CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

Visit "No Place for Hate" Towns & Cities in Massachusetts for the most up to date list of programs and towns that have severed ties with the ADL.

July 6, 2007
David Boyajian’s letter printed in Watertown Tab.
Letter: "Anti-Defamation League works against recognition of Armenian genocide"
“No Place for Hate” (NPFH) programs, such as Watertown’s, are tarnished by the fact that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has authored and sponsored them. The ADL, you see, has made the Holocaust and its denial key pieces of NPFH while at the same time hypocritically working with Turkey to oppose recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915-23.

July 8, 2007
Joey Kurtzman's essay "Fire Foxman" is published in Jewcy Magazine.
"Denying the Armenian Genocide should be the last atrocity perpetrated by the ADL chief...The ADL chief is a danger to the future of the community, and it is a scandal that he remains at the head of a major Jewish organization. Foxman must go. And the organization he has done so much to shape must either change or go with him."

July 19, 2007
The Watertown Tab publishes a first set of letters from residents in response to Dave Boyajian's piece. The Tab weighs in on the issue with an Editorial of its own:
"As you can see from a surge of letters to the editor...the action by the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, has some residents so furious that they are calling for an end to the Watertown’s participation in the ADL-sponsored “No Place for Hate” program....It boggles the mind that the head of the ADL could actively work against recognition of a genocide, given the centrality of the Holocaust to the ADL’s work."

July 26, 2007
The Watertown Tab publishes a second set of letters from residents as well as a response from Andrew Tarsy, New England Regional Director of the ADL.

July 27, 2007
The Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts (ANCEM) submitts a letter (published on Aug 3) condemning ADL's position and calling on the local NPFH program to distance itself from it: "Foxman does a disservice to the ADL in associating this noble organization with genocide denial. We can only hope that Boston’s No Place for Hate program leadership will not allow itself to follow in the same disgraceful path."

August 1, 2007
The Boston Globe first reports on the issue in a front-page article titled “Antibias effort stirs anger in Watertown.” When asked by the Globe reporter if what happened to Armenians under the Ottoman Empire was genocide, Abraham Foxman replies: "I don't know." In the article, Sharistan Melkonian -- chairwoman of the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts -- accuses Foxman of engaging in "genocide denial" and states that she will call for the Watertown No Place for Hate program to sever its ties with the ADL unless the latter acknowledges the genocide.

August 2, 2007
Petition requesting that “the No Place for Hate leadership call on its sponsor, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), through its National Director Mr. Foxman, to openly and unequivocally acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and support congressional affirmation” is launched in Watertown Mass.

The ANCEM sends a letter to the co-chairs of the Watertown NPFH committee, requesting 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."

August 3, 2007
The Boston Globe publishes its first editorial on the issue: "[The ADL] ought to acknowledge the genocide against the Armenian people during World War I, and criticize Turkish attempts to repress the memory of this historical reality."
August 14, 2007
The Watertown Town Council unanimously votes to become the first town to sever ties with the ADL. The proclamation, introduced by Watertown Councillor-At-Large Marilyn Petitto Devaney, states: “The Town Council has become aware that the ADL denies the facts of the horrific Armenian Genocide, that occurred from 1915 to 1923 […] The Town Council can not continue to join with such an organization.”
Read in depth article on, and watch video of, historic Watertown Town Council meeting.

August 17, 2007
The New England regional ADL breaks ranks with the national ADL: recognizes the Armenian genocide and calls for support of H.Res. 106. The NE regional director, Andrew Tarsy, is soon after fired for breaking ranks with national ADL policy.

The Boston Globe reported that since the Watertown Town Council Meeting, New England ADL Regional Director Andrew H. Tarsy had called an emergency meeting of the regional ADL Board which voted to urge National ADL to revise their policy of genocide denial. This story was covered by the New England Cable News in its evening broadcast.

The National ADL responded to the publication of the Boston Globe article with a statement (posted on the ADL website and placed as an ad in the Boston Globe and the New England Jewish Advocate) repeating the standard denialist euphemisms and citing their "neutrality" about the Armenian Genocide resolution, while stating that they do not find the genocide resolution "helpful" in helping Turkey come to grips with its past.

August 18, 2007
The Boston Globe in its August 18th issue ran a front page article about the firing of Tarsy, including outrage expressed by the Jewish and Armenian American communities. According to the Globe story, the New England ADL board's executive committee “backed Tarsy and…..went a step further, resolving to support legislation now pending before Congress to acknowledge the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during the World War I era as genocide.”
The Globe also published a strongly worded editorial condemning Tarsy's firing: "If the national ADL doesn't acknowledge the genocide, it is complicit in a coverup."Read: Letter to the New England ADL Board Sent by the National ADL

August 19, 2007
The Boston Globe reported that "at least two prominent board members of the regional Anti-Defamation League have resigned in protest over the national ADL's decision to fire the regional director for acknowledging the slaughter of Armenians during World War I as genocide." The report added that a meeting of the entire New England regional ADL board has been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

August 20, 2007
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and 13 other area Jewish organizations issue a statement re-affirming the Armenian genocide and standing in solidarity with the New England Chapter of ADL and Andrew Tarsy.

August 21, 2007
The National ADL issues its now-infamous statement on the Armenian genocide. It reads, in part: “On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide. … Having said that, we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.”

The Human Rights Commission of Newton holds a meeting led by Mayor David Cohen and sends a letter to the ADL asking it to unambiguously recognize the Armenian genocide, support the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.106, in Congress, and reinstate Andrew Tarsy as a condition for the continuation of the ADL program.

Reacting to the ADL's statement issued that morning, Mayor Cohen states: “Whenever I saw the word Armenian, in my mind I substituted the word Jewish. And whenever I saw the word genocide, I substituted the word Holocaust. And I said, would I be satisfied if this were the response of my leaders? And the answer was no.” In order for Newton to be satisfied and continue with the ADL program, added Mayor Cohen, the National ADL has to “do the right thing, recognizing the Armenian genocide and advocating for its recognition as they would any other genocide.” Read report & watch video

August 23, 2007
The national ADL issues a statement calling for “joint commissions” to study the Armenian genocide.
Turkish envoy returns to Israel to deal with ADL issue. Read Jerusalem Post article

August 24, 2007
Turkey condemns statement by ADL. Read Boston Globe article .
Turkey presses Israel over ADL's recognition of 'Armenian genocide.' Read Haaretz article

August 25, 2007
Turkey’s Prime Minister announces that the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, has apologized for labeling the events as a genocide in a personal letter. Erdogan: ADL corrects “genocide” mistake in letter.
Read Zaman article. Read press clippings reporting equivocation by Foxman following Aug 21 statement.

August 28, 2007
ADL reinstates NE regional leader Andrew Tarsy stating that the NE ADL and the national ADL now see “eye to eye.” Read Boston Globe article.

August 30, 2007
Jewish-Armenian solidarity event at the Massachusetts State House. Read Boston Globe article.

August 31, 2007
The town of Newburyport, Mass., sends a letter to the ADL asking it to unambiguously recognize the Armenian genocide and support Congressional affirmation.
Local Armenians ask Needham to sever ties with ADL program during first public hearing held by Needham Human Rights Committee. Read Needham Times article.

September 4, 2007
Bedford Violence Prevention Coalition demands an explanation from the ADL. Read Armenian Weekly article.

September 5, 2007
Needham HRC holds second public hearing on ADL issue and votes to send a letter to the ADL asking it to “acknowledge the Armenian genocide as a genocide, not 'tantamount to genocide'... and support the resolution before Congress which officially recognizes the Armenian genocide.”

September 6, 2007
The Belmont, Mass., Human Rights Commission unanimously votes to recommend that the town sever ties with the ADL. In a letter to the ADL, the Belmont HRC wrote: "ADL and the No Place for Hate® program emphasize that the “tip of the pyramid of hatred” is genocide. How can we, in good faith, ask our community to work at the base of this same pyramid while the No Place for Hate® sponsor is actively working against congressional, international recognition of the Armenian genocide?"

September 11, 2007
The Newton, Mass., Human Rights Commission recommends to the Mayor that the town cease participation in the ADL-sponsored No Place for Hate program.
Read report & watch video.

September 12, 2007
The Massachusetts Municipal Association sends a letter to the ADL calling on it to recognize the Armenian genocide and support passage of the Congressional resolution.
The MMA has issued a strong and unequivocal statement on the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide and supporting passage of the Congressional Resolution. We applaud the Executive Committee of the New England Region of the ADL for taking this position, and the MMA has called on the national ADL organization to do the same. We will continue to review and monitor this matter, recognizing that while progress has been made, we will subsequently re-evaluate our official sponsorship of NPFH after the national ADL determines whether to adopt this position.

West Coast Armenian and Jewish community organizations urge the ADL to end its opposition to Armenian Genocide legislation. Read the ANC-WR press release.

September 17, 2007
The Belmont Board of Selectmen votes to sever ties with the ADL.

September 18, 2007
The Mayor of Newton severs ties with the ADL’s NPFH program. Read Boston Globe article.

September 19, 2007
The Arlington, Mass., Human Rights Commission votes to rescind endorsement of ADL program stating ADL's failure to support the Armenian Genocide Resolution in Congress. Sends resolution to Arlington Selectmen.

September 24, 2007
Lexington Board of Selectmen hold first public meeting to discuss the future of the town’s No Place for Hate program. The meeting is moved at the last minute from Town Hall to the auditorium to accommodate the larger than expected number of local residents who wished to be heard on this issue. Read report and watch video

September 27, 2007
Foxman meets with Erdogan and publicly reiterates opposition to the Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution and re-states his support for Turkey's calls for a joint commission of historians. Read press reports on meeting.

September 28, 2007
The Northampton, Massachusetts Human Rights Commission sends a letter to Mr. Foxman informing him that they had "voted unanimously ... to withdraw from the No Place for Hate program ... in light of the ADL’s position on the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks." The letter goes on to state: "We cannot endorse selective recognition of hate by an organization that claims leadership in creating a world where there is no place for hate."

October 4, 2007
Northampton, Massachusetts severs ties with the ADL. A resolution passed by the City Council states: "The City of Northampton must not continue its affiliation with such an organization as ADL that promotes such a grievous denial."

October 15, 2007
The Lexington, Mass., Board of Selectmen votes to sever ties with the ADL.
The Arlington Board of Selectmen votes to sever ties with the ADL.
Westwood, Mass., votes to suspend ties with the ADL.
Read ANCEM Press Release.

October 17, 2007
The Medford, Mass., Human Rights Commission unanimously votes to suspend ties with the ADL. Read article.

October 19, 2007
The New York Times reports on the ongoing efforts in Massachusetts towns to sever ties with the ADL.

October 29, 2007
The AYF hosts a vigil in front of the ADL's national headquarters in New York City.

October 30, 2007
The Massachusetts Armenian community sends Letter and Informational Packet to the ADL National Commission on the eve of its annual meeting. Co-signed by the Armenian National Committee and the Armenian Assembly of Massachusetts, the letter asks "that the ADL remain true to its mission and fully and unequivocally acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, refrain from advocating for Turkish calls for a “historical commission,” and express support for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Armenian-Americans also rightfully expect an apology from Mr. Foxman for the damage and pain the ADL’s actions and statements have caused thus far."

November 1, 2007
A rally is organized in front of the national headquarters in New York. Watch video.

November 2
, 2007
The ADL votes to “take no further action on the issue of the Armenian genocide.”
Read articles in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the Boston Globe .

November 8
, 2007
The Medford City Council votes to suspend the city’s NPFH program due to the ADL’s failure to support national recognition of the Armenian genocide.

November 14
, 2007
The Needham Human Rights Committee votes votes to suspend the town's membership to the ADL’s No Place for Hate program due to the ADL’s failure to change its position on the Armenian genocide following its Nov. 2 meeting.

November 19, 2007
Bedford Board of Selectmen votes unanimously to suspend the town's participation in the ADL-sponsored No Place for Hate Program.

December 1, 2007
Los Angeles area community protests ADL national director's genocide denial at event hosted by the Anti-Defamation League in Beverly Hills, California.

December 3, 2007
The Glendale, California, Unified School District postpones a three-day seminar that was to be conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) due to the sponsor's opposition to Congressional legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

December 4, 2007
Needham severs ties with the ADL. The Needham Board of Selectmen vote to accept the Human Rights Committee's recommendation to suspend the No Place For Hate program over the ADL's position on the Armenian Genocide. Watch video highlights from the Needham HRC meeting held on Sept. 5.

Andrew Tarsy announces his resignation as ADL's New England Regional Director. The Boston Globe reports that according to his supporters, it is "the result of his rift with the ADL's national director, Abraham H. Foxman, over the genocide issue."

December 11, 2007
The Watertown Town Council passes a resolution calling on the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) to rescind its endorsement of the ADL's No Place for Hate program. Read the Watertown Tab report on the vote. Read the full text of the Resolution.

February 01, 2008
Newburyport becomes the 11th Massachusetts municipality to end relations with the ADL's No Place for Hate program. Read The Newburyport Current report. Read the Daily News story.

February 26, 2008
Over 30 Armenian American organizations from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts call on the MMA in an open letter to "rescind its endorsement of the No Place for Hate (NPFH) program due to the ADL’s refusal to unambiguously acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and its continued active opposition to US recognition of the Genocide."

March 26, 2008
Michigan Armenian community protests appearance of Abraham Foxman, National Director of the ADL, at the Birmingham Community House. Read report by Armenian National Committee of Michigan.

March 27, 2008
Peabody, Massachussetts withdraws from ADL's No Place for Hate program. Read the Peabody Weekly News story.

April 8, 2008
The Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) votes unanimously to end its sponsorship of the No Place for Hate program. A statement by the nonprofit, nonpartisan association of Massachusetts cities and towns states: "The MMA feels strongly that it is imperative to speak with absolute clarity on genocide and that, due to the NPFH program’s association with the National ADL, the Association will no longer be a sponsor of the program.” Read the ANC Press Release and the Boston Globe article.

April 24, 2008
The city of Somerville becomes the 13th Massachusetts municipality to end its relationship with the Anti-Defamation League's No Place for Hate program. Read the Boston Globe article, and the Somerville Journal article.