Community Unites behind Genocide Legislation

In response to a February 11th letter requesting their support from Peter Vosbikian–Chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America–and Kenneth Hachikian–Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America–all the major Armenian American organizations have endorsed the introduction of a Genocide Resolution to "commend the principled stand that the United States took in 1988 in becoming a full party to the Convention–welcoming it as an important step by the American people toward ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust–the Armenian Genocide–the genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda–among others–will be used to help prevent future genocides." This legislation will be the same as S.Res.307 introduced last year in the US Senate.

In addition to Armenian American organizations–a growing number of non-Armenian organizations are coming out in support of this legislation. Similar legislation introduced last year in the Senate was supported by the NAACP–Sons of Italy–Campaign for Tibet–American Hellenic Institute among many others.

In a March 25th article in New Jersey’s "Asbury Park Press" Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) explained that while past Armenian Genocide resolutions have met with opposition–Turkey’s reluctance to assist in Operation Iraqi Freedom may encourage leadership to reassess their position on this key issue. "Every time we have tried to move the genocide resolution it’s been blocked by either the House leadership or the White House because of US relations with Turkey," Pallone said. "It would make sense that if the relationship with Turkey deteriorates it might be easier to bring the resolution to the floor." The Asbury Park Press article went on to note: "A new resolution will be drafted recognizing the Armenian genocide and other genocides–Pallone said–in the hope that an all-encompassing recognition turns the tide."

The full list of Armenian American organizations who have expressed support for the resolution: Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics (New York–NY)–Armenia Fund USA (New York–NY)–Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council (San Francisco–CA)–Armenian Assembly of America (Washington–DC)–Armenian Bar Association (Los Angeles–CA)–Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (Paramus–NJ)–Armenian Evangelical World Council (Paramus–NJ)–Armenian General Benevolent Union (New York–NY)–Armenian Missionary Association of America (Paramus–NJ)–Armenian National Committee of America (Washington–DC)–Armenian Relief Society (Watertown–MA; Glendale–CA)–Armenian Youth Federation (Watertown–MA; Glendale–CA)–Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church – East (New York–NY)–Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church – West (Burbank–CA)–Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural Organization (Watertown–MA; Glendale–CA)–Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic Union (Watertown–MA; Glendale–CA)–Knights of Vartan (New York–NY)–National Organization of Republican Armenia’s (Washington–DC)–Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church – East (New York–NY)–Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church – West (Glendale–CA)–Tekeyan Cultural Association (Watertown–MA)–United Armenia Fund (Glendale–CA).

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