"NO PLACE FOR DENIAL" STATEMENT AND DEMANDS

Municipalities that believe in universal human rights must sever ties with the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate program because the ADL

  • Refuses to acknowledge unambiguously the Armenian Genocide
  • Engages in genocide denial by echoing Turkish calls for a “historians commission”
  • Lobbies against U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has for years engaged in genocide denial by refusing to acknowledge that the massacres of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish government beginning in 1915 constitute genocide. Rather, the ADL has steadfastly allied itself with the denialist government of Turkey by calling for a historians’ commission to study the issue and by actively lobbying to prevent passage of a United States Congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.


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UPDATES


Monday, 03/10/14
In testimony submitted in writing to the Governor’s Council, Laura Boghosian, a co-founder of the Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide, explained that media reports alleging the ADL recognized the genocide in 2008 are false. “The 2008 statement,” she wrote, “merely refers back to the 2007 statement,” calling it “troubling” that ADL leadership would assert there was a change in policy in 2008. Addressing Berman’s claim that he disagreed with the ADL’s policy on the Armenian Genocide and tried to change it internally, Boghosian stated, “With an issue of such great moral significance, it is also critical to take a public stand. Many did, speaking out, resigning from the ADL, mobilizing the Jewish community, and in one infamous incident getting fired for defending historical truth. Had Mr. Berman publicly stood for justice then, his fitness to dispense justice today would perhaps not be in question by some.” Boghosian concluded by calling upon “the Anti-Defamation League to fulfill its stated mission of securing justice for all by publicly and unequivocally recognizing the Armenian Genocide.”

Monday, 03/10/14
The opposition to Joseph Berman’s nomination  “was led by Councilor Marilyn Devaney, a Democrat from Watertown, who time and again highlighted Berman’s leadership position in the ADL as a member of both its regional and national boards, and his failure to publicly speak against his organization like others had done when it became clear that the ADL had been lobbying Congress against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” reports the Armenian Weekly. Testifying before the Governor’s Council in opposition to Berman’s nomination, activist David Boyajian declared, “Mr. Berman has been a member of the ADL for about 19 years, and an ADL National Commissioner since 2006.  For 20 years and probably even longer, the ADL has been denying the factuality of the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey . . . All those years, surely the New England ADL, including Mr. Berman, knew what the ADL was doing.  Did they speak out?  No.” Boyajian also condemned the ADL’s lobbying for Turkey to defeat Congressional resolutions on the Armenian Genocide, asking, “Can you imagine any genuine human rights organization such as Amnesty International actively working against recognition of a proven genocide?”

Thursday, 03/06/14
Joseph Berman’s nomination for a Massachusetts Superior Court judgeship “was rejected in part because he had taken leadership positions with the Anti-Defamation League,” writes the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.  “The criticism of the ADL link dates back to 2007, when the ADL’s national office declined to recognize the World War I genocide of Armenians in the former Ottoman Empire,” explains the JTA. Robert Trestan, executive director of the New England regional office of the ADL, states, however, that the ADL “now fully recognizes the Armenian genocide without reservation.”

Wednesday, 03/05/14
Governor Deval Patrick defended Joseph Berman’s nomination and said criticism of his ADL leadership role was “misplaced,” according to Nashoba Publishing.  The governor said the Armenian Genocide is a matter of historical fact that must not be forgotten or denied, “but the regional ADL has done too much good work for human rights in our community and beyond to cast every supporter aside.”  He also stated that Berman acknowledges the genocide as fact. Councilor Jennie Caissie explained that she voted against Berman because he could not provide any proof that he worked behind the scenes to change the ADL’s position on the genocide, which was “relevant to his truthfulness.” The Governor’s Council rejected Berman’s nomination in a 4-4 tie.  Problematic issues other than his ADL membership included Berman’s truthfulness and his campaign contributions totaling nearly $100,000, leading some councilors to suggest that there was an appearance of his trying to purchase a judgeship.

Wednesday, 03/05/14
“Governor Deval Patrick’s nominee for a Superior Court judgeship has been rejected by the Governor’s Council,” reports the Boston Globe.  “The opposition was led by Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney, a Watertown Democrat [who] objected to Berman’s ties to the Anti-Defamation League during a time when the national organization refused to label as genocide the early 20th century killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks.”

Thursday, 02/27/14
In the second hearing on ADL commissioner Joseph Berman’s nomination to the Massachusetts Superior Court, some members of the Governor’s Council indicated that his ADL membership would not be a factor in their decision. The ADL’s failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide had featured prominently in Berman’s first hearing. Councilor Christopher Iannella pronounced he would base his vote on Berman’s character, experience, and demeanor, not his ADL membership. Councilor Terrence Kennedy defended Berman, saying he had “tried to get the [ADL’s] policy changed.” Councilor Jennie Caissie, however, questioned Berman’s “truthfulness and veracity,” stating he could not provide any proof that he had led an “insurrection” against the ADL’s policy.

Friday, 02/21/14
Governor’s Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney says she faults Joseph Berman, a “19-year member of the ADL New England and national commissioner, for never publicly speaking out against the national ADL’s direct collaboration with the Turkish government against genocide recognition long before, during and after the issue broke in 2007.”  Mr. Berman not only failed to speak out publicly or resign, added Ms. Devaney, but in contrast, he “received leadership awards from the ADL.”

Thursday, 02/13/14
Governor Deval Patrick says that he and his nominee for Superior Court, Joseph Berman, have “listened to some of the concerns that have been raised by councilors,” but says Mr. Berman should have an opportunity to discuss these issues at another hearing.

Friday, 02/07/14
In a letter published in the Watertown Tab, Kamer Minassian writes that Joseph Brman is not qualified to be a Superior Court judge because as an ADL national commissioner, Berman “unashamedly works with the Turkish government against the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress.” 

Thursday, 01/09/14
In a letter to the Weston Town Crier, David Boyajian writes that during the period when Massachusetts towns were cutting their ties with the ADL for their “anti-Armenian policies,” Joseph Berman “neither resigned – unlike some others – from the ADL nor spoke publicly against such policies, which remain unchanged.”  Boyajian adds, “the national ADL claims to be a human rights organization, and insists that others commemorate the Holocaust and pass resolutions on it.  Yet it hypocritically works against acknowledgement” of the Armenian Genocide, and that “ as a national ADL commissioner, Mr. Berman is part and parcel of those hypocritical policies.”  

Sunday, 12/22/13
Joseph Berman has been a national commissioner of the ADL since 2006, writes David Boyajian, as the organization “colluded with a human rights violator, Turkey, to deny the Armenian genocide and lobby against congressional recognition of it.”  Because he “neither resigned from the ADL nor spoke out publicly against such policies, which remain unchanged,” the governor should withdraw his nomination.

Friday, 12/20/13
Governor’s Councilor Marilyn Pettito Devaney writes that she is opposed to judicial nominee Joseph Berman because, among other reasons, “Mr. Berman never went against the ADL policy and never changed their policy.  When asked if he made a public statement to that effect, he had no reply.”    The ADL, she says, “deprive the Armenians of their history,” but Mr. Berman notes on his resume his membership in the organization and “of proudly receiving a prestigious ADL Leadership Award.”

Monday, 12/09/13
“The Herald’s editorial is wrong about the Anti-Defamation League’s position on the Armenian Genocide,” writes Laura Boghosian in a letter to the editor.  “The ADL statement of August 2007 does not unequivocally recognize the Armenian genocide,” but rather is a “word game that avoids the intent required for genocide under international law.”

Tuesday, 12/03/13
ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan and Jeffrey Robbins, NE Regional chairman, falsely write in the Boston Herald, “And in 2008, we publicly stated that the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians constituted genocide.”  Trestan and Robbins dismiss the opposition to the Berman nomination as “politics over decency.”

Friday, 11/29/13
Joseph Berman “is not a responsible choice, as I believe he bends his morals to expedience,” writes June Hatfield in a Boston Globe letter to the editor.  “To support an organization that describes the massacre of Armenians only as ‘tantamount to genocide’ is not only immoral, but historically ignorant . . . Should Hitler’s murder of Jews be described as ‘tantamount to genocide?’”

Tuesday, 11/26/13
In an appalling example journalistic error, the Boston Globe’s editorial board writes that local members of the ADL, including Joseph Berman, “succeeded at winning recognition by the ADL of ‘the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians’ from 1915 to 1923.”  Berman, writes the Globe, was among ADL members from Boston who “reset the ADL’s moral compass.”  Ironically, in his testimony that was reported in the Globe on November 13, Berman stated that he does not agree with the national ADL’s position.

Sunday, 11/24/13
“The refusal of the ADL to properly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and its long-time opposition to Armenian Genocide resolutions in Congress is deeply offensive to the Armenian-American community and discredits an organization that claims to defend human rights,” said Dikran Kaligian to the Armenian Weekly.  “Complicity in the Turkish government’s international denial campaign must be condemned by those who believe in justice for those subjected to crimes against humanity.  Press statements by ADL officials this week show that they still don’t get it.”

Sunday, 11/24/13
Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham accused opponents to Joseph Berman’s nomination of acting from “misdirected outrage, a desperate yearning for attention, or pure barminess.”  Writing that “Some were upset over the reluctance of the national ADL some years ago to label as genocide the slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in the early 20th century,” Abraham defended Berman because he said he had “considered resigning over the issue.”  Despite quoting Marilyn Pettito Devaney as saying to Berman, “I don’t understand how you could stay with the ADL and just ignore that . . . You’ve taken away the history of the Armenians,” Abraham opined, “you’d think he was a card-carrying member of the Klan.”  

Saturday, 11/23/13
The Boston Herald denigrates Marilyn Pettito Devaney as ignorant for opposing the Berman nomination, but then proceeds to display actual ignorance by implying that it was only “prior to 2007” that the national ADL refused to use the word genocide.  

Thursday, 11/21/13
Governor’s Council member Marilyn Pettito Devaney of Watertown is leading the opposition to the nomination of ADL member Joseph Berman to a Massachusetts judgeship.  “In 1939, Hitler, carrying out his horrific mission to exterminate the Jews, said, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ I do.  And many others do, too, “ she said.  Devaney further stated that if she belonged to a “group who denied the Holocaust,” she would resign.

Wednesday, 11/13/13
Membership in the ADL has caused serious problems for an attorney nominated for a Massachusetts Superior Court judgeship by Governor Deval Patrick.  Joseph Berman, an ADL New England Region board member, was berated for belonging to the organization due to its continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.  In his testimony, Berman said he does not agree with the ADL’s position on the Armenian Genocide, but Governor’s Councilor Robert Jubinville suggested Berman should have left the organization.  “It would have made a principled decision on your part,” he said.

Friday, 08/31/2012 
ADL New England Regional Director Derrek Shulman reiterated the organization’s continued opposition to a Congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide at an ADL presentation in Falmouth, MA on July 22.  When asked by Shahkeh Yaylaian Setian to comment on the ADL’s lobbying to defeat the resolution, Shulman replied, “We are opposed to the resolution as are others, such as members of Congress and the President.”

Tuesday, 11/1/2011
“Sometimes it takes friends to tell a friend that the latter has a problem,” begins a letter by David Boyajian calling on the Genocide Education Project to protest Facing History’s partnership with the ADL. “It is clearly wrong for a genocide education organization such as FHAO to affiliate itself with Foxman as long as he and his organization remain foes of Armenian genocide acknowledgment,” writes Boyajian. He states that as friends of Facing History, the Genocide Education Project is “obligated to urge FHAO to withdraw from its partnership with Foxman,” concluding, “When credibility hangs in the balance, silence is not an option.”

Tuesday, 10/25/2011
Responding to David Boyajian’s open letter, Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO) wrongly claims that “According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) website, the organization does recognize what happened to the Armenians as genocide.” Facing History itself, states the response, is “unambiguous in its recognition of the Armenian Genocide and continues to educate all . . . about this important history.” Monday 10/24/2011
Facing History and Ourselves should withdraw from its partnership with the ADL in sponsoring a panel discussion on “The New Anti-Semitism” writes David Boyajian in an open letter to the rights and education organization. ADL National Director Abraham Foxman is slated to be a panelist at the November 7 event in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. “Would FHAO partner with an organization and man that diminished the Holocaust and opposed the many Congressional resolutions on the Holocaust?” asks Boyajian. “Why, then, would you partner with the ADL? This is incomprehensible, especially as FHAO has long had an educational program on the Armenian genocide.”

Sunday 10/09/2011
In an Orwellian twist, Turkish human rights activists have consulted with the Anti-Defamation League in their efforts to enact legislation combating hate crimes, including those committed against Armenians. Cengiz Algan, of the Association for Social Change, states there has been “enmity in society against Armenians,” especially following a 2005 conference in Turkey “which sparked great controversy because it included the Armenian side of arguments related to the issue of genocide.” The Anti-Defamation League has long lobbied for the Turkish government against U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Friday 08/11/2011
In an article advocating the use of technology to improve communication between organizations and their supporters, Charles Lenchner cites the Anti-Defamation League’s position on the Armenian Genocide as an example of a group that that is out of touch with its community.Writing in the Jewish journal “Zeek,” Lenchner states: “Organizations actually get in the biggest trouble when they claim to represent a community but don’t actually listen to the community.In October 2007, the top leaders of the Anti-Defamation League were trying to squash an effort to recognize the Armenian Genocide (2). Yet their community disagreed. Abe Foxman had to resort to firing the head of the ADL’s New England region in the course of defending his position, and endured months of beatings in the press. He finally had to reverse course (though he hedged there too).For many in my peer group, the question was not just how Foxman could be so wrong (which he so often is), but how could the ADL, a mainstream organization viewed with admiration by the majority of our community, find itself championing a marginal position at odds with its own mission? Part of the answer is that the ADL does not have feedback mechanisms in place that would have allowed it to gauge the pulse of its own membership beyond the generally right-wing funders that make up its inner circle.”

Tuesday 05/31/2011
According to an article in Haaretz, the Turkish government in 2007 asked the government of Israel to apply pressure on the Anti-Defamation League to moderate its statement on the Armenian Genocide. “Responding to the entreaties of the president of Turkey, Israeli President Shimon Peres also approached ADL national director Abraham Foxman on the issue, after which the organization reversed course and softened its stance.” The article was mistaken, however, in its contention that the ADL had “supported an effort to have the U.S. Congress recognize the genocide.” The ADL has consistently labeled such a resolution “counter-productive.”
In the article entitled “Knesset Speaker working to boost recognition of Armenian Genocide,” Jonathan Lis writes, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin wants to convene an annual parliamentary session of the full Knesset to mark the Armenian Genocide. “Diplomatic considerations, important as they may be, do not allow us to deny the disaster [experienced] by another people,” said Rivlin.
Lis states “in recent years, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry have applied heavy pressure to head off such sessions of the Knesset out of concern that relations between Israel and Turkey would be harmed.” Last week, however, the full Knesset approved for the first time an open, public session on the issue.

Thursday 05/05/2011
“Clear Channel should heed its own Code of Conduct about not supporting political organizations and not, in effect, allocate funds to the highly politicized ADL,” writes Luder Tavit Sahagian in the MetroWest Daily News, addressing Clear Channel’s providing 100 free billboards to the ADL for advertising its anti-bullying program. Rather, writes Sahagian, Clear Channel should donate “several free billboards in years to come to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.” He adds, “With the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide approaching in 2015, the national ADL must prove its commitment to human rights “ by ceasing to lobby on Turkey’s behalf and unambiguously supporting recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Tuesday 04/12
/2011
=The ADL’s anti-bulling program is “no different from its discredited ‘No Place for Hate’ program that the Mass. Municipal Association and a dozen cities across Massachusetts cut ties with,” writes Berge Jololian in the Watertown Tab. For that reason, ADL billboards in other towns “should be taken down too if the anti-bullying movement is not to make a joke out of itself.”
=“A bully cannot credibly tell young people not to bully,” declares David Boyajian in the Watertown Tab. “The real bully is the national ADL. It has long conspired with Turkey – which bullies its ethnic and religious minorities, journalists, and dissidents – to deny the Armenian genocide of 1915-23 committed by Turkey, and to bully Congress into not bringing an Armenian genocide resolution to a fair vote.”
Boyajian reviews the history of national Jewish organizations including the ADL that lobby for Turkey. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, for example, “lit up the phones” to defeat an Armenian Genocide resolution, according to a former AIPAC official. Boyajian points out that the head of the New England regional ADL is a former political director of AIPAC. “It’s another disturbing sign that the ADL’s anti-Armenian policies remain essentially unchanged,” he writes.
The ADL, of course, promotes Holocaust recognition,” he adds, “yet displays gross insensitivity by collaborating with a major human rights violator, Turkey, to block recognition of another ethnic group’s genocide.”
Boyajian concludes “if the anti-bullying movement is to be credible to parents and young people, it must disassociate itself from the ADL. If not, the movement will be seen to be as insincere and hypocritical as the ADL.”

Monday 04/11/2011
The Boston Globe reports it is coincidence that a billboard advocating recognition of the Armenian Genocide “replaces one sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, the organization that has drawn harsh criticism for not wholeheartedly embracing the word ‘genocide’ in reference to atrocities that began in earnest in April 1915.” Despite modifying its language on the Armenian Genocide, the Globe article points out that the ADL remains opposed to a Congressional resolution recognizing the genocide.

Tuesday 03/29/2011
=Lily Ordoubeigian writes that she is “appalled” by the ADL billboard on bullying because the ADL itself continues “to bully Congress into not recognizing the Armenian Genocide.” No one “will take seriously any lesson about bullying that is delivered by genocide deniers and hypocrites, namely Mr. Foxman and the ADL,” she concludes.
=Watertown gave the national Anti-Defamation League a strong message more than 3 years ago: You and your opposition to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 are hypocritical and immoral, and you are unwelcome here,” writes Vany Tashjian in the Watertown Tab. “The ADL should take its act to a more appropriate place. I suggest Turkey.”
=An ADL billboard that loomed behind Watertown’s Sevan Bakery has been replaced by one declaring, “Now is the time to turn hope into action, Recognize the Armenian Genocide,” reports the Watertown Tab. A representative of billboard company Clear Channel said the ADL ad was replaced because “the Armenian Genocide recognition campaign was scheduled to post. Armenian Genocide is a paid client.” In contrast, Clear Channel donated 105 billboards free of charge to the ADL; billboards promoting the ADL have been erected across Massachusetts.

Friday 03/25/2011
“I am disgusted that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) just put up a billboard ad about ‘anti-bullying’ on Mt. Auburn St. near Armenian-American stores and churches,” writes Kamer Minassian in the Watertown Tab. “It’s the ADL that’s the bully, working with that other bully, Turkey, to deny the Armenian genocide.” Because the ADL has no credibility “when it comes to human rights or morality,” Minassian declares, “the ADL billboard ad must come down.”

2010

Thursday 12/30/2010
In an interview with the Turkish daily Sabah, Abe Foxman declared that the ADL supports Turkey in its effort to defeat a Congressional resolution affirming the Armenian Genocide. “The Armenian Cause is an issue between Armenia and Turkey, and it should be resolved between those two countries,” asserted Foxman. “The U.S. is wrong when it attempts to meddle in that issue . . . The history should be left to historians. We back Turkey in that issue.”

Friday 12/17/2010
In a December appearance in Los Angeles, Abe Foxman denied denying the Armenian Genocide, but complained about being “forced” to use “the Armenians’ term” to describe the events of 1915-1923, reports Garen Yegparian. “We don’t force anyone to call our experience Shoah,” declared Foxman, who said he has used the terms “massacres” and “atrocities.” Foxman’s comment that “he’s not an historian, he’s just read some stuff about ‘it,’ reeks of the Turkish government’s line about ‘leaving history to historians’ and not involving Congress or any other agency,” writes Yegparian.
“Is it possible that Abe Foxman is just that disingenuous? Given his history in fighting anti-Semitism and for Israel, I think not. Rather, it is his way of masking the unconscionable path he has chosen. The bottom line is, Abraham Foxman is, and is making the Anti-Defamation League a party to, Armenian Genocide denial,” he concludes.

Wednesday 10/13/2010
The Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have been “unabashedly pro-Turkish” for decades, writes M.J. Rosenberg on the website Talking Points Memo. ‘The big three Jewish organizations backed Turkey “to the hilt,” he declares, “no matter what the issue – even one as emotional as the Armenian genocide.” Rosenberg adds, “Not long ago, ADL fired an official in Boston for saying that there was an Armenian genocide.”
Yet ever since Turkey opposed Israel’s blockade and invasion of Gaza, “Israel’s lobby in America” no longer backs Turkey. “Turkey, he says, “is the country the lobby loves to hate.” Yet Rosenberg concludes, “these people need to grow up” [because] Israel “needs to be friendly to Turkey.”

Tuesday 10/12/2010
In a letter to the Boston Globe,Laura Boghosian of the Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide writes that the Globe erred by printing the ADL acknowledges the Armenian Genocide. “By declaring that the ‘consequences’ of Turkey’s actions were ‘tantamount to genocide,’ the ADL statement supports Turkey’s claim that Armenians died simply as a result of World War I conditions and not from a deliberate, planned program of extermination,” she explains. Most communities who severed ties with the ADL, she points out, did so after the organization issued its only official statement on the Armenian Genocide, judging it unacceptable.
“In opposing the proposed Islamic center in New York City, as well as US recognition of the Armenian genocide,” she concludes, “the ADL has utterly betrayed its original mission ‘to secure justice and fair treatment to all.’’”

Friday 10/08/2010
“Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, was confronted at the organization’s annual meeting yesterday in Boston by members who suggested his opposition to a proposed Islamic center near the site of the terrorist attacks in New York has sullied the century-old organization’s reputation for fighting prejudice and promoting religious freedom,” writes the Boston Globe.” Foxman called the proposed center “counterproductive to the healing process.”
The Globe noted, “The anger over the ADL’s was not the first time that Foxman has sparked a controversy. In 2007, he was criticized by Jewish and Armenian-American groups after firing the ADL’s New England regional director, Andrew H. Tarsy, for defying the national organization by acknowledging the genocide of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks.”
Unfortunately, the Globe erred by alleging, “Foxman eventually reversed years of ADL policy and acknowledged the mass killings as genocide.” The only official ADL statement on the Armenian Genocide is worded so that the international legal definition of genocide, requiring intent on the part of the Ottoman Turkish government, is not met. When asked to rectify the statement by issuing an unambiguous declaration, the ADL refused.
The ADL also continues to publicly oppose Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide, calling it “counterproductive.”

Tuesday 08/31/2010
Democratic candidate for Massachusetts state treasurer, Steve Grossman, issued a statement in which he declared he was “proud to have publicly joined the Armenian National Committee and other Armenian organizations in criticizing the Anti-Defamation League and its President Abraham Foxman for refusing to acknowledge the [Armenian] genocide as genocide.” Grossman, a former ADL board member, said, “it troubled me to see this organization quite literally on the wrong side of history. I spoke out publicly in the news media and also worked behind the scenes to help members of the New England region push back against the national position . . . That this issue still has not been resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to the Armenian community is a matter of great regret to me. But I have not given up the struggle.” Grossman also pledged to use the “bully pulpit” of the treasurer’s office to urge Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide, stating, “Failure to act is a shameful blot on the human rights record of the United States.”

Friday 08/27/2010
In an article entitled “The ADL has lost its way under Abe Foxman,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz says Foxman was “mistaken when he almost tore the organization apart three years ago by opposing a Congressional resolution that would have officially labeled the murder of 1.5 million Armenians at the hand of the Turkish government during the First World War a "genocide."
Anshel Pfeffer further states, “In his Armenian intervention, he actively enlisted the ADL in a campaign that subscribed to the anti-Semitic notion that the Jewish money rules Washington. As one Israeli diplomat told me at the time, ‘The Turkish government sees the ADL as an agency of Jewish power, so Foxman thought that if he would allow members of the League to support the resolution, it would harm Israel's strategic relationship with Turkey. He thought he was helping Israel but he simply reinforced the Turks' 'Elders of Zion' fantasy.’ I wonder if Foxman still feels proud of himself for working as Ankara's lobbyist.”

Sunday 08/08/2010
New Voices, a national Jewish student magazine, says a Twitter parody of the ADL’s Abraham Foxman “is pumping out such gems as ‘Oh wait, Israel’s friends with Turkey again? Armenian geno-wha?’”

Friday 08/06/2010
In a compelling Boston Globe opinion piece, Jesse Singal says it has been “bizarre” and “disappointing” watching the ADL come out “against congressional recognition of the Armenian genocide because of the possible damage it could do to Turkish-Israeli relations.” Singal castigates the ADL for its positions on the Armenian Genocide and a proposed NY Islamic center, writing, “On the toughest, most controversial issues, the ADL seems willing to endorse some of the very ideas it was created to fight: that it’s OK to define down genocide when it’s politically expedient to do so, and that it’s OK to codify discomfort with a group of people into law or policy.
In both cases, a strange relativism settled over the organization: Apparently, genocide is always genocide, unless acknowledging this could threaten Israel’s relationship with an important ally. And it’s always wrong to discriminate against a group that merely wants to practice and promote its religion, unless doing so could be painful for the victims of a crime.
It’s impossible to imagine the ADL taking these stances if the genocide in question were the Holocaust or if the building in question were a synagogue or a Jewish community center.”

Wednesday 08/04/2010
“A small minority of prominent, basically conservative leaders in American Jewish organizations (whose opinions definitely don’t represent the majority of American Jews) seems to see anything involving Muslims or Arabs in terms of the Arab-Israel conflict,” asserts Raanan Geberer in a Brooklyn Eagle editorial. “This might also explain the ADL’s opposition to a congressional resolution on the Armenian genocide. Turkey, whose predecessor state, the Ottoman Empire, was responsible for this genocide, is one of Israel’s few allies in the Muslim world.”

Tuesday 08/03/2010
Shmuel Rosner asks in the Jerusalem Post if the ADL’s position on the proposed Islamic Center will be “the reincarnation of ADL’s Armenian Genocide blunder?” “The cases are much different,” he states, “but the outcome (having to readjust positions and rewrite statements) might be similar.”

Monday 08/02/2010
The ADL’s denial of the Armenian Genocide continues to be cited as an example of how the ADL has abandoned its mission to “secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Pennsylvania state senator Daylin Leach writes that on a critical test of its commitment to basic principles, the ADL has come down on the side of injustice with its stand on the Armenian Genocide. “For those who do not know, 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered by the Turks from 1915-1924 in an effort to eliminate Armenians as a race from that region of the world. Turkey, not embracing the "confess and reconcile" model of Germany, has opted instead for the less satisfying "deny and arrest those who speak the truth" model. In 2007, the US Congress was considering a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Apparently they had already recognized that the sky was blue.
Be that as it may, the national ADL issued a statement OPPOSING, (no, not a really bad typo which was meant to say "supporting") the passage of that resolution. Abraham Foxman, the then head of the ADL said essentially that since Turkey and Israel get along so well, we are willing to go along with their equivalent of holocaust-denial . . . Can you imagine Mr. Foxman tolerating the US denying the Holocaust because Germany sends a ping-pong team here? . . . It seems like there should be one test when determining whether to recognize a genocide, and that should be, was there a genocide? The test should NOT be: Was the genocide perpetrated by a country we like or don't like? “
Senator Leach concluded, “If the ADL objects to historically accurate recognition of religious persecution, and actually supports religious discrimination, it’s hard to understand what their on-going purpose could be.”

Saturday 07/31/2010
=Several writers have noted the ADL’s hypocritical stand on the Armenian Genocide in recent pieces on the ADL. An article entitled “ADL Joins the Racists. Again.” on the Daily Kos website notes that the “ADL acts not as a human rights organization, but acts primarily as a PR organization for the Israeli government. It has changing views on the Armenian genocide carried out by the Turkish government in the early 20th century. Its stance has always depended on how helpful it will be for Israel, not on the actual events in 1915. It has worked hard to oppose a Congressional resolution when Turkey's relationship was good with Israel, but now that it has deteriorated, they seem to have switched sides. It's not like events of 1915 has changed.”
=And a discussion on the Huffington Post centers on the statement, “Israel seems to have no problem with the Armenian Genocide, the suppression of the Kurds or the occupation of Cyprus. They do have a problem with a TV station broadcasting a TV show (Leading to the Israeli Minister summoning the Turkish Ambassador for a humiliating interview) The Anti-Defamation League seems to have no problem with the Armenian Genocide either, when Congress passed a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide the ADL issued a statement saying that it was a matter for Turkey to resolve without outside interference.”

Wednesday 07/28/2010
=The Needham Times published two letters in response to ADL’s Michael Sheetz’s claim that the controversy over the Armenian Genocide “is over.” Needham resident Luder Tavit Sahagian wrote, “Let me set the record straight. The ADL not only continues to deny the veracity of the ongoing Armenian Genocide, but also supports passage of congressional resolutions on all genocides except the Armenian one.” Sahagian explains that the 2007 ADL statement on the Armenian Genocide “was the very opposite of a genocide acknowledgment,” stating “the ADL knows full well that ‘consequences’ is the functional opposite of ‘intent,’ the latter of which is required for an action to legally be termed genocide.” “Under these circumstances,” he asserts, “no program sponsored by the ADL or any other genocide-denying entity is welcome in our town or in any other city or town nationwide and worldwide.”
=Also addressing Sheetz’s statement were Laura Boghosian and Rabbi Howard Jaffe of the Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide. “Nothing has changed since Needham took a principled stand in support of universal human writes and withdrew from NPFH, due to the ADL’s denial of the Armenian Genocide,” they wrote. “Many in the Jewish community strongly disagree with the ADL’s position, and have joined with Boston-area Armenians to work toward Armenian Genocide recognition,” they noted, pointing readers to the coalition’s webpage at http://www.recognizearmeniangenocide.org/. “Genocide denial is hate speech,” they point out, concluding, “The ADL does not ‘secure justice for all people’ and should not be permitted to instruct others.”

Wednesday 07/21/2010
The ADL may attempt to reinstate its programs in Needham, MA schools, reports the Needham Times. Needham was one of 14 Massachusetts communities to end its affiliation with the ADL’s No Place for Hate program due to the ADL’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. New England ADL board chairman Michael Sheetz told the Times, “We’ve come a long way from the controversy a few years ago. I think the controversy that led to the program’s demise in Needham is over and been over for a long time.” A comment posted to the online article points out that “The ADL has worked with Turkey to cover up mass murder and genocide and to try to stop the US from recognizing the Armenian Genocide . . . Nothing has changed since 2007.”

Friday 07/02/2010
Once the 2009 protocols between Armenia and Turkey were signed, a leader of the Turkish ruling party declared, “Now we don’t need the Jews anymore,” according to an article in the Jewish Times. This statement was “a reference to the aid American Jews, as part of the pro-Israel lobby, had given to Turkey in the U.S. Congress to prevent the passing of an Armenian genocide resolution,” according to the article which analyses the history of the strategic relationship between Turkey and Israel.

Friday 06/18/2010
“The American Jewish community has long been supportive of Turkish interests in the United States, as a NATO ally and based on its strategic relationship with Israel,” writes Abe Foxman on the Huffington Post. Foxman outlines the “shared history based on mutual interests and concerns,” but threatens that “politically active Jewish organizations may have to revisit” the alliance due to recent events.
Yet Foxman seems eager to resume the relationship, writing, “Hopefully, what we are seeing today from Turkey is a temporary detour from the path it has pursued so successfully for years. Hopefully, the friendship we had come to know and to rely on will re-emerge . . . Then we will be able to continue to celebrate our long-held affection and respect for Turkey.”

Thursday 06/17/2010
=Abe Foxman says the ADL decided to boycott of a meeting between American Jewish organizations and Turkish officials because, “I believe in dialogue and meetings but there is a point at which it becomes useless to have a conversation,” reports Haaretz. Foxman says Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s comparison of the Star of David to a swastika is “ugly and anti-Semitic.”
Yet Foxman says he would be “delighted to talk” to Turkish officials once they reconcile with the Israeli government.
Also boycotting the meeting with Turkey were the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and B’nai B’rith International, who, like the ADL, had previously lobbied for the Turkish government against Armenian Genocide recognition. The American Jewish Committee, however, “decided to attend the meeting” according to Haaretz, “believing that traditional ties should not be abandoned hastily.” An AJC spokesperson told Haaretz, “There is a history of relations between the U.S. and Turkey and Israel and it shouldn’t be easily discarded.” Like the others, the AJC has a long history of lobbying for Turkey against affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.
=Writing in The Jewish Week, James Besser says it is “offensive” that Jewish organizations for years rebuffed Armenian appeals for help in getting official recognition of the Armenian Genocide.“The fight against genocide is supposed to be absolute – not a matter of politics but of basic morality,” he writes, “a core lesson we have sought to teach the world through Holocaust remembrance . . . memory and historical accuracy matter.”So why,” he asks, “were we so willing to treat Armenian memory as something that could be modified according to the immediate needs of pro-Israel politics?”
Now that Turkey is no longer a friend to Israel, Jews are suddenly discussing supporting Armenian demands for recognition, according to Besser.“It was offensive when we defended Turkey because it was somehow ‘good for Israel,’ and it’s doubly offensive when we use the threat of ending that protection as just another political bludgeon in the pro-Israel wars . . . threatening to change your position on an issue as fundamental as genocide – that’s crossing a line the Jewish community should never cross.”

Wednesday 06/16/2010
=Former LA Times reporter Mark Arax writes for Salon that recent acknowledgements of the Armenian Genocide by major American Jewish organizations is a “shameless turnaround” because “for decades, they have helped Turkey cover up its murderous past,” in support of Israel’s alliance with Turkey. Now because “the game has changed,” with Turkey and Israel feuding over Gaza, “the Armenian Genocide has become a new weapon in the hands of Israel and its supporters in the U.S., a way to threaten Turkey.”
In 2007, Arax wrote an article for the Times “that revealed how genocide denial had become a dirty little pact between Turkey and Israel and its lobby in the U.S.” While researaching the story, he interviewed the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman, who “had just returned from a meeting with Turkish military and government leaders to discuss pressuring Congress, the State Department and President Bush to turn back the genocide resolution once again.”
Foxman admitted, “Our focus is Israel. If helping Turkey helps Israel, then that’s what we’re in the business of doing.” Foxman then questioned whether the Armenian Genocide was even a genocide, saying, “It was wartime. Things get messy.” He also asserted that the Jewish community and Congress should not be the “arbiter” of history.
Arax writes that when he “pointed out that the genocide had already been documented as a fact” and that “Congress recognizes all sorts of people’s history” and has passed “resolutions commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, “ Foxman was affronted that “the oneness of the Holocaust was being debased by Armenians.” Foxman, he says, asked him, “You’re not suggesting that an Armenian Genocide is the same as the Holocaust, are you?”
After describing how the Times killed his story, Arax concludes that the recent “rush of Jewish leaders” confessing their past role in genocide denial “aren’t confessions at all. Rather, they are reminders of the debt Turkey owes Israel – and they come with teeth bared.”
=Harvard professor Stephen M. Walt writes in the Sabah Report that “back when Israel and Turkey were strategic allies with extensive military-to-military ties . . . groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and AIPAC encouraged Congress not to pass resolutions that would have labeled what happened to the Armenians at the hands of the Turks during World War I a ‘genocide’ . . . The fact that the ADL was in effect protecting another country against the charge of genocide is more than a little ironic, but who ever said that political organizations had to be ethically consistent?”

Sunday 05/23/2010
An online petition calling on Congress and President Obama to recognize the Armenian Genocide has surpassed its original goal of 10,000 signatures and continues to gain support, reports the Armenian Weekly.
“When you look at the diversity of those who signed the petition, it is clear that there is a strong demand by Americans throughout the country that the United States recognize the Armenian Genocide. It demonstrates that this is not simply an Armenian issue, but a powerful call to align America’s foreign policy with human rights and historical truth,” said ANC member and coalition co-chair Laura Boghosian.
The petition was created by the Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide, a Boston-area group of Jews and Armenians who organized in response to the Anti-Defamation League’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
To view and sign the petition, go to: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_congress_to_recognize_the_armenian_genocide

Thursday 03/25/2010
Abraham Foxman, asked to comment by an Azeri media correspondent on the House “Foreign Affairs Committee recognizing made-up ‘genocide of Armenians’ in Ottoman Turkey,” responded by calling the resolution “a counterproductive diversion.” The ADL’s national director declared, “We oppose it,” warning that it “may put at risk the important multilateral relationship between Turkey and the United States,” and that it “will hinder” Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. Foxman later stated, however, that ADL’s opposition “must not be confused with denying history.”

Wednesday 03/10/2010
Jess Hordes of the Anti-Defamation League says American Jewish groups did not actively lobby against recognition of the Armenian Genocide this year because “for some people the enthusiasm isn’t as great as it was in the past, because of concerns about Turkey’s policy on Israel,” reports the Forward. But the Forward notes that “for some in the Jewish community, even silent support for the Turkish side is morally wrong,” and quotes Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Mass. as saying, “It is an absolute shande (shame) . . . We can’t be held hostage to Turkey’s immoral behavior.”

Sunday 03/07/2010
“Several American Jewish groups downgraded their traditional opposition” to Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide this year, reports the Jerusalem Post. An ADL spokesman reiterated that although the organization remains opposed to recognition, “We’re not actively making calls, but we responded to calls that we received.” Similarly, a representative of the American Jewish Committee stated, “We took no position on this resolution,” adding that in the past “we have been more assertive in communicating our message that this was not an appropriate vehicle to determine the truth of what happened.”
Both representatives told the Post that the “Turkish Embassy continued to reach out to the Jewish community in the US on the issue.” The Post explained, “Turkey has always looked to Israel and Jewish groups for help lobbying against the bill, a call readily answered by many organizations that have prioritized the Turkish-Israeli strategic relationship.” The Post attributes the change this year to recent strains in the Turkish-Israeli alliance.
The Post also notes that “the US Jewish community has reevaluated its stance on whether to call the deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Turks amid the chaos of WWI a genocide,” due to criticism “from inside and outside the community for not supporting the Armenian position.”

Friday 03/05/2010
Turkey did not seek Israel’s help in defeating the Armenian Genocide resolution, reports the Jerusalem Post. “In past years, Ankara had looked to Israel, and Jewish groups in Washington, to fight the resolution that came up almost every year,” writes the Post. For example, in 2007, the Turkish ambassador to Israel told the Post that “Turkey expected Israel to ‘deliver’ American Jewish organizations and ensure that the US Congress does not pass a resolution.” Turkish officials did, however, meet with American Jewish groups, including the ADL, this year in order to enlist their support.
Meanwhile, in Israel, Meretz chairman Haim Oron called on the Knesset to recognize the Armenian Genocide, stating “the attempts to deny it and erase it from history is part of a campaign that has consequences for other denials.” The Post reports that “Due to the special relationship and close alliance between Israel and Turkey . . . Israel has avoided recognizing the Armenian genocide at all costs, and the government has in the past thwarted all attempts to promote such an official recognition.”

Thursday 03/04/2010
A Jewish-Armenian coalition has launched a petition to recognize the Armenian Genocide, report the Lexington Minuteman, Watertown Tab, and other Boston-area papers. The coalition was formed in reaction to the Anti-Defamation League’s lobbying for the Turkish government to prevent affirmation of the genocide. “Many in the Jewish community were shocked that the ADL and other national Jewish organizations would actively work to deny another people’s genocide,” explain the coalition’s co-founders. “Coalition members cite the double standard of the Holocaust being universally recognized, while affirmation of the Armenian Genocide is subordinated to politics.”

Wednesday 03/03/2010
Billerica, Massachusetts declined to join the ADL’s No Place for Hate program due to the ADL’s position on the Armenian Genocide, reports a town blog. Board of Selectman Bob Correnti explains that he opposed joining because, “I felt the position of the ADL contradicted the basic tenet of their purpose which was to remind us not to forget the truths and lessons of history.”

Tuesday 03/02/2010
=The JINSA report opposing the Armenian Genocide resolution has been published by the Armenian Weekly. “The Armenian resolution – driven largely by the Armenian American community – should be opposed and defeated,” states the report. “The Congress of the United States is not the place to debate the history of other people in other times . . . The Ottoman and Soviet Empires are gone; Turkey and Armenia are independent countries. Their governments have to find whatever understanding and accommodation are possible. Meddling by Congress – particularly when Turkey has fallen out of political favor – won’t help.” JINSA issued its statement shortly after meeting with the Turkish ambassador and other Jewish organizations, including the ADL.
=American Jewish groups, including the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), met with Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Namik Tan, to discuss the Congressional resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide, among other issues, reports Hurriyet Daily News. One day after the meeting, JINSA released a report entitled, “The Armenian Resolution Should be Opposed and Defeated.”
=Aysor reports that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan will meet with representatives of American Jewish organizations, including the ADL, AJC, and AIPAC, when he visits the United States on April 14th. “The announced meeting is especially important as it comes to be held before April 24,” writes Aysor. “Erdogan appears to have hoped to receive support by the Jewish lobby.”

Saturday 02/27/2010
The ADL still opposes a Congressional resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide, according to a statement issued by Media Relations Deputy Director Todd Gutnick. The ADL “firmly believes a Congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide is counterproductive. Now that Turkey and Armenia are engaged in diplomatic discussions, we believe it is up to the two countries to work toward reconciliation,” according to the statement issued to a Turkish journalist.

Tuesday 02/16/2010
Andrew Tarsy, former New England Regional ADL director, will speak on “Justice and Genocide: the Armenian tragedy, the power of words and the prospects for prevention” at the University of Maine at Augusta campus on March 8th. Tarsy, who was fired by the ADL for his support of Armenian Genocide recognition, has since received numerous honors for his principled stand.

Wednesday 02/03/2010
A coalition of Boston-area Jewish and Armenian groups and community members has initiated a campaign to recognize the Armenian Genocide by posting an online petition on the activist web site change.org. Individuals can fill out a simple online form to have letters advocating recognition sent to the signer’s Congressional representatives, as well as to President Obama. The petition also provides a link to resources and background on the Armenian Genocide.
The coalition’s Jewish members strongly oppose the Anti-Defamation League’s lobbying for the Turkish government against recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and have committed themselves to working with Armenians for affirmation of the genocide. Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington initiated the group, and was joined by Rabbis Ronne Friedman and Elaine Zecher of Temple Israel, Boston.
Click Here to sign the petition.
Read the Armenian Weekly article about the campaign.

Tuesday 01/19/2010
=Turkey’s Today’s Zaman reports that the ADL “has made it clear that there has been no change in its stance regarding Armenian allegations of genocide.” According to the paper, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman “insists that two resolutions pending in the US Congress endorsing the genocide claims would not help resolve the dispute between Turks and Armenians.”
=One of the world’s powerful Jewish organizations – Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said adoption of the ‘genocide’ resolution by House of Representatives and Senate wouldn’t be suitable for the moment,” reports the Azeri news service APA. Rather, the ADL supports “the idea of joint historic commission proposed by Turkey.

Saturday 01/16/2010
=Jess Hordes, director of the ADL’s Washington office, reiterated that the ADL remains opposed to a Congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. In an article published in the Jerusalem Post, Hordes said, “We continue to believe that there was a genocide, but there’s no useful purpose in the House or the Senate passing a resolution on it at this time. It’s a principled post that the better way of addressing this issue is for the Armenians and the Turks to move forward with this through the historical commission.” Hordes also stated that the ADL’s relationship with the Turkish embassy “has been, and I think will remain, close.”
= Ara Nazarian, co-chair of the Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts, has called on Martha Coakley to issue “an unequivocal and forthright statement” addressing her acceptance of an award from the ADL. “It is unfathomable that Coakley and her team would be unaware of the scandal and would accept an award from an institution engaged in blatant genocide denial. Would she have accepted an award from an organization with a shaky stance on the realities of the Holocaust?”

Thursday 01/14/2010
Massachusetts Attorney General and candidate for the U.S. Senate Martha Coakley is being criticized for having accepted an award from the ADL in the fall of 2007, while the ADL was being widely criticized for denying the Armenian Genocide. David Boyajian told the Watertown Tab that Coakley should not have accepted the award and called on her to give it back. “I’m sure she knew the ADL was applying a double-standard,” he said. Coakley is running for the seat of the late Ted Kennedy, a solid friend of the Armenian community. Newspapers in neighboring towns, including Newton and Lexington, have also published the Tab story.

Friday 01/08/2010
In an article chronicling the rise of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy group, Kaitlin MacKenzie writes, “ Political groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, and the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL . . . have long commanded the attention of U.S. politicians and policy makers.”
These organizations “tend to toe a right-wing line in staunch support of Israel,” she writes, and “often lobbied on Turkey’s behalf against the Armenian diaspora’s interest groups, since Turkey was a staunch friend to Israel (especially militarily).”
J Street, she notes, “gave financial support to members of Congress both for and against the legislation that would label the 1915 events as genocide.” J-Street’s policies, she concludes, “while at times boding well for Turkey, might also have an averse effect . . . whether J Street will stand up for Turkey’s interests in Washington remains to be seen.”



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UPDATES FOR 2009

2009

Thursday 11/05
In a strong and principled editorial, the Intermountain Jewish News decried the fact that “some national Jewish organizations lied about the Armenian Genocide” to ensure Israel’s good relations with Turkey. Berating these lies as “disgraceful,” the editorial stated, “Lying about the Armenian genocide should not be part of the currency of Israeli – or American Jewish – diplomacy with Turkey . . . Something so immeasurably and absolutely immoral as genocide cannot effectively be subjected to diplomacy or politics.” Pointing to the deterioration of Turkish-Israeli relations, the editorial noted, “All of that genuflection on the Armenian genocide did not help,” and concluded that posterity “treats genocide deniers very unkindly.”

Sunday 11/01
Continuing to shill for the genocide-denying Turks, Abe Foxman confirms that the Anti-Defamation League remains opposed to a Congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, according to Hurriyet. “We continue to oppose a bill being passed on this subject and welcome the steps taken to establish relations between Turkey and Armenia. We believe that problems should be resolved between Turkish and Armenian people in this way and not in the United States Congress or the French parliament.” Foxman also commented that he personally feels “very close to Turkey.”

Tuesday 09/22
American Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, were first on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s calendar after his arrival in New York on Monday, according to Today’s Zaman. Among the approximately 50 Jewish representatives from these groups was the ADL’s Abraham Foxman, who told ANKA news agency, “For us, what matters is the fact that Prime Minister Erdogan received us first as soon as he came to New York. This is an important point for us because Prime Minister Erdogan has shown the importance he attached to us as well as to relations between Turkey and Israel.”
Today’s Zaman added that “Foxman insists that two resolutions pending in the US Congress endorsing the genocide claims would not help resolve the dispute between Turks and Armenians.”
Foxman labeled the tensions that arose between Turkey and Israel following Israel’s attack on Gaza as “history,” and called the session “a very positive meeting,” while Erdogan discussed Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and Karabakh.
Incredibly, the Jewish representatives “expressed concern” to Erdogan – himself a genocide denier – over Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial. Two years ago, Erdogan told officials from these same organizations that Armenian “genocide claims were not supported by any scientific or historical documentation,” according to the Jerusalem Post.


Friday 08/07
In a blog entitled “The Decline of the ADL” posted on the The American Prospect webpage, Ezra Klein writes that Abraham Foxman “made the astounding decision to oppose recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Congress -- because it was ‘counterproductive.’ Until 2007, the ADL hadn’t even recognized the murder of a million Armenians as genocide.”
Pointing out that Foxman has “repeatedly thrown himself into the fray to advance right wing interests in his role as head of the Anti-Defamation League,” Klein concludes that “The ADL’s former embrace of universal human rights . . . has become entirely selective, depending on who is hurting who.”

Friday 06/05
Asbarez reports that Armenian and other human rights activists at UC Santa Barbara have convinced campus organizations to disassociate with the ADL because lobbying against recognition of the Armenian Genocide is “inconsistent with such a profound human rights issue.” Student leaders organized a letter-writing campaign, spoke to university officials and legislators, sponsored a panel discussion, and educated campus groups. Students vow to “continue to work to keep the genocide deniers at the ADL off their campus.”

Wednesday 05/20
Ultraconservative publication FrontPageMag condemns “the ADL’s predatory take on the Armenian Genocide,” reporting that the ADL “was finally forced to sever its ties to the Armenian Genocide Denial movement because outraged board members threatened to resign and take their contributions with them.”
Stephen Steinlight writes that the “ADL's debacle over the Armenian Genocide . . . trivializing the enormity inflicted on the Armenian people by the Ottomans and their Kurdish henchmen” achieved little.“Apart from the irreparable damage ADL did to its own reputation – it lost an enormous share of its moral capital – it's worth pointing out just how much it accomplished by way of improving Turkish-Israeli or Turkish-Jewish relations. That a Jewish organization was prepared to equivocate about another people's genocide in exchange for what it perceived as immediate Jewish self-interest – to toss the murder of over a million Armenians under the bus was so monstrous and revolting – if there is a cardinal sin a Jewish organization can commit this is it – the fact that its intentions have backfired appears Providential (though there is of course no causal connection).”
Steinlight concludes his remarks on the ADL and the Armenian Genocide by saying, “If I sold t-shirts for a living, my fantasy would be to create one for Abe Foxman, ADL's longtime leader, with a logo of the Star of David, an X superimposed on it, with the words ‘I denied the Armenian genocide and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!’ If Foxman had a shred of decency, he would have resigned long ago for heaping such shame on all Americans who are Jews, let alone his own organization. The ADL has done good work in the past, and so occasionally has Foxman; there have been times when his tough-guy persona permitted him to be the one American-Jewish leader who, to use the cliche, "spoke truth to power." But genocide denial is unforgivable: one cannot come back after that. It is still not too late for his board to demand his resignation, though I'm under no illusions about how much backbone it possesses. The truth is without Foxman there is no ADL; at this stage, however, whether that would represent a loss is an open question.”

Wednesday 04/29
The Anti-Defamation League has announced its continued opposition to a Congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. In an e-mail to the Jewish Daily Forward, the ADL wrote, “...our position is that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians, who should work out the issue between themselves.”
The Forward article reports that the Jewish community is split on the issue: “While some groups see this as a human rights issue related to the Holocaust, others have stayed silent or even actively opposed the ‘genocide’ designation.”
According to the Forward, “A handful of powerful Jewish advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, has declined to support the resolutions in past years, and some Jewish groups have even worked against them. Still, a host of other Jewish groups, including American Jewish World Service; the Progressive Jewish Alliance, a California-based activist group, and Jewish World Watch, which mobilizes synagogues around human rights issues, have supported efforts to recognize the mass killings of Armenians as a genocide.”

Wednesday 03/25
Israel will not recognize the Armenian Genocide despite its friction with Turkey over Gaza, according to an article in the Jerusalem Post. “Israel’s position on this is important,” according to the Post, “because it impacts the position of major American Jewish organizations which in the past have helped Turkey lobby against the legislation in Congress to declare the event a genocide.”
Jess Hordes of the Anti-Defamation League’s Washington office attests to the bond between Israel and Turkey: “Both countries recognize they have strategic relations that are important to maintain.” He also reiterates the ADL continues to oppose a Congressional resolution affirming the Armenian Genocide. Likewise, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein is quoted as saying, “The relationships between Turkey, Israel and the United States remain very important.”
Not all Jewish groups agree with the ADL or the Conference, however, according to the article. One senior official of a major American Jewish organization reported, “The grassroots membership of the major organizations has never been happy about looking the other way about the massacre of Armenians . . . There’s not a lot of support in the grassroots for bending over backwards to meet the needs of Turkey right now.”

Thursday 03/19
Responding to the March 4 letter to Hampshire College by the Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts, the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund has written to the school in support of the Anti-Defamation League. Authored by attorneys Bruce Fein and David Saltzman, the letter proclaims, “In contrast to the Holocaust, no court has ever adjudicated the Armenian genocide accusation,” and says Armenian Americans oppose “debating the question.The letter also lists those who “dispute the Armenian genocide,” such as Justin McCarthy and Guenter Lewy, and accuses the ANC-MA of defaming the ADL.

Friday 03/13
Former ADL New England Regional Director Andrew Tarsy has stated that it is important to call the massacres of Armenians “a genocide,” and that “I was fired for that.” In a March 7 speech to Bay Area Armenians, Tarsy also described watching the No Place for Hate program, which he had helped build, “literally fall apart because of the politics that our organization decided to get involved in, that . . . really contradicted our very mission.” He added, “When you begin to make exceptions to statements like No Place for Hate, or social justice and equality and validation for all, the whole enterprise begins to crack.”
Tarsy also questioned why that despite his education, he had “no knowledge at all about the Armenian Genocide.” Yet, he pointed out, “While the Armenian Genocide was taking place, the entire world knew exactly what was going on . . . in the New York Times in 1915 alone, there were 145 articles about what was happening. There were 145 articles in one year about the systematic destruction of this people, of this culture, of these human beings.”
Tarsy, who is currently Chief Institutional Advancement Officer at Facing History and Ourselves, spoke at the annual Hye Tahd banquet hosted by the Bay Area Armenian National Committee.

Thursday 03/12
The town of Easton became the 14th Massachusetts town to withdraw from the No Place for Hate program due to the ADL’s position on the Armenian Genocide. According to an article in the Easton Journal, town selectmen created a new human rights committee to replace the NPFH committee “which was disbanded in February after the Anti-Defamation League, their sponsor, refused to fully recognize the Armenian genocide that killed up to 1.5 million ethnic Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I.”

Wednesday 03/04
The Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts has sent a letter to the president of Hampshire College decrying the school’s invitation to the Anti-Defamation League to visit the campus “to ensure that all students feel welcome and safe on campus.” This invitation follows reports, disputed by college officials, that Hampshire College had divested in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“The Anti-Defamation League is an organization that actively engages in genocide denial, which is the highest form of hate speech and the final stage of genocide,” wrote the ANCMA. “Hampshire College’s inclusion of the ADL in campus discussions on tolerance is an affront to all those fighting for genocide prevention and human rights.
“It is highly hypocritical for the ADL to present itself as an organization that secures the rights of all people while it actively perpetrates the worst form of hatred against Armenians,” the ANCMA declared. “The Anti-Defamation League is most assuredly not the group upon which Hampshire College should call to ensure an atmosphere of respect and safety for all members of its community.”
“Hampshire College, widely known for its progressive values and mandate, must not sanction the ADL’s unethical actions by allowing it to define the terms of tolerance. By partnering with the ADL, Hampshire College will become indelibly associated with genocide denial,” the letter concluded.

Tuesday 02/24
According to the Guardian, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan “dismissed fears that the US pro-Israel lobby would retaliate” against his walkout at Davos by lifting its opposition to a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. “I believe the United States feels and knows the importance of Turkey within the region,” he said. “The so-called Armenian genocide is not an issue that can affect Turkey-American relations in a very strong way. I don’t believe the US Congress would take a decision based on emotions. It should be left to historians.”

Monday 02/16
In an editorial entitled "A cynical use of morality," Haaretz argues that Israel should not threaten to recognize the Armenian Genocide as a punishment for Turkey's "blunt statements" about Israel's actions in Gaza. "If Israel seeks to alter its stance on the question of the murder of the Armenians," writes Haaretz, "it would be wise to do so at a more appropriate time, from a worthy position of morality and not as a way to make threats."

Friday 02/13
“Does it take an outburst by an imbalanced head of state [Erdogan] for Jewish organizations and the state of Israel to re-posture on something as fundamental as recognizing the Armenian Genocide?” asks Ara Khachatourian in The Armenian Weekly.
This is a question “that should boggle the minds of all human rights advocates and supporters of genocide recognition,” he says, and wonders if the decision will be “based on historic fact or for political expediency.”

Thursday 02/12
Writing on the Armenian Genocide, journalist Sean Gannon argues in The Jerusalem Post that despite repercussions for Turkish-Israeli relations and Turkey’s Jewish community, “Israel, perhaps more than other nations, has a moral obligation to call this crime by its name.” Describing Turkish denial as “part of Turkey’s founding mythology,” Gannon writes, “The fact is that the Armenian massacres constituted genocide by any international standard.”

Sunday 02/07
The former executive director of the ADL, Andrew Tarsy, says that the "entire Jewish community of Greater Boston" stood with him in his battle against the national ADL over recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Participating in a panel discussion on the legacy of Hrant Dink, Tarsy told the audience that "for those of you who didn't know that then, it's important you know that now."

Wednesday 02/04
=Abraham Foxman provides yet more proof that the Anti-Defamation League prioritizes Israel’s interests over securing the human rights of all people in his comments to The New York Times on the strain in the Israeli-Turkish alliance resulting from Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s denunciation of Israel’s attack on Gaza.
Acknowledging that American “Jewish groups have helped Turkey block a resolution that condemns the genocide of a more than a million Ottoman Empire Armenians from being discussed in Congress,” the Times reports: “Abraham H. Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that Mr. Erdogan’s criticism was ‘like a shock to the system,’ but added that the league had not changed its opposition to the genocide bill in Congress. ‘It’s not a question of punishment,’ he said. ‘There’s too much at stake in the relationship.’”
=Unlike other Jewish groups, the ADL is still “actively opposing” a Congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reports The Jewish Daily Forward. “Right now we have no intention of changing our position from last year,” states Jess Hordes of the ADL’s Washington office. According to the Forward, “Turkish diplomats in Washington have ratcheted up their outreach efforts to the Jewish community in recent weeks.”

Tuesday 02/03
=The Jerusalem Post reports that an official with a leading American Jewish organization said his and other groups may “reconsider Armenian efforts to win recognition of the century-old Turkish massacres as genocide.” The Post writes that the Congressional resolution “sparked a row in the American Jewish community between those who sided with Turkey in an effort to protect Israel's political interests, and those who argued that Jews were particularly responsible for helping other groups block the public denial of genocide.”
Yet, the ADL’s Abraham Foxman told the Post “that as long as Israel maintained diplomatic ties with Turkey, he saw no immediate reason to change his position on any future genocide resolutions.”
Maintaining his opposition to a resolution, Foxman declared, “The interests between Israel and Turkey continue,” and the two countries remain “friends.”
=Turkish analysts are attempting to predict the ramifications of the possible loss of the Israel lobby and President Obama’s pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide reports Today’s Zaman. The paper also says that Israeli parliamentary sources predict a bill acknowledging the Armenian Genocide will be introduced again this year. It quotes Likud member Zeev Elkin as stating, “Ankara’s stance has proven the absolute inevitability of the recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Israeli parliament.”

Friday 01/30
=Turkey’s geopolitical position has actually benefited from its harsh criticism of Israel, writes Allen Yekikan in Asbarez. The intelligence group Stratfor states, “Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party are making use of the Gaza crisis to further their goals of reasserting Turkey's leadership of the Arab Middle East, and of the wider Muslim world.”
=Emrullah Uslu writes in Eurasia Daily Monitor that although Turkish-Isareli relations have been harmed, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan “has become a hero of the masses” for his condemnation of Israel’s attack on Gaza, and may become a “new Nasser” in the Arab world.

Thursday 01/29
=“We’re not convinced that Turkey has earned the right to lecture Israelis about human rights,” declares the Jerusalem Post in a story on tensions between Turkey and Israel, according to the Armenian Reporter.
=Writing in the Huffington Post, Harut Sassounian says, “There are serious indications that Israel and American-Jewish organizations are no longer willing to support Turkey's lobbying efforts in Washington.” Sassounian quotes Professor Benjamin Yafet as saying he had "very reliable information that all major American Jewish organizations are now fed up with Turkey and are ready to support the Armenian Genocide resolution."
=The Economist has weighed in on how strains in Turkey and Israel’s “special relationship” might affect an Armenian Genocide resolution: “But if anti-Israeli rhetoric in Turkey persists, the Israeli lobby in the United States could hit back by backing a congressional resolution to call the mass killings by Turks of some 1m Armenians “genocide”. Hitherto, Israel’s influential lobby in America has repeatedly helped block such a resolution, though Barack Obama and his vice-president, Joe Biden, have both referred to genocide in the past and have pledged to back the bill.
Secret talks between Turkey and Armenia to open diplomatic ties and reopen their borders are hotly opposed by some in the Armenian diaspora’s lobby in America. American Jews have long felt queasy about defending Turkey over the massacre of Armenians. Hitherto, pragmatism has prevailed and they have sided with the Turks. But if Mr Erdogan keeps on lambasting Israel, they may change their mind.”

Wednesday 01/28
=Under Abraham Foxman, “antidefamation is not really the ADL’s line; defamation is,” charges Eric Alterman in scathing criticism published in The Nation. Alterman declares: “Foxman's moral compass has gotten so twisted, he has the ADL working to undermine Congressional resolutions condemning genocide--specifically, that committed by Turks against the Armenians. Foxman does not dispute that genocide took place; rather, he argues that it would be inconvenient for Turkish (and Israeli) Jews were Congress to take note of it. So we have reached a point where an organization founded by Jews in 1913 to "secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike" is now in the business of defaming those with whom its director disagrees and purposely turning a blind eye to genocide. In light of the desire of so many anti-Semites to treat the Holocaust in a similar fashion, Foxman's position strikes this Jew at least as one too many ironies to be tolerated.”
=David Boyajian writes in the Newton Tab that the ADL has been criticized by Jews as well as Armenians, and that the ADL, the AJC and other organizations lobbying “to support Turkey’s genocide denials . . . clearly have a moral obligation to repair the immense damage they’ve done to human rights and Armenians.”

Friday 01/23
=Reporting on the Turkish-Israeli strategic alliance, Gerald Caplan writes in Toronto’s Globe and Mail: “As part of the Faustian bargain between the two countries, a succession of Israeli governments of all stripes has adamantly refused to recognize that in 1915 the Turkish government was responsible for launching a genocide against its Armenian minority.”
“Over the years, Israelis, with a few notably courageous exceptions, have actually worked against attempts to safeguard the memory of the Armenian genocide,” writes Caplan, and “many established Jewish organizations in other countries, especially the United States, have followed suit. In the United States, those who argue that denying the Holocaust is psychologically tantamount to a second holocaust have taken the lead in pressuring presidents and Congress against recognizing the reality of 1915.”
Noting the recent tensions between Israel and Turkey over Gaza, Caplan conjectures leading Jewish organizations may no longer support Turkey on this issue. “Whatever the outcome,” he concludes, “be sure that politics, not genocide, will be the decisive factor.”
=Asbarez reports that ADL National Director Abraham Foxman accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of using “very sharp words” in his denunciation of Israel’s actions in Gaza, according to the Turkish paper Milliyet. “Turkey was our friend. I am sorrowful and confused,” lamented Foxman.
=The Anti-Defamation League is one of five American Jewish organizations that sent a letter to the Turkish prime minister expressing concern over the current wave of anti-Semitism in Turkey, reports PanARMENIAN.Net. The letter points to a connection between “the inflammatory denunciation of Israel by Turkish officials and the rise of anti-Semitism.”

Wednesday 01/21
Three letters published in the Newton Tab support David Boyajian's criticism of the ADL: Ralph Filicchia writes that Larry Epstein's charge of anti-Semitism is "way out of line" and that many Jewish people and groups agree with Boyajian on the question of the Armenian Genocide. Joseph Dagdigian points out that recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not a historical issue, but a political one. He adds, "Mr. Epstein should read his history a bit more closely. Turkey was not at war with Armenia; Turkey committed a genocide against its own civilian Armenian citizens." Finally, Karnig Boyajian states that "genocide cannot be considered the sole domain of the Jewish nation" and that acknowledging the Armenian Genocide would not "somehow diminish the Holocaust."

Friday 01/16
Harout Sassounian reports in Asbarez that Turkey’s condemnation of Israel’s attack in Gaza has so angered Israeli officials that they may “retaliate either by recognizing the Armenian Genocide or refusing to help Turkey to lobby against a congressional resolution on the genocide.” Several Turkish media outlets quoted Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Majalli Whbee, for instance, as saying, “Erdogan says that genocide is taking place in Gaza. We will then recognize the Armenian related events as genocide.”
“While it is unlikely that Israel would reverse its long-standing refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide,” writes Sassounian, “it may decide not to accommodate future Turkish requests to have American Jewish organizations to lobby against a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide.”

Tuesday 01/13
Andrew Kevorkian replies to Larry Epstein by pointing our that professional historians associated with the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the International Commission for Transitional Justice, and others, including 56 professional Israeli and Jewish historians who called on Turkey in 2001 to recognize the Armenian Genocide all agree with Mr. Boyajian. The only “so-called scholars” who deny the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide are those “who are now or who have been in the pay directly or indirectly of the Turkish government.”

Tuesday 01/06
A response to David Boyajian’s article in the Newton Tab claims that there “is legitimate debate among historians regarding the question of genocide in Armenia,” and that professional “historians disagree on the intent of the Turks’ war upon Armenia.” Larry Epstein also accuses Boyajian of anti-Semitism and scapegoating of Jews.




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