2007.08.21 -- Arlington No Place For Hate Suspends Ties with ADL

The following statement was released to the ANCEM by the Arlington No Place for Hate Steering Committee on August 21, 2007.

Over the past months, Arlington has pursued certification as a No Place for Hate community under the auspices of the New England Regional Chapter of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and the MMA (Massachusetts Municipal Association). This week, the Arlington No Place for Hate Steering Committee resolved to suspend our involvement in the program. We take this measure to protest the refusal of ADL's national leadership to acknowledge as genocide the killing of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1918 by the Ottoman Empire and to support the efforts of the New England Regional Board and Andrew Tarsy, former Director, of the New England Region of the ADL.

Arlington chose the No Place for Hate program as a vehicle for bringing our community together, celebrating diversity, and addressing issues of hate and intolerance as they arise. 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.

We believe that the ADL national leadership’s refusal to acknowledge what by any standard is genocide -- and its subsequent firing of employees who disagree with their position -- is both indefensible and at complete odds with a basic tenet of No Place for Hate: acknowledging and accepting the history and experience of our community members, even when this may be uncomfortable or inconvenient for us. It tarnishes the good work of so many communities, and serves as a sad repudiation of the ADL's mission, "to secure justice and fair treatment to all."

We applaud Andrew Tarsy and the New England Regional Chapter of the 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.

We would also like to express our support for the members of the Armenian community, who have been so profoundly hurt by the position taken by the national ADL leadership on the Armenian genocide.

Arlington No Place for Hate Steering Committee