May 13, 2016

After a lengthy, unwavering grassroots campaign, No Place for Denial is pleased to announce that the Anti-Defamation League has at last unequivocally recognized the Armenian Genocide and declared its support for United States affirmation of this crime against humanity.

In a statement posted Friday, May 13, 2016, on the national ADL’s webpage, CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt, wrote, “Too often, the response to genocide has been global silence.  So let me be crystal clear:  the first genocide of the 20th century is no different.  What happened in the Ottoman Empire to the Armenians beginning in 1915 was genocide.  The genocide began with the ruling government arresting and executing several hundred Armenian intellectuals.  After that, Armenian families were removed from their homes and sent on death marches.  The Armenian people were subjected to deportation, expropriation, abduction, torture, massacre and starvation.  What happened to the Armenian people was unequivocally genocide.”

Greenblatt, who replaced Abraham Foxman as national director, also stated, “That is why I am speaking out today and why we would support U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.  Silence is not an option.”

Greenblatt pledged to fight denial by promising, “When individuals or groups deny the Armenian genocide, as recently took place with a billboard in Boston, ADL will speak out and denounce that denial.  In that spirit, I am optimistic about greater cooperation going forward to end all forms of hate and bigotry.”

This is the first time that the national ADL has issued an official, unambiguous written statement acknowledging that the 1915 massacres of Armenians constituted genocide.  It also represents a complete reversal of the organization’s decades-long opposition to United States recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

We hope that the ADL will now play an active role in combating Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide and in achieving formal U.S. recognition through a Congressional resolution.

Armenians are grateful for the many allies in the Jewish and human rights communities who steadfastly worked with us over the past nine years to achieve this change in ADL policy.