2007.08.08 -- Boston Globe: Letters to the Editor Published on August 8, 2007

The Boston Globe
August 8, 2007

Letters: Controversy stirred over genocide

THE GLOBE is correct that the controversy in Watertown over the Anti-Defamation League's No Place for Hate program is not of our making ("A genocide not to be denied," Editorial, Aug. 3). This ADL program helps reduce prejudice and build respect for differences. We hope Watertown will continue to participate irrespective of other issues.
ADL has never denied what happened at the close of the First World War. There were massacres of Armenians and great suffering at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. We believe today's Turkish government should do more than it has done to come to grips with the past and reconcile with Armenians. We have said that to Turkish officials and we have said it publicly. ADL continues to believe this is the best way to proceed.
Many groups have experienced horrific atrocities. Sharing our unique histories and building mutual respect is at the core of the ADL mission. Jews, Armenians, and other groups should continue to develop positive relationships out of a genuine desire to better understand one another and build a safer world. Attacking the integrity of ADL or No Place for Hate does not advance these goals and should be soundly rejected.
ANDREW H. TARSY Regional director
JAMES L. RUDOLPH Regional chairman
ADL New England Boston

THE ANTI-DEFAMATION League is caught in controversy, and it was brought on by its insensitive national director, Abraham Foxman. While preaching tolerance, Foxman takes a stand on the Armenian genocide that is akin to denial. Rather than condemning the Armenian genocide and its coverup, he has become a party to its coverup by stating, "The Turks and Armenians need to revisit their past." I guess one could as well say that the Nazis and Jews, or Darfur victims and the Janjaweed, should revisit their history. Foxman knows better, but is allowing political forces to divert him from intellectual honesty and the truth.

IT IS with deep appreciation that I read the editorial "A genocide not to be denied." My brother and I never knew our grandparents, who were burned alive in an Armenian church where they had taken refuge. Every time, for whatever reason, the attempt is made to minimize or deny this historic crime, we remember with renewed pain the stories our parents told us.
I do hope that the ADL will be true again to its name and the spirit of the organization. In the meantime, I thank the Globe for its principled stand.