2007.08.21 -- Newton Mayor David Cohen's Letter to Abraham Foxman

This letter was sent to Mr.Foxman one hour before the ADL came out with its statement recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

City of Newton, Massachusetts
Office of the Mayor

August 21, 2007

Mr. Abraham Foxman, Executive Director
Anti Defamation League
605 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10158

Dear Mr. Foxman,

I write this letter on behalf of the citizens of the City of Newton, Massachusetts – home to the largest Jewish population in the state and a "No Place for Hate" community since the program's inception – as we stand with Israel, and with our Armenian brothers and sisters. There is no uncertainty that more than 1.5 million Armenians were summarily displaced and marched to their deaths by the Ottoman rulers in the early 20th century – a genocide.

I am in full support of the actions taken by the New England Regional Board of the ADL, and its Executive Director Andrew Tarsy in recognizing the Armenian Genocide. I am also in full support of the legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff calling on the United States to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an important step along the path of peace and freedom, and crucial in combating other genocides now and in the future. As history has shown, failure to recognize atrocities of the past leaves open the possibility of violence in the future. In fact it was Hitler himself who, when contemplating the Holocaust said: "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.

Since its inception in 1913, the Anti Defamation League has been a forceful advocate for tolerance and justice throughout the world. I am calling on you to stay true to your mission, "To secure justice and fair treatment to all," by providing your support of the Armenian people around the world. Specifically, I call on you to reverse the national ADL position and recognize the World War I genocide perpetrated against the Armenian people. Furthermore, I call on you to reinstate Mr. Tarsy. With these two acts, you can ensure that people around the world will continue to look to the Anti Defamation League as a beacon of hope and justice and as an intractable barrier to intolerance and hate.

I believe that this is a defining issue, and the manner in which ADL resolves it will determine whether Newton continues as a "No Place for Hate" community.

Sincerely Yours,
David B. Cohen