To the Editor:
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has blundered in nominating Joseph S. Berman to be a Superior Court judge. Mr. Berman is a long-time member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and has been a National Commissioner of that organization since 2006.
The ADL has, of course, worked directly with Turkey to defeat Congressional resolutions on the Armenian genocide and still refuses to unambiguously acknowledge that genocide. The ADL qualifies, therefore, as an anti-human rights organization.
Before and during the height of Armenian Americans’ battle against the genocide denials of the ADL in 2007, National Commissioner Berman apparently never issued a public statement disagreeing with national ADL policies towards Armenians.
Moreover, there’s no evidence that he modified the national ADL’s policies, which remain unchanged.
As a National Commissioner, Mr. Berman must bear responsibility for the ADL’s anti-Armenian stance, even if he claims otherwise. It’s unclear if he understands the human rights issues that judges must deal with.
However, powerful forces, including Boston media, are supporting Mr. Berman and misleading the public about Armenian issues.
Fortunately, the Governor’s Council – eight elected officials who must confirm judicial nominations – is leaning against Mr. Berman’s nomination. Among its reasons is his ADL record.
Armenian Americans should write to Governor Deval Patrick and ask him to withdraw Mr. Berman’s nomination.
They should also ask the Governor’s Councilors to vote against Mr. Berman.
In 2007-2008, Armenian Americans mobilized against the ADL. As a result, over a dozen Massachusetts cities, as well as the Massachusetts Municipal Association, severed ties with the ADL’s so-called No Place for Hate program. This made international headlines.
With the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide approaching, and the ADL still lobbying against our genocide resolution, Armenian Americans must now mobilize against Mr. Berman’s nomination.