2007.08.05 -- Boston Globe: Letters to the Editor Published on August 5, 2007

The Boston Globe
August 5, 2007

Letters: No place for denying genocide

TO KEITH O'BRIEN (and his employer): I am truly appalled by your recent Globe article on the Armenian genocide, "Antibias effort stirs anger in Watertown" (Page A1, Aug. 1). By writing a supposedly neutral article, you are basically denying the genocide and following the lead of the Anti-Defamation League.
You write, "According to Armenians and many historians, the Turks systematically killed as many as 1.5 million Armenians." Many historians? How many, exactly? How about "According to Armenians and historians who have no personal gain from denying the genocide . . ."?
It's not only the Armenians who have been fighting to have the genocide recognized. There are plenty of human rights activists and historians who have looked into the issue and realized that there can't be a neutrality on genocide. When ADL's national director, Abraham H. Foxman, says, "I'm not going to be the arbiter of someone else's history," someone should remind him of the statement made by Adolf Hitler in August 1939, in which he justified his plan to destroy Poland and create a new order by asking, "Who remembers now the destruction of the Armenians?"

FOR THE LAST several years, I have served as a docent for the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, and I cannot understand how the Anti-Defamation League's national director can in good conscience state, regarding recognition of the Armenian genocide, that, "We're not party to this, and I don't understand why we need to be made party." The purpose of a Holocaust memorial is not just to remember the Jews who were slaughtered, but also to make us all serve as witnesses to all past genocides and to work together to prevent more genocides. If Watertown is truly to be No Place for Hate, then perhaps it is time that the ADL take an official position regarding the 1.5 million Armenians who died.