Chairman Berman Sets Committee Vote On Genocide Resolution For March 4

WASHINGTON–US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Howard Berman (D-CA), a leading Congressional supporter of human rights and a longstanding friend of the Armenian American community, has scheduled a vote of his panel on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252, for Thursday, March 4, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

“We want to thank Chairman Berman for his vision and strength in taking this bold step to send the clear message to Turkey that the United States Congress will not be complicit in their immoral efforts to deny truth and justice for the Armenian Genocide,” said Ken Hachikian, Chairman of the ANCA, following his meeting yesterday in Washington, DC with the senior California legislator. “We look forward to working with the Chairman and all our friends on the Committee from both parties to facilitate passage of this critical piece of human rights legislation by both this panel and the full House of Representatives. Our grassroots activists are mobilized to help achieve the success of this effort.”

Hachikian also consulted yesterday with several other Representatives, most notably, Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution author Adam Schiff (D-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and senior House Foreign Affairs Committee Members Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Ed Royce (R-CA).

The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted legislation similar to H.Res.252, on a bipartisan basis, in 2000, 2005, and 2007.  These past measures, despite their broad-based support, did not reach the House floor for an up or down vote, largely due to strident opposition from the Clinton and Bush administrations fearful of Ankara’s threats of retaliation.  President Obama, during his campaign for office, pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide and specifically voiced his strong support for this exact legislation; his Vice President, Joe Biden, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, both cosponsored this measure.  Since taking office, the Obama Administration has yet to make any comments, either favorably or unfavorably, on the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress.

“The facts of history are clear, well documented, and non-negotiable. One and a half million Armenians were deliberately murdered in the first genocide of the 20th century. If we are to avoid this horrific crime in the future, we must be willing to condemn genocide whenever and wherever it occurs.” said Rep. Adam Schiff, who introduced the bill. “I will be working with my colleagues on the foreign affairs committee to achieve passage of this important bill.”

“The Affirmation of the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide” resolution has the bipartisan support of 137 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.  It calls on the President to “ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding” of the “Armenian Genocide” and to “accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide,”  added Schiff..

Scheduled Vote Culminates Year-Long Grassroots Campaign:

Chairman Berman’s announcement to hold a vote on H.Res.252 comes in the wake of a year-long mobilization of ANCA and Armenian American grassroots activists in support of the measure.  These efforts have ranged from local phone banks staffed by ANCA, Armenian Youth Federation, and community volunteers to Washington DC advocacy days – including an ongoing Capitol Hill effort this week focusing on Committee Members and their colleagues from California, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide have been welcomed by a broad range of coalition partners from the Greek, Jewish, Christian and genocide-prevention constituencies.  Earlier this week, the ANC of Massachusetts teamed up with Greater Boston area Jewish American groups, Investors Against Genocide and ARAMAC – Massachusetts in launching an online petition – hosted on www.change.org – calling for Presidential and Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Sign the petition: CLICK HERE

H.Res.252, introduced in March of 2009 by lead sponsors Adam Schiff and George Radanovich (R-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), currently has over 135 cosponsors.  A parallel Senate measure, spearheaded by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John Ensign (R-NV), has 13 cosponsors.

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For more information regarding the Armenian Genocide Resolution, please review the following links:

Click here to read text of the Armenian Genocide Resolution

Click here to see a current list of cosponsors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252)

Click here to read ANCA Talking Points on the Armenian Genocide Resolution

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8 Comments

  1. Artin Avedissian said:

    If the Armenian Genocide Resolution is passed through the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 4, 2010,  then Washington’s position may somehow  be regarded as  “balanced”!  All Armenians favour the normalization of relations with Turkey and open borders with all neighbouring countries is a necessary requirement for civilized countries but it shouldn’t  jeopordize other unresolved political issues!  The Protocols failed to lead to a much desired mutually satisfactory solution!  It is hoped now  that “Step by step” diplomacy may achieve this goal… 

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  4. Kiazer Souze said:

    Chairman Berman has to put it up for a vote. The US just spurned China by selling arms to Tiawan. China has been uncooperative with sanctions on Iran. Armenia is going to be uncooperative as well if the Genocide is not recognized and the borders between Armenia and Turkey are not opened.

    Armenia is at a cross-road. Think of it as the cross-road/gate between Iran and the rest of the world. There will be all kinds of goods and services smuggled through Armenia if the world tries to impose sanctions without recognizing the Genocide or opening up the border with Turkey.

    Armenia has uranium, a commodity that Iran is running out of to make the BOMB. Armenia has an emourmouse amount of soft power at this point. Let us not auction it off on the streets for pennies on the dollar.

    Lately, I’ve been hearing that Dovatogulu dog having more conciliatory tone. However, I need to see them pucker up and do some serious a$$ kissing. You have to treat a prostitute as a prostitute. So far, Turkey’s attempts to be the benevolent arbitrator have total failures.

  5. Yervand said:

    Why do we get ourselves so worked up on these resolutions? We all know it’s not going to be passed. Turkey’s push to sign and then stall the implementation of the protocols is precisely to dissuade other governments from passing such, to put it frankly, meaningless, legislation. We channel more energy to more concrete and practical issues.

  6. John K. said:

    This is just a political game.  Even if it passes does not mean anything.  It may never get to the House floor. They are just using the Genocide Resolution to pressure Turkey by blackmailing them to sign the protocols so that they get access to the oil fields of Centeral Asia.  Lets not put our hopes high only to get disappointed one more time.

  7. manooshag said:

    Yervand, meaningless legislation? My family, in the USA was just four members of a large clan following
    the Turkish Genocide! Meaningless! When civilized nations, International Genocide organizations
    and 43 of the 50 states of the USA have come to recognize the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians – and Archives exist in all the nations whose citizens recorded what they had witnessed s the Turk planned and deliberately pursued – slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, churches filled with women/children to be burned
    alive – rivers running red with the blood of those tossed, and those who chose to leap into the rivers to escape the terrors these Asian hordes could devise!
    Why shall not the most powerful nation the world has known be unable to morally stand up and demand that the Genocide of the Armenian nation by the Ottoman Turks and their subsequent Turkish leaderships who persist in their denials – bullying before the civilized world. The Turks shall have been found guilty of their
    crimes against humanity – and having been found guilty been made to pay all due and owing to the losses of the Christian Armenian nation – thus all the Genocides of the 20th century and now into the 21st century shall
    not have occured – as the despots shall not have dared….
    Meaningless! You are not Armenian.
    Manooshag

  8. Alvin said:

    Please notice that Armenia itself is not going to have much to say about the Genocide resolution.

    It is just going to be a spectator, unlike Turkey. Indeed, Armenia’s Presidents have never had much to say about the Genocide. This in spite of that government’s that the Genocide is part of its foreign policy.

    What could official Armenia do? It could, at least, point out the hypocrisy and lies of Obama and the U.S. State Department. But Armenia won’t do that because it might get the US temporarily a bit ticked off and Serge is skating on thin ice with the US as it is.

    Notice that Russia has nothing to say about the genocide. I just want to point this out because there are Russophiles on this website and the Armenian Weekly’s. You can’t convince an Armenian Russophile that Russia might ever take an action that will harm Armenia. One poster claims that Azerbaijan will never attack Armenia because Russia would not permit it. I guess Armenia and Karabagh do not need an army?

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