2007.08.20 -- Mayor Cohen of Newton, Mass Issues Statement on Armenian Genocide

As a “No Place for Hate” community, the City of Newton is committed to promoting tolerance and social justice within our City borders and beyond. I want to take this opportunity to say in no uncertain terms that the City of Newton stands with the Armenian people in condemning the genocide perpetrated against the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Furthermore, I fully support the legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff calling on the United States to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The World War I era Armenian Genocide, which involved the systematic slaughter of 1.5 million people, played a significant role in the subsequent devastating genocides that took place throughout the 20th century and into today. In fact, it was Hitler himself who, when contemplating, the Holocaust said in the early 1940’s: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” The Armenian Genocide is a tragic fact of history, and failure to recognize it as such does a disservice to people all over the world who have suffered from discrimination and injustice.

Whether or not Newton decides to remain a “No Place for Hate” community will in no way alter the hard work being done to promote tolerance and peace in our City every day of the year. Our Volunteer Services Coordinator Beverly Droz, our Human Rights Commission, our Clergy Association, our Foundation for Racial, Ethnic and Religious Harmony, and many other advocates for peace and social justice throughout the City will continue to plan and carry out programs and events that will unite the people in Newton against hate. Our community will never waver as we promote the ideals of tolerance and respect for all people in our City.