2007.08.20 -- The Jewish Advocate: Letters to the Editor

ADL Taking A Cowardly Stand

We are very upset about the policy of the national ADL chapter. The neutral stand that they are taking on the Armenian Genocide is deplorable. The ADL should show courage and speak up for what is right just as Andrew Tarsy did. It is a disgrace that Andrew Tarsy was fired from the New England regional chapter for speaking the truth.

The ad that was placed in Monday's newspapers by the ADL in which they attempted to explain their position was lame and ineffective. Abraham Foxman, the national director, and Glen Lewy, the national chair, are causing havoc and pain and are causing a backlash against the ADL, a once respected organization.

The ADL should be ashamed of what they are doing, and they should change their cowardly stand and finally stand up for the truth. Their mission has always been for tolerance but their tactics now are intolerable.

June and David Klein

Looking Out For Each Other

As a Jew, a Zionist and a staunch supporter of Israel, I am appalled by the way the Anti-Defamation League is handling the question of the Armenian genocide. Hardly any serious historian today challenges the historical facts: The government of the Young Turks, in the last days of the Ottoman Empire, systematically killed hundreds of thousands – perhaps as many as 1.5 million – Armenian civilians. Yet the chief
civil rights defense organization of America's Jewish community, the organization that admirably fights anti-Semitism and bigotry worldwide – a leader in the fight to stop the genocide in Darfur, Sudan – insists on denying that the Armenian massacre of 1915-1917 was what it was: genocide. ADL has publicly said that its position is anchored in
the notion that by dealing honestly with the Armenian genocide, it will be harming Israel's interest in good relations with Turkey.

That consideration is misguided on several counts. First, the strategic value of honesty and justice for Israel's long-term security and wellbeing outweighs the short term benefit of pandering to genocide deniers. Second, ADL is a defense organization of America's
Jewish community. Our community, which for years has fostered excellent relations with America's Armenian community, has its own strong interest in this matter, and a very legitimate one, indeed.

From the beginnings of the Israeli state, supporters have aptly quoted the first of Hillel's famous three questions: "If I am not for myself, who then will be for me?" Our friends at ADL should be reminded that Hillel followed this question with another: "If I am for myself only, what am I?"

Franklin M. Fisher
Professor of
Microeconomics, Emeritus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
National Chair, Americans for Peace Now

Ashamed Of ADL's Position

I am ashamed of the national Anti-Defamation League's refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915-1921. Clearly the ADL leadership is playing political favors with the Turkish government instead of providing moral leadership for the Jewish community of the United States and the world. Keeping silent about the Armenian
genocide while trumpeting the Jewish Holocaust will not win any friends for our cause abroad. This obvious hypocrisy does not bode well with the international image of the U.S. and Israel.

I strongly support the actions of the regional chapter of the ADL and its director, Andrew Tarsy, who had the moral courage and fortitude to oppose his boss. Mr. Tarsy lost his job but won many admirers and friends in this country and the world.

Anatol Zukerman,
Candidate for Alderman, Ward 3

Foxman Should Study History

Thank you for your article ("ADL uproar in Watertown sparks debate on genocide," Aug. 10). I have come to conclude that Mr. Foxman must resign or be let go. Furthermore, I will personally pay for his expenses to go back and study history for a semester or two at a local university. Or he can simply read "Power, Faith and Fantasy" by Michael B. Oren. I will be happy to send him a copy. Once again, thank you for your article.

Sewickley, Pa.