, Abraham Foxman and ADL's leaders have gone far beyondtheir organization's noble mandate of stopping "the defamation of the Jewish people," by meddling in international politics. The ADL had apparently appointed itself the guardian of Israel's strategic interests and the well being of Jews every where, particularly those in Turkey. Ironically, while constantly singing the praises of Turkish tolerance towards minorities, the ADL kept expressing serious concerns over the safety of the few Jews remaining in that country. Foxman and his group would not have become involved in last week's controversy on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, had they simply stuck to their mission of fighting anti-Semitism. As Herb Keinon pointed out in his August24column in the Jerusalem Post, the ADL, besides being unhelpful to Israel, is getting "in the way" of Israeli diplomacy by creating unnecessary and un welcome complications.

ADL officials were acting as if they were in charge of Israel's security rather than heading a U.S. civil rights organization, forgetting that the duly elected leaders of Israel were fully capable of protecting not only the interests of their country, but those of their kinsmen residing in Turkey. In the process of recklessly delving into foreign politics, the ADL had no qualms about collaborating with Turkish denialists and even lobbying on their behalf to block the passage of a congressional resolution affirming the facts of the Armenian Genocide.

Through a long series of unwise judgments and draconian decisions, Foxman managed last week to entangle his organization, the Jewish-American community as well the state of Israel in a major controversy which aggravated not only the Armenian-American community, but a large number of U.S. Jews and even the governments of Israel and Turkey.

After rejecting for years all pleas by Armenians and others not to cave in to Turkish blackmail on the Armenian Genocide, Foxman arrogantly fired last week ADL's regional director in Boston for disagreeing with the organization's denialist policy. Two members of the regional board resigned in protest and a major outcry ensued. Many highly influential Jewish American leaders denounced Foxman publicly. The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and scores of other newspapers published front-page articles, opinion columns, editorials and letters to the editor objecting to Foxman's heavy-handed style of running the ADL and questioning how an organization dedicated to countering discrimination and protecting civil rights could be a party to genocide denial.

After persistent calls for Foxman's resignation from the American-Jewish community, the ADL issued a statement acknowledging for the first time that the mass killings of Armenians were "tantamount to genocide." While many welcomed the reversal of ADL's long-standing policy of referring to the genocide as a massacre, this statement itself generated a new controversy. Many Armenians and Jews were not fully satisfied because Foxman's acknowledgment was not forceful enough. They were even more upset by Foxman's declaration that the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide was "a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States." Some viewed Foxman's morally ambiguous statement as a continuation of his unwise efforts to play politics with the genocide issue: an attempt to appease the Turks while accommodating his Armenian and Jewish critics.

Turkish leaders were shocked and alarmed by ADL's unexpected statement which might have the effect of further eroding Jewish support for Turkey's frantic efforts to block the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, Turkish officials were very much concerned that other Jewish-American organizations would follow suit, eventually leading to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Israel itself.

Turkey's leaders immediately expressed their outrage to the highest officials of the State of Israel demanding that they pressure the ADL to retract its statement. Caught unawares by the ADL's reversal on the Armenian Genocide, Israeli officials reassured the Turks that their country's policy would remain unchanged and that they would contact Foxman and his group, even though they said they did not control the actions of American-Jewish organizations. As pressure mounted on the ADL from Israel and Turkey, Foxman engaged in damage control by sending a polite letter to Erdogan expressing regret for the inconvenience caused by his group's statement. Erdogan, wanting to impress his countrymen on the eve of Turkish presidential elections, deliberately mischaracterized Foxman's letter as an apology and a retraction. Erdogan had good reason to be alarmed.

One day after the ADL statement, matters got worse when the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which for years has openly sided with Turkey on the denial of the Armenian Genocide, issued a statement by its Executive Director David A. Harris. In so many carefully crafted words, Harris acknowledged the Armenian Genocide by stating that protecting historical truth should be one of the highest priorities of the Jewish people. A Simon Wiesenthal Center official told the Jerusalem Post last week that the Armenian Genocide should be recognized as a historical fact despite "the political ramifications." We have "an obligation to tell the truth about historical events - even if they sometimes create certain problems for us," said Dr.Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi hunter of the Wiesenthal Center. Dr. Zuroff was joined by Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, who told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week that it is "imperative for Jews to acknowledge the truth of the Turkish genocide against Armenians, notwithstanding Turkey's relationship with Israel." He added: "It's high time for Turkey to acknowledge that truth of history and move on. "The domino effect continued. One day after the ADL and the AJC statements, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the main umbrella group on Jewish affairs, held a conference call to discuss adopting a position on the Armenian Genocide.

Finally, Foxman announced that the ADL would consider going beyond merely acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and possibly support the pending congressional resolution. This issue would be put on the organization's national policymaking agenda at its next meeting on November 1.

The only question now is whether the Armenian Genocide resolution would have already been adopted by the House of Representatives by the time the ADL holds its meeting on November 1. The hope is that neither the ADL nor other Jewish-American groups would lobby to block the resolution, sending a clear message to members of Congress that most American Jews support it, while the rest do not oppose it.
As this writer was quoted saying in last Sunday's Boston Globe: "the truth is finally prevailing over all sorts of political powers and pressures. And this has a domino effect. One by one all the pieces of denial are crumbling."

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Statement by Jewish Community in Armenia Addressed to Abraham Foxman

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director Anti-Defamation League

Dear Mr. Foxman,

The Jewish Community of Armenia has been following with great interest the recent developments in New England. What an extraordinary and historic month this is for all of us! The ADL took a firm and strong position, and publicly recognized the Armenian Genocide. We commend you. There is no room in this world for any genocide, against any people, to go unrecognized or unpunished. We also commend you for fully reinstating ADL New England Regional Director Andrew H. Tarsy. His conviction – and the ADL’s as well – that recognizing the Armenian Genocide is morally correct is vital to each of us.

ADL and all its supporters should be proud that ADL has confronted this issue and publicly acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.

However, Mr. Foxman, I also wish to convey to you my community’s deep regret that ADL does not support H. Res. 106, the Armenian Genocide Resolution pending in the U.S. Congress. My community fully supports this legislation which calls upon the President of the United States “to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other purposes.”

We must speak up not only for ourselves, but also for those who are not heard. As stated in your biography (on the ADL website), “I think just as it is important to remember the brutality and bestiality, it is important to be able to bear witness to human compassion and the goodness of life. I want my children to be able to understand, that yes, there is evil and yes, there are Jews and other groups of people being persecuted even today, but there are also decent human beings who will stand up for others.” Your actions in publicly recognizing the Armenian Genocide and reinstating Mr. Tarsy articulate that belief. Yet, ADL support of H. Res. 106 is imperative and would be far more eloquent to any who dare to deny genocides. Without support of this resolution, the ADL position is not clear and straightforward and provides a dark shadow behind which deniers––and yes, even perpetrators––of genocides can hide.

It is our hope that the Anti-Defamation League will publicly support this important legislation.

As you know, January 27 is commemorated worldwide as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day we reflect upon the horrors that befell our people, as well as the causes of that crime against humanity. It must be clearly understood that because the Armenian Genocide had not been properly recognized globally, and appropriate steps were not taken to ensure that such a tragedy never again occurred, the road was paved for Hitler to commit his atrocities against our people. Passage of H. Res. 106 is one step towards stopping future genocides.

Jews have lived on the territory of Armenia since the times of Armenian leader Tigran the Great (95-55 B.C.) Today, our community lives in peace and harmony in Armenia. We enjoy good relations with our Armenian brothers. Perhaps it is because our histories have been similar in that we have suffered discrimination, tragedy and genocide—only because we were Jewish or Armenian.

Last October, we unveiled the only memorial in the world dedicated to the memory of the victims of both the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. The memorial pays tribute to our forefathers and serves as a reminder that all of mankind must unite in combating injustice, inhumanity, and genocide. Each of us can—and must—take steps to promote democracy, mutual understanding, tolerance and dialogue. The ADL’s No Place for Hate program and Resolution of Respect is an excellent example of how this can be done.

Mankind can no longer afford denial of the Armenian Genocide. The Jewish Community of Armenia joins all supporters of the H. Res. 106 and expresses its hope that not only will the United States recognize and affirm the Armenian Genocide, but that the Jewish Community, worldwide, will do so as well.

Mr. Foxman, on behalf of my community in Armenia, I urge you and the Anti-Defamation League to publicly support H. Res. 106, joining over 220 Members of the U.S. Congress, over 50 human rights, ethnic and other organizations, representing millions of American citizens, including prominent Jewish Members of Congress and prominent Jewish organizations, and work with the Armenian Assembly of America to pass H. Res. 106.

Sincerely yours,

Rimma Varzhapetyan (Feller)

President of the Jewish Community of Armenia

August 30, 2007

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2007.08.30 -- Press Advisory on State House Steps

Assistant Majority Whip / Floor Division Leader
29th Middlesex District - Watertown, Cambridge W9

Rep. Rachel Kaprielian and Councilor Michael Ross Urge Jewish/Armenian Solidarity on
Recognition of Armenian Genocide

Thursday, August 30th at 5:30pm on State House steps

Boston – State Representative Rachel Kaprielian (Watertown) and Boston City Councilor Michael P. Ross (District 8) are hosting a press advisory to demonstrate the strengthening solidarity between the Jewish and Armenian-American communities as the they underscore the importance of officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government in 1915.
The event will feature Kaprielian and Ross as well as a survivor of both the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, and a Rabbi and a member of the Armenian clergy, and is scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 30th at 5:30pm on the main steps in front of the Massachusetts State House. Prominent members of both the Jewish and Armenian communities, including Steven Grossman, State Representative Peter Koutoujian, and area municipal officials will also be in attendance.

For more information please contact Representative Rachel Kaprielian at (617) 905-3695.

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2007.08.28 -- LA Times: Letters to the Editor

History, tragedy and genocide

Re "Jewish group recognizes Armenian genocide," Aug. 23

I hope Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman will reconsider Rabbi Hillel's summary of the Bible: "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary." There can be no adequate justification for such a blatant, calculated half-measure in response to any genocide. It is ironic and tragic that it was issued from the leader of one of the most prominentJewishgroups in the country. Today, he does not speak for me.

Gary Gross Huntington Beach

Foxman's refusal to back a congressional resolution acknowledging the Armenian genocide is understandable. To do so would diminish the events of World War II and demonstrate that this tragic incident is no more horrificthan that which has happened to others. The Chinese suffered their own genocide at the hands of the Japanese during World War II, yet there is little written about, let alone official recognition given for, this atrocity.

Although what happened in Europe was tragic, it is unfortunately just another footnote in history of human cruelty. The Irish, Cambodians, Africans, Native Americans, Chinese and Armenians have all experienced their own genocides. Only one group has demanded that its experience be given priority over all others.

John Zavesky Riverside

As the only Jewish organization solely dedicated to the issue of combating and preventing genocide worldwide, Jewish World Watch applauds the ADL for finally acknowledging the Armenian genocide as a genocide.

As a community with firsthand knowledge and experience of the ravages of genocide, we have a particular moral obligation to stand up and ask our government to recognize what we know as true: that 1.5 million Armenians were systematically slaughtered in a government-sponsored campaign of genocide against them. We urge the ADL to continue its leadership in the fight against hate by supporting the pending congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide as such.

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis Founder, Jewish World Watch Encino

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2007.08.27 -- Watertown Tab: Letters to the Editor

08/27 -- TAB ignored important criticisms of ADL

I am writing to express my disappointment of the TAB’s coverage (“Will ‘No Place for Hate’ debate spread?” Aug. 16) of the historic Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14. As an Armenian-American member of the audience, I was stunned to open up the Watertown TAB for coverage of the event, and see that two of the most important and best-received presentations of the evening had been edited out of the story. I am referring to the presentations of Lois Mastrangelo and Merrie Najimy, both prominent members of the community.

Lois Mastrangelo is the wife of the late Richard Mastrangelo, former president of the Watertown Town Council — after whom the meeting hall we were in is named.

She is also a leader in the local peace movement. Merrie Najimy is the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and a prominent human rights activist and multicultural educator. Her presentation — and its interruption by Andrew Tarsy, regional director of the New England Anti-Defamation League at the time — produced one of the most dramatic moments of the evening, which resulted in his storming out of the council hall. Several observers wondered if it hadn’t been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” leading to Tarsy’s about-face the next day.

One would think that a newspaper would report such a dramatic scene, rather than try to avoid any mention of it like the plague — much like Andrew Tarsy’s avoidance of the word “genocide” in his speech.

Should we believe, then, that what made the two women’s presentations too hot to handle for the TAB was that they didn’t just limit their remarks to a condemnation of the ADL’s denial of the Armenian Genocide? Instead, they went further and addressed the broader implications of the ADL’s modus operandi:

Whenever there’s a conflict between defending a civil or human rights principle and defending the interests, however narrowly defined, of the State of Israel, the ADL appears to tilt in favor of the latter.

Unfortunately, speaking of the ADL’s surveillance of anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s is still considered taboo, as is its promiscuous use of the “anti-Semite” label to discredit any serious criticism of Israeli policies, the smearing of Jimmy Carter for daring to expose the brutality of occupation, and the harassment of Arab and Muslim activists. As if it were unthinkable that an organization that shamelessly covers up the first genocide of the 20th century would have serious qualms about performing any of the above.

Alik Meguerditchian

08/27 -- Is sewage a higher priority than readers’ concerns?

While newspapers, magazines and bloggers throughout the country are praising the Watertown Town Council for its courage, strength and morality, our own town newspaper is chiding it for time lost on more practical matters (Editorial, “Don’t save the world, save Watertown,” Aug. 16).

Should we believe, then, that the TAB places a higher priority on sewage problems than the emotions and concerns of its readers? Let’s stop pretending that an hour spent on discussing this issue last week has forever stalled the Town Council from solving other problems in our community.

Nayiri Arzoumanian
Westland Road

08/27 -- Editorial was condescending

I found your article of Aug. 16 editorial “Don’t save the world, save Watertown” to be quite condescending. You have become numb to the fact that in a country as large as the United States most change throughout our history has begun on a local level.

I find it insulting that you wish to render the leaders of Watertown to bureaucrats. It would be similar if they asked of you, a newspaper editor, to simply do the essential parts of your job and report facts and keep your opinions to yourself. As a lifelong Watertown resident, I expect my representatives to do exactly that, represent the voice of the people. The people spoke last Tuesday Aug. 14, and just because you do not like their wishes does not give you the right to minimize a historical event, to smother the pain and truth of the Armenian Genocide, and to suggest that local leaders become pencil-pushers.

Narini Badalian
Walnut Street

08/27 -- ‘Local-only’ approach hurts town’s well-being

Editorials are by their nature opinions that may or may not be supported by facts. They can rely on “conventional wisdom,” reinforce myths and even insult individuals and institutions. Readers can accept or reject the opinions expressed in an editorial, agree or disagree with its facts, challenge its implications, and question its intentions. Stealing a page for past TAB editorials, I gave the overall impact of “Don’t save the world, save Watertown” (Aug. 17) a “thumbs down.” The editorial covered a lot of ground, and so does my response.

The initial paragraphs of “Don’t save the world, save Watertown” provide the reader with a quick summary of recent developments regarding the program “No Place for Hate,” an issue that has been heavily covered in the last three editions of the TAB by articles, opinion editorials and letters to the editor. The issue was also covered, though to a lesser extent, in the Boston Globe.

The Town Council last week voted unanimously to end its ties with the “No Place for Hate” program that is a product of the Anti-Defamation League. The council’s decision was based on the fact that the ADL did not recognize the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1923 as genocide. Support for this decision was strong as over 100 individuals, many from the Armenian community, attended the council meeting.

TAB reporter Jillian Fennimore’s news article, “Will ‘Hate’ debate spread?” (Also Aug. 17) describes the Town Council hearing and reports the ADL’s rationale for not recognizing the Armenian genocide as well as the opinions of many Watertown residents and town councilors who find the ADL’s position and rationale unacceptable.

Unfortunately, Ms. Fennimore fails to mention the presentations of two Watertown citizens, one who is the president of the local chapter of the Arab-American Anti-Defamation Committee. The audience responded in loud applause and approval as the two speakers detailed the ADL’s intolerance for anyone who criticizes the action of the Israeli government and the ADL’s history of using innuendos and half-truths to discredit Arab-Americans and Arab-American organizations. Let us hope that this information also informed the vote of individual councilors.

The “Don’t save the world, save Watertown” editorial also mentions the fine work of the all-volunteer “No Place for Hate” committee. A good example is the group’s current project to translate information about town services and resources (public and private) into a number of languages for Watertown residences whose first language is not English. I believe the vast majority of Watertown residents would agree that efforts to address prejudice and bigotry and projects designed to herald the value of diversity and to ease the transition for newcomers to Watertown are worthy of our support, and that a new vehicle to continue this work can and will be found.

After reading the opening paragraphs of “Don’t save the world, save Watertown,” I wondered what whether the editorial was titled incorrectly. But by the end of the editorial, my confusion disappeared.

The TAB was once again scolding Watertown residents and elected officials for addressing issues that they believed had nothing to do with Watertown. Let’s batten down the hatches and “not meddle in any issue that is not strictly about Watertown.” Watertown needs to insulate and isolate itself from those “smarmy politicians” in cities like Cambridge and stopping wasting its “civic energy” on issues like “No Place for Hate.” Voters should know better than to urge their elected officials to “spend time on empty symbolism.”

It is the TAB’s opinion that the job of Watertown’s elected officials is to make sure the town manager and his department heads fill the potholes, pick up the trash, arrest law-breakers, and keep the parks clean and safe. In short, voters elected councilors to be watchdogs on activities that only pertain to the smooth functioning of Watertown. Citizens with concerns about anything else should find other venues at which to discuss them.

Take your issues to your house of worship, cultural society or advocacy organization, and bring your concerns to your state and national elected officials. Most importantly, remember that unless your issue is purely about Watertown and how town government functions, keep it out of the Town Council.

This approach is unrealistic and detrimental to the well-being of Watertown, its residents and its future. Local issues are naturally related to state, regional and national issues. To be sure the pothole in front of your driveway is not the responsibility of state government, but the amount of state tax dollars earmarked for local aid to cities and towns can effect when the pothole gets filled.

A proposal for a regional recycling plant may not have to be voted upon by the Town Council, but I sure would want to see our elected officials actively involved in monitoring such a plan.

The fact that the federal government is spending a billion dollars a month on the Iraq war while there is less and less money available for fixing the bridges that Watertown residents travel each day deserves the attention of town officials. The list can go on and on. Watertown’s economic, social and civic well-being does not exist in isolation of statewide, regional and national policies and priorities. To assume so and to therefore restrict our elected officials from learning about and being involved in the world in which Watertown exists is imprudent.

As an elected body, the Town Council has access to the well-known “bully pulpit.” It has a responsibility to use its pulpit with care and respect to address the concerns and issues that affect the lives of the people they represent.

Tony Palomba
Oakley Road

08/27 -- Jewish man is appalled at Foxman

As an outraged Jew, I wish the Armenian community of Watertown to know that I am behind them 100 percent and am appalled, and have always been appalled, at Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

Jews and Armenians alike have suffered greatly at the hands of the Turks, and I am ashamed when Jewish leaders in their pathetic attempt to curry favor with Turkey distort history and attack our Armenian friends.

Gamaliel Isaac
Highland Park, N.J.

08/27 -- Tarsy deserves praise

Mr. Andrew Tarsy is to be congratulated for his decision to follow his convictions and not the official Anti-Defamation League national office line. Unfortunately, he lost his position as the New England regional director, yet he gained much kudos and many new supporters for his principled approach towards the unequivocal acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.

ADL’s ultimate purpose is “to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens,” per its charter.

These words and ideals, as noble as they may be, apparently fall on deaf ears within the walls of ADL national office, demonstrated by their actions to stifle constructive and principled dissent. How can one person ask another to fight abuses of human rights, bigotry and genocide/holocaust denial, when he is not willing to do so himself, no matter what the excuse? It is up to us all as proud American citizens, to let Mr. Abraham Foxman know that we do not stand for bigoted ideology, especially when it’s cloaked under the proud name and tradition of the ADL.

Ara Nazarian

08/27 -- Foxman is a modern-day Janus

Janus: Roman god of gates and doors; represented with two opposite faces.
Or to be more succinct, god of hypocrisy.

Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, is a modern-day Janus. In what can only be called a blatant public relations cleanup effort, Foxman has “officially acknowledged the genocide of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks more 90 years ago,” according to the Aug. 22 Boston Globe.

But he stops there, because the other side of his mouth is busy saying that a resolution pending in Congress to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide is “a counter-productive diversion.” In other words, the ADL won’t go that far.

Foxman claims he has “privately” considered what happened to the Armenians more than 90 years ago as genocide, but private thoughts don’t get press coverage. Firings, resignations and local controversies escalating to the national level do. So, like any other public figure with a lot of sweat on his brow would do, he decides to formalize his “private” thoughts into a more publicity-friendly organizational policy.

Abe “Janus” Foxman has a long way to go before he and the ADL are back in the public embrace. But when all is said and done, I’m not sure he’ll be able to keep the other side of his mouth shut forever.

Stephanie Karakozian
Duff Street

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Aug.22-Aug.28 -- Letters to the Editor

08/22 -- Newton Tab: Keep Leonard Zakim’s message intact

In 1999, as a seventh-grader at Brown Middle School, I attended the sixth annual Team Harmony event at the Boston FleetCenter. The event featured local sport and political figures speaking to Massachusetts students about standing up against bigotry.

The event, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, was co-founded by Leonard Zakim, then the executive director of the ADL of New England. Zakim, a former Newton resident, succumbed to cancer less than a month after the 1999 event.

Lately, the Anti-Defamation League has been suffering an identity crisis. Last Friday, Aug. 17, the New England ADL director, Andrew Tarsy, was fired for his vocal challenge to the national organization’s stance on the Armenian genocide. The ADL has firmly refused to recognize the tragic Ottoman slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as genocide. Instead of embracing an issue that is at the core of what ADL stands for, Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, has twisted the matter into a question about organizational loyalty.

How sadly coincidental that at the same time that the integrity of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge has been questioned, the legacy that Zakim established faces collapse. At Team Harmony, Zakim called for students to ally with disenfranchised members of society. The organization’s demand for such conformity from its members is an embarrassment to those who once supported the ADL’s message about challenging bigotry no matter the source.

Yet, local officials have reassured residents that, for now, the bridge is safe. Community members must continue to speak out against ADL’s narrow-mindedness to ensure that Zakim’s message remains intact.

Josh Wessler
Central Street

08/24 -- Boston Herald: Lemkin's legacy lives

Missing from the conversation about recognition of the Armenian genocide is the position of Raphel Lemkin, who coined the word "genocide" and drafted the legal standard by which genocide is defined- the 1948 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide ("Watertown remembers what the ADL chooses to forget," Aug. 20).

Lemkin, a Polish Jew who lost 49 members of his family during the Holocaust, was unequivocal on the subject of the treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Throughout his writings, the mass killings serve as an exemplar of the crime he sought to outlaw – the crime of genocide. The legal instruments he drafted after the 1930s were meant specifically to include the atrocities suffered by Armenians at the hands of the Young Turks. He hoped that those legal instruments would help to prevent horrors similar to the ones experienced by the Armenians, whether they were European Jews, Bosnian Muslims, Cambodians, Hutus or Darfurians.

- Adam Strom
- Dan Eshet
Facing History and Ourselves, Brookline

08/24 -- Belmont Citizen-Herald: Belmont should rescind ‘No Place for Hate’

I would like to call on the Belmont town officials to rescind their support for ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program, until the ADL has properly acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and has taken concrete steps to support their new position vis a vis the passing of the House and Senate Resolution 106.

Mr. Tarsy is to be congratulated for his decision to follow his convictions and not the official ADL National Office line. Unfortunately, he lost his position as the New England Regional Director, yet he gained much kudos and many new supporters for his principled approach towards the unequivocal acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.

ADL 's ultimate purpose is “to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens,” per its charter. These words and ideals, as noble as they may be, apparently fall on deaf ears within the walls of ADL National Office, demonstrated by their actions to stifle constructive and principled dissent.

How can one person ask another to fight abuses of human rights, bigotry and genocide/holocaust denial, when he is not willing to do so himself, no matter what the excuse. It is up to us all as proud American citizens, to let Mr. Foxman know that we do not stand for bigoted ideology, especially when it's cloaked under the proud name and tradition of the ADL.

Ara Nazarian

08/28 -- Boston Herald: Atrocities unforgettable

In response to Joe Fitzgerald's excellent column ("Watertown remembers what the ADL chooses to forget," Aug. 20), the overwhelming support being extended to the Armenians in their efforts to gain recognition for the Armenian genocide is heartening, and serves to bring attention to the atrocities and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by
Turkey up to the present day.

It is ironic that Abraham Foxman and the national Anti-Defamation League seek to placate Turkey considering the widespread anti-Semitism that has accompanied the rise of fundamentalism in Turkey. During the spring of 2005, Hitler's "Mein Kampf" was a best seller in Turkey, and a film with anti-Semitic and anti-American overtones was a box office smash at Turkish cinemas. During World War II, members of the Jewish
community in Turkey shared the fate of their Greek and Armenian neighbors, and were devastated by a discriminatory tax that was imposed on non-Muslims and were depor
ted into Anatolia from which many never returned.

Theodore G. Karakostas

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2007.08.27 -- ‘Turkey Would Not Be Accepted in the EU if It Touches Even One Jew’

By Khatchig Mouradian

The Armenian Weekly
August 27, 2007

WATERTOWN, Mass. (A.W.)—The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) cites the security of the Jewish community in Turkey and Israel’s alliance with Turkey for why it has failed to unambiguously recognize the Armenian genocide and support its recognition by the U.S. Congress. Treasurer of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) Prof. Jack Nusan Porter believes the well being of the Jews in Turkey is not at stake.

“This is really just blackmail,” said Porter, author of "The Genocidal Mind" and "Facing History and Holocaust" in an interview with the Armenian Weekly. “Turkey would never touch the Jewish community. It would never be accepted in the European Union if it touched any Jew in Turkey. The real question is: Why does this blackmail work? Why do people believe it? In February of this year, Turkish officials met with Jewish groups here in America and put out the word. Most of the Jewish leaders disagreed, but some of them—like the ADL leader [Abraham Foxman]—didn’t,” he added.

Porter underscored the importance of “educating” Israel in these issues. “We, American Jews, have to educate Israel. It’s just the opposite of what it was historically. The Israelis had to teach us how to be Jewish. Now, we are going to have to teach them how to be a good Jew: Take care of all people, not only yourself.”

Turkey’s pressure on Israel regarding the Armenian genocide issue is not new, he explained. “In 1979, Israel Charny [former IAGS president and editor of “The Encyclopedia of Genocide”] organized a conference in Tel Aviv. The Turkish government put pressure on the Israeli government not to send anybody to that conference. They’ve been pressuring Israel for all these years,” said Porter.

Talking about how the Jewish community supports the recognition of the Armenian genocide, Porter said, “The right wing, ultra-nationalistic, conservative forces support what’s good for Israel and do not interfere—even oppose—everything else. But most of the Jews in this country are universalistic and recognize the genocide.” He added, “There was a good coordination of Jewish and Armenian pressure. I hope it brings the two communities even closer together.”

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Reports of Equivocation by Foxman Following ADL's August 21 "Statement on the Armenian Genocide"

The following are unedited excerpts from American, Israeli and Turkish newspapers.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Armenian Genocide Crisis Tests Tight Ties Between Turkey and Israel, ADL to Ankara ‘Deep Regret’
August 29, 2007

The ADL itself tried to calm tensions by issuing a statement opposing a congressional resolution recognizing that a genocide took place and by sending a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing “deep regret” and the desire to “deepen our friendship.”

Sensoy [Turkey's ambassador to the U.S.] told the Forward that Turkey was “very disappointed” by the ADL’s statement “because it changed the premise of everything we had achieved with the U.S. Jewish community.”

Foxman told the Forward that he has had numerous conversations about the issue in recent days and stressed that the ADL had not changed its position on the congressional resolution. […] “We want to make sure the Turkish government understands that the use of the word ‘genocide’ doesn’t change our position on what Congress needs to do,” Foxman told the Forward. “Some people don’t understand it. Some people understand it, and the Turkish prime minister is among them.”

Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, Namik Tan, made clear to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that Ankara expects at least as much from Israel, demanding that Jerusalem “deliver” American Jewish organizations and ensure that Congress does not pass the genocide resolution. “Israel should not let the Jewish community change its position,” Tan reportedly said. “This is our expectation, and this is highly important, highly important.”


Haaretz: Peres to Turks: Our Stance on Armenian Issue Hasn't Changed
August 26, 2007

The Turkish media reported over the weekend that ADL President Abraham Foxman sent Erdogan a letter stating the ADL has "utmost respect for the Turkish people." "We had no intention to put the Turkish people or its leaders in a difficult position. I am writing this letter to you to express our sorrow over what we have caused for the leadership and people of Turkey in the past few days," Foxman's letter reportedly read.


Today's Zaman: ADL Corrects ‘Genocide’ Mistake in Letter, Erdoğan Says
August 25, 2007

The US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed regret over debates centered on its recent decision to recognize Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in a letter addressing PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Foxman said in his letter that the ADL had huge respect for the Turkish people and has never desired to put the Turkish people and their leaders into a difficult situation, expressing deep regret over what the Turkish people had to go through in the past few days since it agreed to recognize the alleged genocide, reversing a long-held policy, the Anatolia news agency said……"The wrong step that has been taken is corrected," said Erdoğan in subsequent comments to reporters. "They said they shared our sensitivity and expressed the mistake they made. … They said they will continue to give us all the support they have given so far," he added.

Reports in the Turkish media said the move followed a telephone conversation between Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday….Reports said Peres then called ADL National Director Foxman.

"We must encourage steps to create an atmosphere in which Armenia will respond favorably to the several recent overtures of Turkey to convene a joint commission to assist the parties in achieving a resolution of their profound differences [...] The force and passion of the debate today leaves us more convinced than ever that this issue does not belong in a forum such as the United States Congress," the ADL's Thursday statement said, going on to say: "Although independent scholars may have reached a consensus about the genocide, in an effort to help accomplish the reconciliation there is room for further dispassionate scholarly examination of the details of those dark and terrible days."

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2007.08.25 -- Peter Balakian: The Anti-Defamation League and the Armenian Genocide

By Peter Balakian
The Armenian Reporter
August 25, 2008

The recent Anti-Defamation League decision to reverse its stance on the Armenian Genocide represents a significant and historic move forward for this important Jewish-American organization. By acknowledging the facts and the long historical record, the ADL shows that it can revise its previous, erroneous stance. In calling on a Jewish intellectual record and testimony -- Ambassador Henry Morgenthau and Elie Wiesel, for example -- ADL Director Mr. Abraham Foxman also reveals the strength of Jewish intellectual perspective on the Armenian Genocide.

The recent statement by David Harris, director of the American Jewish Committee, is also an important affirmation of the historical record on the Armenian Genocide. He too calls on the Jewish intellectual discourse, Ambassador Morgenthau and the U. S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum, in his assessment of the historical and moral record on the extermination of the Armenians in 1915. However, the discourse on the Armenian Genocide should not be articulated as “an Armenian view,” as Mr. Harris’s otherwise thoughtful and careful statement has done. It is crucial to acknowledge the broad and international record on the Armenian Genocide, one that has been created by an international body of dispassionate scholarship for decades, and notably affirmed by the International Association of Genocide Scholars in repeated statements that note that this is a resolved issue.

This discourse has also been profoundly shaped by Jewish writing, scholarship, and leadership. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel, Elie Wiesel, Robert Jay Lifton, Deborah Lipstadt, Robert Melson, Israel Charney, Andrew Goldberg, Yehuda Bauer, Yair Auron are just a few of the important voices. Raphael Lemkin, the Jewish legal scholar who lost 49 members of his family in the Holocaust, invented the concept of genocide in the 1940s, in part on the basis of the extermination of the Armenians in 1915.

In 1949 Lemkin became the first to apply the term genocide to the eradication of the Armenians; he did so on American television. Both Mr. Foxman’s and Mr. Harris’s statements reflect a long-standing Jewish anxiety about appeasing Turkey, and one can understand the importance of Turkey to Israel, and the need for a Turkish-Israeli alliance. However, no country should be told by another country what to think and what to say about moral and intellectual issues. And, in the case of Israel and the Jewish diasporan lobbies, it is unseemly and unthinkable that Jews would trade, to use Mr. Harris’s phrase, “principle for pragmatism,” at least on this issue.

No culture I can think of has a richer and more ferociously independent and creative intellectual tradition than the Jewish one. And the recent process of critique, dialogue, and evolving opinion surrounding the ADL issue on the Armenian Genocide is a salient example of that tradition. If Jewish organizations continue to honor the moral and intellectual high ground they have done so much to create in Western civilization, they will have no problem seeing the value and importance of the congressional resolution (H. Res. 106) on the Armenian Genocide. For the crime of genocide that was done to the Armenians there has been no justice or acknowledgment from the perpetrator and its legacy, the Republic of Turkey.

In addition, what is hard to fathom is that Turkey has engaged in a nine-decade campaign to attempt to erase the truth and historical memory about the Armenian Genocide, and has gone to extreme measures to bully and coerce states and organizations that engage in the honest memory of the events of 1915. If Jews replace “Armenian Genocide” with the “Holocaust” in the previous sentence, as Mr. Harris has suggested, and imagine their horror at such a scenario in the wake of the Holocaust, they will surely see why forms of official and state affirmation of the historical record remain urgently important for Armenians and for broad ethical, psychological, and social reasons that affect us all. In not standing up to Turkish coercion on the issue of the Armenian Genocide, Israel, the Jewish lobbies, and the United States inadvertently aid and abet the repressive institutions in Turkey that keep it from being a genuine democracy -- one that is capable of allowing intellectual freedom and historical self-critique.

In truth, Turkey’s human rights record in the 20th century has been and continues to be disastrous. Its treatment of its minorities, including the Jews, in the 20th century is a dark story of extreme violence and repression. Throughout much of the last several decades Turkey has had more writers in jail or detention than any country including China and Syria, and continues to persecute its intellectuals and its educational system under penal code article 301. The assassination of Armenian journalist Hrank Dink this year is emblematic of how dangerous the current environment in Turkey is. Therefore it seems more important than ever for the Jewish lobbies and the United States to exercise roles of leadership in helping Turkey move forward on this litmus-test issue of historical fact and memory, just as many of Turkey’s best and most courageous scholars are also trying to do.

The recent statements by Mr. Foxman and Mr. Harris, in their different ways and contexts, are positive signs of change, more of which will be important in helping to resolve this issue. The AJC’s continued acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide and its refusal to lobby against H. Res. 106 importantly opens the way for further affirmations. The bonds that unite Armenians and Jews are deep. I would ask the ADL, all other Jewish organizations, and all Armenians to heed Mr. Harris’s advocacy that “protecting historical truth” be a top priority for Jews and Armenians and others of conscience everywhere, as the specter of denial is always lurking: poised to falsify the past and, in so doing, make the present ever more dangerous.

Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University. His book The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response won the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize.

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Genocide and Holocaust Scholars Criticize ADL Position on Armenian Genocide
By Khatchig Mouradian
The Armenian Weekly
August 24, 2007

WATERTOWN, Mass. (A.W.)—On Aug. 23, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a statement that reiterated its objection to the Armenian Genocide Resolution pending in Congress and continued to ambiguously recognize the Armenian genocide by calling “for further dispassionate scholarly examination of the details of those dark and terrible days.”

“The force and passion of the debate today leaves us more convinced than ever that this issue does not belong in a forum such as the United States Congress,” the statement read.

“We must encourage steps to create an atmosphere in which Armenia will respond favorably to the several recent overtures of Turkey to convene a joint commission to assist the parties in achieving a resolution of their profound differences,” it continued.

Several genocide and Holocaust experts expressed outrage over the idea of convening with Turkish state historians who have made a career out of denying and trivializing the Armenian genocide. When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the idea of a “joint commission” a few years ago, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) sent an open letter to Erdogan saying, “We are concerned that in calling for an impartial study of the Armenian Genocide you may not be fully aware of the extent of the scholarly and intellectual record on the Armenian Genocide. … We want to underscore that it is not just Armenians who are affirming the Armenian Genocide but it is the overwhelming opinion of scholars who study genocide: hundreds of independent scholars.”

Genocide and Holocaust scholars in the U.S. and Europe, contacted by the Armenian Weekly today, harshly criticized the ADL’s statement as well as its hypocritical approach to the Armenian genocide in general.

“ADL is getting into the issue a bit late to be of any substance," said Dr. Stephen Feinstein, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. "Furthermore, by Foxman saying there was a need to protect the Turkish-Jewish community, the question is, protect from what if they have lived as a loyal minority for 500 years? This suggests that the ADL is missing the point and cannot be part of the discourse,” he added.

“A commission now would be a disaster. The Turkish state must make clear that they have a very strong intention to resolve this issue. The rhetoric of the Turkish authorities is not conducive of a solution. As long as people like Yusuf Halacoglu—a very radical, nationalist, even racist historian—Gunduz Aktan and Sukru Elekdag give the tone for the policy of Turkish government, I don’t think that you can reach any result from a commission,” said Turkish-born historian and sociologist Taner Akcam, author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian genocide and the Question of Turkish responsibility. “For them the commission would be the continuation of the war they are waging against the Armenians, whom they consider as the enemy,” he added.

“We don’t need a historical commission. We need historians to have completely free and open access to the archives in Turkey so scholars and anyone else can research, write and talk about this history without fear of intimidation,” said Professor Eric Weitz, author of A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation. “That is the key issue: free and open debate without intimidation from the state and from anti-democratic organizations that are allowed to operate with the tacit support of the state.”

“Furthermore, not the regional ADL leader [Andy Tarsy] but Abraham Foxman should be fired," Weitz added. "He should have been fired a long time ago for many other statements and comments in addition to his long-standing refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide.”

“I’m entirely in agreement with Eric Weitz on the access [to archives] and free debate,” said Dr. Donald Bloxham of the University of Edinburgh who was recently awarded the 2007 Raphael Lemkin prize for his book The Great game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians.

“And I reject the silly commission idea,” Bloxham added.

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Arlington ‘No Place for Hate’ Suspends Ties with ADL

The Armenian Weekly & ANCEM
August 23, 2007

NEWTON, Mass.—On Tuesday, Aug. 21, hours after the release of a statement by Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recognizing the Armenian Genocide but opposing the Genocide Resolution pending in Congress, the Newton Human Rights Commission sent a strong message to ADL executive director Abraham Foxman that anything short of the unambiguous recognition of the genocide and full support of the Congressional resolution would result in Newton’s withdrawal from the ADL-sponsored No Place for Hate (NPFH) program, reported the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts (ANCEM).

Newton’s reaction comes a day after the Arlington NPFH Commission voted to suspend its ties with the ADL for its denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Over 40 community members attended the special meeting that was called to discuss the issue. “The small side chamber in City Hall could not hold the number of audience members present for that evening's meeting,” reported the Newton Tab. “Residents of Newton, Watertown, Cambridge, Needham and other surrounding communities squeezed into that meeting room and trickled out into the hall.”

Reacting to Foxman’s statement, Newton Mayor David Cohen said, “Whenever I saw the word Armenian, in my mind I substituted the word Jewish. And whenever I saw the word genocide, I substituted the word Holocaust. And I said, would I be satisfied if this were the response of my leaders? And the answer was no!” In order for Newton to be satisfied and continue with the NPFH, said Mayor Cohen, the National ADL has to “do the right thing, recognizing the Armenian genocide and advocating for its recognition as they would any other genocide.”

Watertown Town Council vice president Mark Sideris was also in attendance and thanked the City of Newton for standing in solidarity with Watertown. Addressing the Commission, he said, “I want to applaud your committee and the Mayor for the stand that you’re taking. … I think a message has been sent and we should be working together not only with Newton and Watertown but with many communities to continue the pressure on the ADL. Mr. Foxman took a step today but I don’t think it’s far enough.”

The Commission acknowledged that progress has been made but that the ADL’s proclamation does not go far enough. Commissioner Sona Petrossian said that the Human Rights Commission has to be comfortable under the umbrella of the ADL. At present, she said, this was not the case. “There’s no one here that would not support NPFH 100 percent, but with the [ADL’s] backing, it’s becoming hypocritical,” said Commissioner Peter Brown.

Members of the audience were then invited to address the Council. Anatol Zukerman, candidate for alderman in Newton, said, “Withdrawing from the program is the minimum that we can do to put the pressure on ADL because the ADL has been doing this for years and I don’t think Mr. Foxman is going to move another step forward toward the resolution of this crisis.” Commissioner Brenda Krasnow agreed, saying, “If it becomes a swell and more than one town withdraws, then I think you’ll see some action.”

David Boyajian, the Newton resident whose letter to the Watertown Tab ignited the NPFH/ADL controversy, commended the commissioners for sending a firm message to the ADL. “We’re not asking this just for ourselves,” he continued, “but for the sake of genocide prevention in general and as a human rights issue.” He went on to restate the two basic demands of the Armenian community: that the ADL leadership unambiguously acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and that it work for Armenian Genocide Resolutions in Congress. “We don’t want the ADL to continue to lobby under the radar,” Boyajian stated. “We want an explicit statement by them so that members of Congress understand where the ADL stands. An injustice has been done for a number of years by the ADL in stopping Armenian Genocide resolutions in Congress, and in working with Turkey over the years, against Armenian issues. If this doesn’t happen we do request that the NPFH sever ties with the ADL. But we hope it won’t come to that.”

“I’m here as a former ADL employee, someone who worked in the national office in New York and someone who is frankly very disturbed by what’s happening to a great organization with a really misguided national leader,” said Jonathan Shapira of Newton. “It’s going to take a lot of pressure on the national leadership and support for the regional board to get a change to happen.”

The ADL must promote the Genocide Resolution, urged Narini Badalian of Watertown. “When a country like America endorses Turkey’s denial of the genocide, it is sending a message to the world that genocide remembrance is selective and that private interests outweigh morality,” she said.

In calling the meeting to a close, Cohen stated, “Everyone in this room is united by one common thread, that is, they want to see justice for the Armenian people, they want to see a full and complete recognition of the Armenian genocide by the ADL and the ADL becoming one of the active supporters of legislation to have the U.S. recognize the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide. We are all prepared to go as far as we need to make sure that those things are realized.”

The Newton Human Rights Commission postponed a vote on the status of the No Place for Hate program and decided instead to wait for the outcome of the regional board meeting of the ADL to be held the next day.

The commission voted instead to unanimously support a letter sent to Abraham Foxman by Mayor Cohen in which he states: “I am in full support of the actions taken by the New England Regional Board of the ADL … in recognizing the Armenian Genocide. I am also in full support of the legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff calling on the United States to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

“The City of Newton, much like the Town of Watertown, has stepped up to the plate and put the ADL on notice that there is no room for ambiguity or waffling when it comes to this issue,” said ANCEM representative Joshua A. Tevekelian of Watertown. "The general public has spoken and will not tolerate politics over principle. The ADL must practice what it preaches and support the Genocide Resolution."

That same evening, the Newton HRC wrote a letter to the NE Regional ADL. It was received in time to be shared at the N.E. Regional meeting the following day.

Arlington “No Place For Hate” Applauds New England ADL, Calls for
Armenian Genocide Recognition

During an emergency meeting of the Arlington “No Place for Hate” Commission held Monday, August 20th, Committee Chairwoman Cindy Friedman and the 12 member Executive Board members voted to suspend the ongoing ADL NPFH certification process, citing the ADL’s Armenian Genocide denial. In a written statement issued following the meeting, the commission noted that “while we agree with the program’s goals, we feel that recent statements and actions of the national leadership have undermined its integrity and ability to be effective.” The letter went on to praise former Regional Director Andrew Tarsy and the New England ADL “for their courage in standing up to the national organization’s position. We support them in their efforts to resolve this matter so that the Armenian genocide is rightfully acknowledged and the integrity of the No Place for Hate program can be restored.” Tarsy was recently fired by the ADL National for recognizing the Armenian Genocide and supporting Congressional adoption of the Armernian Genocide resolution.

The Arlington decision follows in wake of a letter from the ANCEM urging the NPFH Committee to reconsider their affiliation with the ADL. The August 20th letter, delivered to Board Member Joseph A Curro, Jr. by Arlington resident Lucine Zadoian-Kouchakdjian and other ANCEM activists minutes before the briefing, stated that “affiliation or acquiescence with Mr. Foxman and the ADL National’s unconscionable position on the Armenian Genocide seriously undermines the credibility of the NPFH in its efforts to battle against bigotry and intolerance in Arlington.” The letter went on to urge the “Arlington NPFH leadership to sever its ties with the ADL until such time as the ADL National leadership issues a public statement acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and calling for the adoption of Congressional legislation recognizing this crime against humanity.”

“The Armenian community and the Armenian National Committee would like to thank Mayor Cohen, the Newton community and the Arlington ‘No Place For Hate’ Board for the outpouring of support it has shown calling for the proper characterization of the Armenian Genocide by the ADL. We have worked together for years to ensure that human rights violations, past and present, are not allowed to go unrecognized and unpunished, and the success we have had is encouraging,” reiterated Dikran Kaligian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee - Eastern Region.

Hi Res versions of the photographs shown in this article are available upon request. Please write to .

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2007.08.23-- Boston Globe: Letters to the Editor

08/23 -- Boston Globe: The ADL's unfinished business

IN 1951, six years after the end of World War II, at the urging of Raphael Lemkin, the United Nations adopted a five-point definition of genocide. It wasn't just the Holocaust that led Lemkin to demand that the world recognize as a crime systematic cultural and racial annihilations and atrocities, it was also the massacre of more than 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks that occurred between 1915 and 1921. Has Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, not learned anything from history ("ADL chief bows to critics: Foxman cites rift, calls Armenian deaths genocide," Page A1, Aug. 22)?

It would behoove him to educate himself on the moral, as opposed to the political, issue of genocide by reading Samantha Power's Pulitzer Prize-winning book "A Problem from Hell," which chronicles the moral corruption of American foreign policy when it comes to taking a stand in such places as Rwanda, Cambodia, Serbia, and now Darfur.

Foxman is dissembling when he says, "On reflection, we have come to share the view . . . that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide," and then describes the proposed congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide as a "counterproductive diversion." This "political" position is morally reprehensible.


WHILE THE recalcitrance of the national ADL in acknowledging the Armenian genocide was troubling, the fact that some politicians and Armenian groups have responded to Abraham Foxman's capitulation with further hostility is equally troubling.

Watertown Councilor Marilyn Pettito Devaney, the Armenian Assembly of America, and US Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who introduced the genocide resolution in the House, may believe strongly in declaring the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians a genocide, but it is unfair to unilaterally declare support of a particular piece of legislation to be a litmus test that another organization must submit to in order to prove itself.

Does the NAACP have a position on the resolution? How about the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or the National Council of La Raza? Has anyone thought to ask them? Or is an organization devoted to fighting anti-Semitism the only anti-hate group held to such a standard?


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August 21, 2007


Sharp Reversal Comes in Wake of Nation-wide Protests

WASHINGTON, DC – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), under pressure from a national campaign of protests initiated by the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts, backed nationally by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), and supported by leading voices in the Jewish American community, today reversed its longstanding policy of complicity in Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide.

In a statement issued today, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman formally recognized the Armenian Genocide but – in what appeared to be a gesture intended to appease the Turkish government – voiced the organization's continued opposition to legislation before Congress (H.Res.106 / S.Res.106) marking this crime against humanity.

"The ANCA welcomes the Anti-Defamation's League's decision to finally end its longstanding complicity in Turkey's international denial campaign by properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide. We remain deeply troubled, however, that elements of its national leadership seek to prevent the United States from taking this very same principled step by adopting the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Much work remains, both in bringing the ADL fully to the right side of this issue and on the broader challenge of achieving proper U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. But we are, today, gratified by this step forward, and want to offer our thanks to all the many Armenians and Jews who cooperated together on this issue on the basis of our shared values of tolerance, truth and justice."

The ADL's actions come in the wake of a growing controversy stemming from the decision last week by the Watertown, Massachusetts Town Council to end its association with the ADL's "No Place for Hate" program due to the ADL's denial of the Armenian Genocide. This decision led to sharp divisions within the ADL, with Foxman firing New England Regional Director Andrew Tarsy for his public recognition of the Genocide, a move that precipitated the resignations of two regional board members.

The ADL National's heavy-handed response was greeted by a groundswell of support by the Jewish American community for Tarsy and for ADL National recognition of the Armenian Genocide and its reaffirmation by Congress. The Boston Globe reported today that "Nancy K. Kaufman, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, e mailed a letter yesterday to some 40 prominent Jewish leaders in Massachusetts, asking them to support the ousted director [Tarsy] and to recognize the genocide against Armenians. Within hours of sending the letter, Kaufman said that 11 groups had signed and that more were expected to do so shortly."

Members of Congress also added their concerns about the ADL's Genocide denial and its effects on its credibility as a civil rights organization. In a statement issued yesterday, Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution lead sponsor Adam Schiff (D-CA) condemned Tarsy's firing, stating that "this decision does not reflect well on the organization and compounds the error of failing to speak candidly about the past with firing someone who did." Rep. Schiff compared the move to the State Department's decision to fire former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans for properly characterizing the Armenian Genocide."

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) stated that "The Armenian Genocide is not an historic dispute or a rhetorical argument over semantics. The failure of the international community to deter and, if necessary, stop genocide by use of force, has only served to embolden those who seek to do evil. As a friend of the ADL, I encourage the national organization to reconsider its position and recognize the Armenian Genocide, and I also commend the New England region for its principled decision on this important issue."

For a full listing of the press coverage this issue has received,

The Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.106), introduced on January 30th by Rep. Adam Schiff and spearheaded by Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. The measure currently has over 220 cosponsors, more than 50% of the membership of the U.S. House. A similar resolution in the Senate (S.Res.106), introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) currently has 31 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

Read the complete text of the Abraham Foxman's statement here.

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