2007.08.03 -- Watertown Tab: Letters to the Editor Published on August 3, 2007

Watertown TAB & Press
Fri Aug 03, 2007
Watertown, MA

Letter: ADL's failure to condemn genocide is outrageous
It is shocking to read the hateful comments made by Mr. Andrew H. Tarsy, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, in the July 27 TAB & Press (“ADL: Issue of genocide is for Turkey and Armenia to resolve”).
Commenting on the Armenian genocide, Mr. Tarsy said “we expressed an opinion that the issue was one to be resolved between the two countries — Armenia and Turkey.”
Genocide is a human rights issue that concerns everyone. It is an American issue. There are international conventions and laws on the crime of genocide, just as there are tens of resolutions in the U.S. congress that address the Jewish genocide.
Let’s for a moment reword the ADL’s opinion and replace the word “Armenia” with “Jews” and “Turkey” with “Germany.” It would be equally outrageous to propose that the Jewish genocide was one to be resolved between Jews and Germany.
The ongoing crime of genocide in Darfur is a human rights issue that is of concern to everyone. As long as organizations such as the ADL and No Place for Hate fail to condemn them, genocides like the one in Darfur continue. Genocide stops when denial ceases.
Adolf Hitler believed that the world would remain indifferent to the plight of the Jewish people. He reportedly told Nazi commanders before the outbreak of World War II, “Who remembers the Armenians?”
Denial murders the memory of the horrors and the victims. We must always guard against denial and hateful opinions such as that of Mr. Tarsy’s ADL becoming accepted as legitimate discourse. Maybe we can prevent “never again” from becoming an empty saying.
There is No Place For Hypocrisy and the ADL.
Berge Jololian

Letter: Foxman links a noble group with genocide denial
The editorial, opinions, and letters to the editor over the last few weeks regarding the inclusion of “No Place for Hate” in our community are not only interesting, but also an important part of ensuring a world free of genocide.
The Web site of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League explains that the No Place for Hate Program “empowers communities to respect diversity and prevent and respond to hate crimes in their towns.”
Recent statements, however, by the ADL’s national director Abe Foxman opposing U.S. Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide — and worse, Foxman’s use of euphemistic language to deny the Armenian Genocide — runs counter to the fundamental tenets of No Place for Hate.
They also run counter to the ADL’s own charter, which, according to the ADL’s Website states that the 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.”
Genocide — whether committed by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915, Germany’s Nazi Regime in 1939 or the Sudanese Government today — is the most extreme example of hate crime. For the parent organization of No Place of Hate, or rather the national director of that organization, to deny genocide, goes against the basic concepts of tolerance and respect for diversity the organization is working so hard to promote in our communities.
For the sake of its own program credibility in Watertown and throughout the Boston area, the No Place for Hate leadership must speak clearly against genocide denial by properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning genocide denial in all forms.
Foxman does a disservice to the ADL in associating this noble organization with genocide denial. We can only hope that Boston’s No Place for Hate program leadership will not allow itself to follow in the same disgraceful path.
Sharistan Melkonian
Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts
Nichols Avenue

Letter: ADL stance is inconsistent with `No Place for Hate'
It is inconsistent for the Anti-Defamation League to sponsor “No Place for Hate” while simultaneously denying the historical truth regarding the Armenian Genocide.
Many Jewish history and genocide scholars, both from within Israel and from without, have written factual accounts of the Armenian Genocide. Moreover, in Turkey, hate crimes against Armenians, Greeks, and other minorities have not ended as is witnessed by the recent murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, and the ongoing persecution of members of his family and staff of his newspaper “AGOS.”
Pearl Teague
Armenian National Committee of Merrimack Valley