ANCEM Letter to NPFH-Watertown

August 2, 2007
Dear Sirs:

I am writing to receive clarification regarding the position of the Watertown No Place For Hate (NPFH) concerning the Armenian Genocide and Congressional legislation addressing this issue.

Recent statements published in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and The New Republic by Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, calling into question the Armenian Genocide and its acknowledgment by the U.S. Congress have been a source of great concern. It is astonishing to us that Foxman, who heads an institution, whose goal is to fight intolerance against all races and religions, would claim ignorance about the Armenian Genocide. It appears to be a willful ignorance. Moreover, his repeated references to the tragedy as simply an "Armenian" concern or "someone else's history" goes against the very foundation of NPFH's community-wide approach to battling hatred, bigotry and intolerance.

Affiliation or acquiescence with Mr. Foxman's unconscionable position on the Armenian Genocide seriously undermines the efforts of the NPFH—a leader in the fight against bigotry and intolerance in Watertown .

In an initial good faith effort to dispel any misunderstandings regarding the NPFH position on this key human rights concern, we respectfully request that the NPFH leadership issue a public statement supporting efforts to oppose Turkey's state-sponsored campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide, expressing support for Congressional Armenian Genocide legislation and requesting that the ADL, through its director Mr. Foxman, publicly and unequivocally renounce its denialist agenda.

We look forward to your reply and working with the NPFH in the fight against intolerance and racism.

Sharistan Melkonian
Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts