ANCA Launches Webfax Campaign to Congress And President Bush

Prime Minister Erdogan will arrive in the United States on January 25th for a six-day visit–which includes a meeting with President Bush at the White House on January 28th. In anticipation of this visit–the ANCA has provided friends of Armenia with the opportunity to send free ANCA WebFaxes to the Congress and President Bush.

The ANCA WebFax to Congress provides activists with an opportunity to urge US Representatives to co-sign a letter–initiated by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–urging President Bush to press the Turkish Prime Minister to lift Turkey’s blockade of Armenia.

The ANCA WebFax message to the White House calls upon President Bush to press Prime Minister Erdogan to abandon the Turkish government’s shameful and immoral campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide–end its illegal blockade of Armenia–and cease its destabilizing interference in the Karabagh peace process.

Both ANCA WebFax campaigns are spotlighted on the ANCA website-www.anca.org

January 22–2004

Mr. Jack Rosen

President

American Jewish Congress

15 East 84th Street

New York–NY 10028

Dear Mr. Rosen:

We are writing–as friends of the Jewish American community–to voice our profound disappointment with your decision to grant the American Jewish Congress Bravery Award to the Prime Minister of Turkey–Recep Tayyip Erdogan–on January 26th in New York City.

As you know–Mr. Erdogan is the Prime Minister of a nation with among the world’s worst records on torture–human rights–and jailing journalists. His government occupies over a third of the independent country of Cyprus and has consistently blocked a peaceful Cyprus resolution. The Turkish government–under his leadership–actively and openly pressures the United States–Israel–and other nations to deny the Armenian Genocide. In fact–as recently as last April–Mr. Erdogan’s Education Minister–Hussein Celik–implemented a mandatory program of teaching Armenian Genocide denial in Turkey’s school system. Mr. Erdogan’s government also blockades humanitarian aid to Armenia; places unfair restrictions on Turkey’s Christian communities–and commits ethnic cleansing against and denies the most basic rights of its Kurdish population. These are not the actions of a leader who deserves the praise of the American Jewish Congress–a proud organization that represents a community that Armenian and Greek Americans have–through long experience–come to know as the defender of the highest ethical principles.

We cannot believe that your decision to honor Mr. Erdogan reflects the views of the mainstream Jewish American community. Jewish Americans – like Greek and Armenian Americans – are–of course–deeply committed to their homeland’s security. We cannot accept–however–that the Jewish community supports expending its great moral standing–and thereby compromising Israel’s long-term interests–on behalf of a government that denies genocide–restricts basic rights–and commits unspeakable abuses against its own citizens. This is clearly demonstrated by the growing number of community organizations supporting efforts to reaffirm the Armenian Genocide. Among those who are supporting the Genocide Resolution (H.Res.193 and S.Res.164) currently before Congress are: American Federation of Jews in Central Europe; American Jewish League for Israel; American Jewish World Service; Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding; Center for Russian Jewry with Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry; Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations; Council for Jewish Education; Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs; Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston; Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County; Jewish War Veterans of the USA; National Committee for Labor Israel; Rabbinical Assembly; Reconstructionist Rabbinical College–and Union of Orthodox Rabbis. In addition to these organizations–this legislation has been backed by over one hundred other leading national groups–among them the NAACP–National Council of La Raza–American Values–International Campaign for Tibet–Sons of Italy–and the National Council of Churches.

We do not understand why the AJC–despite both personal and written appeals–has failed to take a similar principled stance on the Armenian Genocide. It is our sincere hope that the AJC will join the Genocide Resolution coalition–urge Mr. Erdogan to withdraw Turkish forces from Cyprus–and encourage him to abandon his shameful and immoral positions on human rights–Cyprus–and the Armenian Genocide. Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Gene Rossides

Founder

American Hellenic Institute

Kenneth V. Hachikian

Chairman

Armenian National Committee of America

cc:

The Armenian American media

Organizations supporting the Genocide Resolution:

Albanian American Civic League Ossining–NY

American Association for People with Disabilities Washington–DC

American Federation of Jews in Central Europe New York–NY

American Friends of the Alliance Israelite Universelle New York–NY

American Hellenic Media Project New York–NY

American Jewish League for Israel New York–NY

American Jewish World Service New York–NY

American Society of the University of Haifa New York–NY

American Values Arlington–VA

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Washington–DC

Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics New York–NY

Arab American Institute Washington–DC

Armenia Fund USA New York–NY

Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council Falls Church–VA

Armenian Assembly Washington–DC

Armenian Bar Association Los Angeles–CA

Armenian Council of America Paramus–NJ and Los Angeles–CA

Armenian Engineers and Scientists Association Los Angeles–CA

Armenian Evangelical Union of North America Paramus–NJ

Armenian General Benevolent Union New York–NY

Armenian Missionary Association of America Paramus–NJ

Armenian Relief Society Watertown–MA and Glendale–CA

Armenian Youth Federation of America Watertown–MA and Glendale–CA

Boston Mobilization Boston–MA

Brookdale College Center of Holocaust Studies Lincroft–NJ

Bulgarian Institute for Research and Analysis Bethesda–MD

Cambodian Association of America Los Angeles–CA

Cambodian Association of America Los Angeles–CA

Campaign to End Genocide-World Federalist Association Washington–DC

Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding Fairfield–CT

Center for Prevention of Genocide Arlington–VA

Center for Russian Jewry with Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry New York–NY

Center for the Study of Human Rights at Worcester State College Worcester–MA

Center for World Indigenous Studies Olympia–WA

Christian Solidarity International Westlake Village–CA

Church Women United New York–NY

Conflict Resolution–Resource–and Research Institute Tacoma–WA

Congress of Russian Americans San Francisco–CA

Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations New York–NY

Corpus Justice Houston–TX

Council for Jewish Education Monsey–NY

Council for the Development of French in Louisiana Lafayette–LA

Council on American-Islamic Relations Washington–DC

Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church New York–NY and Los Angeles–CA

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Berkley–CA

Federally Employed Women Washington–DC

Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs New York–NY

Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) Washington–DC

Friends of the New England Holocaust Memorial Boston–MA

Government Accountability Project Washington–DC

Hamazkayn Armenian Cultural and Educational Association Watertown–MA and Glendale–CA

Hellenic American Council Los Angeles–CA

Hellenic News of America Havertown–PA

Hispanic Committee of Virginia Falls Church–VA

Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida Maitland–FL

Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic Union Watertown–MA and Glendale–CA

Hungarian American Coalition Washington–DC

Institute for Cultural Partnerships Harrisburg–PA

International Campaign for Tibet Washington–DC

Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston Boston–MA

Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County Palm Beach–FL

Jewish War Veterans of the USA Washington–DC

Knights of Vartan New York–NY

Land and Culture Organization New York–NY

Lao Human Rights Council Eau Clair–WI

Living Voices Seattle–WA

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Los Angeles–CA

Muslim Public Affairs Council Los Angeles–CA

National Albanian American Council Washington–DC

National Association for Armenian Studies and Research Belmont–MA

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Baltimore–MD

National Committee for Labor Israel New York–NY

National Congress of American Indians Washington–DC

National Council of Churches Washington–DC

National Council of La Raza Washington–DC

National Federation of Filipino American Associations Washington–DC

National Hispanic Council on Aging Washington–DC

National Lawyers Guild New York–NY

National Organization of Republican Armenians Washington–DC

National Organization of Women (NOW) Washington–DC

National United Black Fund Newark–NJ

Near East Foundation New York–NY

Order–Sons of Italy in America New York–NY

Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church New York–NY and Los Angeles–CA

Rabbinical Assembly New York–NY

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College New York–NY

Serbian Unity Congress Washington–DC

Slovenian Research Center of America Willoughby Hills–OH

Southern Regional Council Atlanta–GA

Stewardship Project Indianapolis–IN

Tekeyan Cultural Association Watertown–MA

Union of Orthodox Rabbis New York–NY

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Washington–DC

UNITE New York–NY

United Hellenic American Council Chicago–IL

Women’s American Ort New York–NY

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Pennsylvania–PA

Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring New York–NY

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