ADL Recognizes Genocide, But Opposes Genocide Resolution

NEW YORK–In an apparent reversal of his position, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman today issued a statement effectively recognizing the Armenian Genocide, but firmly reiterating the organization’s view that the Congressional Resolution is a “counterproductive diversion” that will “put at risk the Turkey Jewish community.


"The ANCA welcomes the Anti-Defamation’s League’s decision to finally end its longstanding complicity in Turkey’s international denial campaign by properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide. We remain deeply troubled, however, that elemen’s of its national leadership seek to prevent the United States from taking this very same principled step by adopting the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Much work remains, both in bringing the ADL fully to the right side of this issue and on the broader challenge of achieving proper U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. But we are, today, gratified by this step forward, and want to offer our thanks to all the many Armenia’s and Jews who cooperated together on this issue on the basis of our shared values of tolerance, truth and justice."


The ADL’s reversal of its position was a result of a national campaign of protests initiated by the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts, backed nationally by the ANCA, and supported by leading voices in the Jewish American community, today reversed its longstanding policy of complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.


Below is the text of the ADL statement:


In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy that befell the Armenia’s. We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenia’s as massacres and atrocities.


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. I have consulted with my friend and mentor Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and other respected historians who acknowledge this consensus.


I hope that Turkey will understand that it is Turkey’s friends who urge that nation to confront its past and work to reconcile with Armenia’s over this dark chapter in history.


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 Armenia’s and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.


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