Reports of Equivocation by Foxman Following ADL's August 21 "Statement on the Armenian Genocide"

The following are unedited excerpts from American, Israeli and Turkish newspapers.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Armenian Genocide Crisis Tests Tight Ties Between Turkey and Israel, ADL to Ankara ‘Deep Regret’
August 29, 2007

The ADL itself tried to calm tensions by issuing a statement opposing a congressional resolution recognizing that a genocide took place and by sending a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing “deep regret” and the desire to “deepen our friendship.”

Sensoy [Turkey's ambassador to the U.S.] told the Forward that Turkey was “very disappointed” by the ADL’s statement “because it changed the premise of everything we had achieved with the U.S. Jewish community.”

Foxman told the Forward that he has had numerous conversations about the issue in recent days and stressed that the ADL had not changed its position on the congressional resolution. […] “We want to make sure the Turkish government understands that the use of the word ‘genocide’ doesn’t change our position on what Congress needs to do,” Foxman told the Forward. “Some people don’t understand it. Some people understand it, and the Turkish prime minister is among them.”

Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, Namik Tan, made clear to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that Ankara expects at least as much from Israel, demanding that Jerusalem “deliver” American Jewish organizations and ensure that Congress does not pass the genocide resolution. “Israel should not let the Jewish community change its position,” Tan reportedly said. “This is our expectation, and this is highly important, highly important.”


Haaretz: Peres to Turks: Our Stance on Armenian Issue Hasn't Changed
August 26, 2007

The Turkish media reported over the weekend that ADL President Abraham Foxman sent Erdogan a letter stating the ADL has "utmost respect for the Turkish people." "We had no intention to put the Turkish people or its leaders in a difficult position. I am writing this letter to you to express our sorrow over what we have caused for the leadership and people of Turkey in the past few days," Foxman's letter reportedly read.


Today's Zaman: ADL Corrects ‘Genocide’ Mistake in Letter, Erdoğan Says
August 25, 2007

The US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed regret over debates centered on its recent decision to recognize Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in a letter addressing PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Foxman said in his letter that the ADL had huge respect for the Turkish people and has never desired to put the Turkish people and their leaders into a difficult situation, expressing deep regret over what the Turkish people had to go through in the past few days since it agreed to recognize the alleged genocide, reversing a long-held policy, the Anatolia news agency said……"The wrong step that has been taken is corrected," said Erdoğan in subsequent comments to reporters. "They said they shared our sensitivity and expressed the mistake they made. … They said they will continue to give us all the support they have given so far," he added.

Reports in the Turkish media said the move followed a telephone conversation between Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday….Reports said Peres then called ADL National Director Foxman.

"We must encourage steps to create an atmosphere in which Armenia will respond favorably to the several recent overtures of Turkey to convene a joint commission to assist the parties in achieving a resolution of their profound differences [...] The force and passion of the debate today leaves us more convinced than ever that this issue does not belong in a forum such as the United States Congress," the ADL's Thursday statement said, going on to say: "Although independent scholars may have reached a consensus about the genocide, in an effort to help accomplish the reconciliation there is room for further dispassionate scholarly examination of the details of those dark and terrible days."