U.S. Jewish Groups ‘No Longer Opposed’ To Armenian Genocide Recognition

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL)–Turkey can no longer count on the backing of the powerful Jewish lobby in the United States in its efforts to block a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide, according to a Washington-based journalist.

Eli Lake, a national security correspondent for “The Washington Times,” believes that Ankara’s furious reaction to the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound international aid flotilla will help Armenian-American advocacy groups trying to push such a resolution through the U.S. Congress.

On June 8, the Washington Times published a revealing article by Lake on the issue titled, “American Jewish community ends support of Turkish interests on Hill.”

“In 2008, the major Jewish organizations decided they would no longer quietly push Congress to block a resolution commemorating the Armenian genocide,” Lake told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Monday. “This was a reflection in some way of deteriorating ties between Israel and Turkey.”

“One of the prizes of the Turks in their relationship with Israel was support from the American Jewish community in Washington. After the flotilla incident, I would say that that support for now has dried up,” he said.

Last March, a key committee of the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly endorsed a draft resolution describing the 1915 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide and urging President Barack Obama to do the same. Opposition from the White House prevented further progress of the bill.

The leading Armenian advocacy groups in Washington are expected to again try to bring it to the House floor for a vote ahead of the November mid-term elections in the United States.

“I would say that they will certainly not be an obstacle to the bill,” Lake said, referring to the more influential Jewish-American groups. “It’s possible that some groups may end up supporting it because there is a kinship, of course, between what happened to the Armenian people in 1915 and what happened to the Jewish people in the Holocaust in 1939-1945.”

Still, the journalist cautioned that this alone would not guarantee the resolution’s passage. “You still have plenty of other interests that are looking to make sure that such a resolution would never be passed by the House and that is mainly in the U.S. defense establishment, that still considers Turkey a major NATO ally,” he said. “You probably would end up having an executive branch that would say that this complicates our relationship with an important ally in the Mediterranean.”

Lake argued that despite its growing unease over Turkish policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict and Iran, the United States still has “very deep ties” with Turkey. Washington could reconsider them only if Ankara “orients itself towards Iran,” he said.

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31 Comments

  1. manooshag said:

    The USA ‘very deep ties with a Turkey”… actually, the U.S. State Department, over all these years, has been funding a turkey, hoping to win the Muslims over to the West… so much so that the Turks believe all their own lies and today, the USA State Department, the White House administration, and more… are holding on to the tale of the tiger – unable to let go. Manooshag

  2. Nairian said:

    I truly hope that from here on the U.S. Jewish Groups and Israel are truthful to their words and they don’t go back on it by supporting the Armenian Genocide in the US Congress and in the Senate.

  3. Armanen said:

    Nairian:

    Don’t hold your breath. That isn’t how they tend to work on an individual level and certainly not as a collective group.

  4. Nairian said:

    Armanen:

    I understand what you are saying; but from here I tend to be hopeful. Inch arads.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      GO BACK TO SERVICING THE JOHNS IN THE TURKISH WHOREHOUSE YOU DIRTY TURK ORESBI CUGIC SENIN SINSILSSNE SICIIUM

  5. Berge Jololian said:

    Turkey no longer needs the US Jewish Lobby to block the genocide recognition in the US Congress. Turkey is confident enough that it has destroyed Hye Tahd Armenian unity that even if the bill is introduced in the US Congress, Armenians will argue among themselves if recognition by the Congress is needed; since some Armenians (such as in Boston, mainly ARF) are openly engaged in a reconciliation process with Turkey.

  6. Nairian said:

    Gelat: Go back to your hideous hole or better, back to Mongolia where your smelly tribes came from.

  7. john papazian said:

    Nice to see the Jews come around.But if they need reminding,”After all who remembers or even speaks of the extermination of the Armenians”,Adolph Hitler 1939,abot a week before he invaded Poland.Oh yeah and Turkey sided with Germany during both world wars.

  8. Edward said:

    How long did it take for the noble zionists to `no longer oppose`the genocide recognition?And how long before the next U-turn?GELANA GELLAT,this time it will be the nukes for the turkish satraps and no place to hide-they wont even take you to hell,my dear eunuch-but this is the most honorable way for a she-pig like you to end your miserable life – otherwise it`s the AIDS virus and it is a bit more painful,so go down on yer knees and pray for the sudden death-allah is merciful and he will answer yer prayers that is if you are sober,and hasn`t eaten a lot of pork,which we all doubt very very much. Taner Akcam

  9. Rita said:

    Nice to see the Jews come around?

    The Jews only care to use us now as political pawns against the Turks. Not because of their moral conscience.

    The one people who has shoved the Holocaust down everyones throats and uses it to justify every crime they commit had no problem for DECADES denying the Armenian Genocide.

    The Jews interest is not only in Turkey, it is about holding onto the uniqueness of their Holocaust. Remaining the perpetual victim. If people start feeling bad for Armenians, they will stop feeling bad for Jews.

    Important things to remember, Zionists:

    1. Because Armenians have MORALS, we will never support your apartheid state and your ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Armenians.

    2. Israel continues to arm the Azeris and grow close relations with them especially militarily.

    3. Armenia is closely allied with Iran and Armenia will not be willing to give up that alliance since it is historic as well

    4. Armenians have a good place in the Arab world and we will not sacrifice that and be traitors to the evil Zionists.

    • Vartan said:

      Rita,

      I would kiss you if I could. Your words say – very incisively and cogently – precisely what I’ve been saying for years, nay, decades.

      I wish more Armenians would realize this perspective… and unite.

  10. Alex Postallian said:

    gelat: In mongol your name spelled backwards viz taleg, means LIAR.

  11. john papazian said:

    Rita ,I.coudn’t agree more.I wouldn’t go as far as saying Armenia has a good place in the Muslum world but relations with Iran will be politicized here in the US.Something we need to give some thought to in the very near future.

  12. Rita said:

    John- Iran is the only friendly neighbor we have, regardless of our religious difference, Iran has never betrayed us. They also give overrepresentation in govt to Armenian-Iranians and have always respected us. And we need them economically as well as to help us protect our borders from Turkey and Azerbaijan.

    I was speaking of the Arab world in general. I am Armenian-Palestinian. Armenians were accepted as refugees into Arab and Muslim lands (Lebanon Syria Palestine Iraq etc) and we built up communities here and integrated into society very well. We have a lot of representation and are an important part of the Arab countries.

    I think many Armenian-Americans do not quite understand the relationship we have had as Armenians in Arab countries with the other Arabs. Our views on Israel are very similar to most Arab views on Israel.

    And especially as Armenian-Palestinians, we have been cleansed twice. The Zionists came and siezed our church property, deported Armenians and other non Jewish populations, seized Baron Der, shot Armenian monks in the Nativity, deported Armenian seminaries from the Old City, etc.

    Of course Turkey is not an Arab country and of course we have historical issues with Turks, do not forget that Arabs have had problems with Turks as well (Arab revolt 1916-18).

    The Turks and Israelis are both trying to exploit Armenians and Palestinians. The Turks and Zionist Israelis deserve each other, each is worse than the other.

  13. john papazian said:

    It still comes down to what will happen WHEN ISREAL ATTACKS Iranian nuke sights and wich side Armenia will be precieved as being on. Americans will not understand a centries old freindship.I’m sure you’ve seen the patriotic hysteria that whips up in this country.All it took was one photo in the Detroit News of Armenians protesting in Iran in 1979 and I was labled “one of them”.I live in middle America,hicks,sticks and rednecks,it’s not Glendale.Americans couldn’t care less about the Turkish attempt at genocide against us.Oh sure if there is a large enough Armenian vote that congress man may wade in,but lets face it,Americans DON’T want to know about such things.

  14. Rita said:

    I think that we should not be backstabbers because the Armenians are not an ungrateful race. We have loyalty and morals. Iran has been a good friend to Armenia and Armenians. Israel has not. That is the plain truth of it.

    You know, it shouldnt always be what is politically best, we have to maintain our morals. You may have all the power you want in this world. But on the Judgement Day, God will ultimately judge everyone.

    We should not jump on the bandwagon of the powerful, oppressive forces of the US and Israel not only because they have never supported us, but because it is not the right thing. Right and wrong is important, not only in this lifetime but in the next one as well. We will be judged by these things. Did we stand on the side of the oppressed and the righteous, or on the side of the oppressors and the hypocrites?

  15. David Keoseyan said:

    Please DON’T believe it! This article is trying to use the Armenian genocide to blackmail the Turks indirectly.

  16. Armen said:

    Excuse me, but why are we all standing up for Iran? Do you forget their horrible human rights record? Their executions of various minorities? They are a sick country who needs some help. They are just as bas as Somali (read up on what they did recently when some youngsters watched the World Cup on TV). This is not Persia, it’s an Islamic Republic… hatred, fear, death, all that crap… it’s so sad but when the people who started the revolution in the 70’s, they had NO idea what things would turn out like.

    As far as Israel goes.. well, there are Jews and there are Israelis… the Jews I know totally accept and talk about the Armenian Genocide. It’s the Israeli govenment which is causing problems because of their Turkish ties. Did you know that there are even some hardcore Orthodox Jews which say that Israel should not even exist at this time? Read up on that…

    Anyways, we’re all just babling on here fruitlessly…

  17. Gelat said:

    Nairian
    When you are so piteous to find something against my sentences,you are always saying ”go back to Mogolia”,first of all Mongols had empire from Japan to Poland and they are proud of it,what about you?

  18. Armand P. said:

    Jews are using the Armenian genocide issue to try to scare Turkey. I do not see many concrete signs that Jews are truly mad enough at Turkey to do any thing substantive at this time to strike back at Turkey. Will Jewish groups now actually back Armenian resolutions – and not just sit on their hands? No, there is no sign of that. If American Jews were truly angry at Turkey, why are hardly any Jewish Congressmen speaking out against Turkey? And why has not one Jewish Congressman or Jewish writer or Jewish paper anywhere in the world come out against the Woodrow Wilson Center’s award on June 17 to Turkish foreign minister Davutoglu? They all know about it. ANCA has issued an action alert on it, as have Greeks. Lots of Jews sit on the Wilson board of trustees.
    The only thing that can explain this lack of Jewish response is that they do not intend to cut ties to Turkey, especially to the Turkish military. Oh, Jews may talk a good game, yes, but actions speak louder than words. I beseech Armenians not to be naive and somehow believe that all Jews are now on our side.

  19. Rita said:

    Armen- Iran is not being criticized because of its human rights record. It is being criticized because Israel feels like starting another war. Without Iran, Armenia would cease to exist. We are landlocked, have very limited resources, and very hostile neighbors. Iran is the only dependable neighbor we have. They have NEVER betrayed Armenia or the Armenians in Iran.

    Unlike the Jews, who have worked hard to lobby against Genocide recognition. And no, not only for reasons of Turkish ties, but for wanting to maintain the uniqueness of their Holocaust. Jews have also driven Armenians out of Jerusalem, all because we are not Jewish and do not fit in thier racist Jewish state. They also seized our church property, they seized Baron Der, they shot at Armenian monks, they deport Armenian seminaries (for complaining about being spit on by Jews), they killed Armenians in Lebanon during the invasion, etc.

    Israels government always causes problems, Turkish ties or not. Israel is the new Ottoman Turkey. Ethnically cleansing all who do not fit in their racist state, massacring those who are a “problem”, and not allowing religious freedoms.

    Yes their is a difference between Zionist Jews and non Zionist Jews, however 85% of Jews are Zionist. And the non-Zionist Jews are made up of Orthodox Jews who oppose a state for Jews until their messiah comes, and the rest are Western secular Jewish peace activists. Yes they are good people, however they are not the majority.

  20. Rita said:

    And the Persian Jews in Iran are doing just fine.. And those Orthodox Jews you mentioned have visited the Iranian government and take no issue with them.

  21. Jean jaques Bagratyuni said:

    With all due respect to both Gelat and Nairian:

    In as much as Armenian media has generally open and free for all in its forums, childish posts be it coming from a Turk, or an Armenian should and must stop.

    To Gelat: Remember that politics my friend can change overnight..one day you are the powerful bully, the next the weakling on the block. Politics makes strange bedfellows, am I correct? If God forbid 12-20 million Kurds stand up and start causing trouble for Turkey, Turkey will surely slide in chaos and anarchy. Turkey is lucky in that sense, let me say this to you Gelat, Kurds are still sleeping, once they wake up, really wake up, then Turkey will slide into a monumental and catastrophic abyss.

    Well before Mongol invasion, Armenia had a colorful history. Strabo and 4 other Greek historians of that period, wrote extensively about the empire Tigranes the great built, which mind you extended from Black sea to the Caspian and as south as Acre in current day Israel. Strabo wrote about Tigranes, and I am quoting the historian here, “…the Romans trembled hearing Tigranes’s name…” And this was accomplished when Armenians all over the old world numbered a mere 200,000 people.
    As for the Mongols, you are correct, during Genghiz Khan, Mongols numbered at about 2 million. If Armenians numbered 2 million during Tigranes’s reign, Armenia would have easily routed the Romans and invaded Rome. Remember, lack of Armenian manpower forced Tigranes to invite foreign non-Armenian soldiers.
    PS: Gelat, I have tried repeatedly to access Turkish online forums, and tried to post respectful comments, and guess what, they always erased my messages. Whereas here, you have the complete FREEDOM to post even deragatory and insulting anti-Armenian posts. Think about it, I am talking about FREEDOM expressing your opinions in an Armenian media.

    Nairian, there is absolutely no need to remind Gelat about where his ancestors came from. There is a false notion that Turks came from Mongolia, the truth is they did Not. Turks inhabited the Central Asian Steppes for thousands of years. Central Asia was Never a Mongolia. Mongols, however did eventually invade Central Asia, current day Uzbekistan, Khazakhistan etc etc. If we are talking about ancestery, well ALL humans beings are related, this according the greatest brains in scientific circles. Therefore, Turks and Armenians are 10th cousins.. As for Azeris, they have almost exact genetic makeup as the Armenians, heck, they even look like as.

    The moral of my post: PLEASE REFRAIN from POSTING CHILDISH AND INSULTING GARBAGE.

  22. MihranK said:

    If Armenia accepts the present borders and will discuss history with Turkey why doesn’t ANCA not focus on issues of priority for the Armenian nation facing NOW.

  23. MihranK said:

    U.S. Jews, though reeling, look to preserve Turkish ties
    By Ron Kampeas · June 15, 2010
    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/06/15/2739608/us-jews-though-reeling-preserve-turkish-ties

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Jewish leaders talk in pained, hushed tones about the “red lines” in the Turkey-Israel relationship — the ones they say the Turkish leadership has crossed and the ones they say they won’t.

    The fragile consensus emerging from the establishment Jewish organizational leadership is that the relationship it has cultivated over the decades with Turkey is worth preserving — at least for now.
    “There are lines that mustn’t be crossed, and we have seen over the last weeks those lines aggressively crossed,” said Jason Isaacson, the director of international affairs for the American Jewish Committee, a group that has taken a lead role over the decades in outreach to Ankara. ”The dilemma is to honor the legacy of Turkey’s hospitality and integration of its Jews in its society.”
    Isaacson and others referred to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s likening last week of the Star of David to a swastika.

    “It is going to be a challenge for them to walk back into a zone of responsibility — but they must, and we will continue to make that case very forcefully to our Turkish contacts,” Isaacson said.
    The Turkey-Israel alliance reached the breaking point May 31, when Israeli commandos intercepted and boarded the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-flagged ship that was part of a flotilla that aimed to breach Israel’s embargo of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Hamas terrorist group.

    Nine Turkish passengers, including one Turkish American, died in the subsequent melee. Seven Israeli soldiers were injured. Competing accounts — each backed by video outtakes — blame each side for starting the violence.

    Turkey-Israel tensions have been brewing since Israel’s 2009 war in the Gaza Strip. Erdogan condemned Israel’s invasion and upbraided Israeli President Shimon Peres at an economic conference in Davos, Switzerland, in January of that year. Turkish state television subsequently ran a TV series that depicted Israelis as bloodthirsty.

    Daniel Pipes, a conservative who directs the Middle East Forum, says the roots of the crisis date to Erdogan’s election in 2003. Erdogan’s Islamist AKP Party is challenging the military, the redoubt of secularism in Turkey, Pipes says, and that when Israel is depicted in a negative light, the AKP weakens the military.

    “It appears they no longer fear the military, and they are now are unleashing their might,” Pipes said of the AKP. “We mustn’t give up on Turkey — AKP is the problem.”
    Turkey’s behavior also has taken hits from the left of the pro-Israel spectrum, which otherwise had criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for its handling of the raid.
    Turkey “has been too quick to try to make political gains for themselves at the expense of regional stability,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, who directs J Street, told JTA.

    Israel’s oldest Muslim ally, Turkey in recent years has buffered the Jewish state — and Western interests — against Iranian expansionism in the region. Israeli combat pilots are able to practice drills in Turkish airspace that would not be possible over Israel’s compact territory, and Israel’s Navy counted on Turkey as an alternate harbor in case of all-out war.

    In return, Turkey has benefited from the deep, broad reach of Israel’s intelligence services, particularly relating to the activities of the PKK Kurdish terrorist group. It also has relied on the American Jewish community to make its case in Washington; the Turkish Diaspora has never matched its Greek and Armenian counterparts for sustaining nationalist passions overseas.

    A critical test for Turkey’s Jewish proxies in Washington has been their successful effort to quash recurring resolutions that would recognize Turkey’s Ottoman-era massacres of the Armenians as a genocide, as most experts already do. The Armenia resolution is a rare source of tension between Jewish lobbying groups, which stymie the measure to protect Israeli and U.S. interests in the region, and Jewish Congress members, who recoil at denial of a genocide.

    But pro-Israel insiders, speaking off the record, say now that they are considering keeping their hands off the resolution. The version currently circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Foreign Affairs Committee.

    It stands little chance of reaching the floor, however, as long as Rep. Nancy Pelosi is the House speaker; Pelosi has closely heeded directives from the Obama and Bush White Houses to bury the resolution as long as Turkey remains a key U.S. ally in the region.

    Passage would be disastrous, said Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who tracks Turkey, as Erdogan would be able to make his Islamist, anti-Western case to the Turks with an “I told you so” argument.
    “We would lose the Turks,” Cagaptay said. “And we have not lost Turkey — we have lost the steering wheel.”
    Already the relationship is fraught: Turkey canceled planned joint military exercises with Israel in the wake of the flotilla raid, and on Monday it dismissed Israel’s planned query into the incident as a sham.
    With the exception of the Zionist Organization of America, which has called for an investigation into Turkey’s role in the fiasco, pro-Israel groups in Washington are not willing to take commensurate leaps and directly target Turkey. Instead, they are targeting the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or the IHH, the charity with ties to Erdogan’s AKP that helped fund the Mavi Marmara excursion.

    In the House, Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) wrote Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asking her to list IHH as a terrorist group because of its alleged affiliation with Hamas. Five House members from New York accepted a petition Monday demanding the same action that had been organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and garnered 20,000 signatures.

    The Senate leadership of both parties is gathering signatures for a letter to President Obama asking him to consider such a designation. Placement on a terrorist list freezes a group’s U.S. assets and makes it illegal to fund-raise in the United States.
    By not targeting Turkey directly, Jewish groups want to avoid antagonizing the entire Turkish political establishment; Erdogan may yet be vulnerable because of his mishandling of the important U.S. relationship, among other reasons. And there are still redoubts of friendship to Israel, in the military and Foreign Ministry.

    Another factor is Turkey’s Jewish community.
    “American Jews who have been longtime supporters of Turkey must keep alive the people-to-people dialogue, considering that over 20,000 Jews live in Turkey today,” said a lobbyist who has represented both Jewish and Turkish interests and still travels frequently to Turkey.
    Cagaptay warned that the relationship, while worth salvaging, would never be the same.
    “The days of Turkey watching Israel’s back in a tough neighborhood, and of Turkey counting on Israel to represent its interests in Washington, are over,” he said.

    Ron Kampeas is JTA’s Washington bureau chief.

  24. john papazian said:

    Rita we are not in existance because of Iran.Yes they have helped but for thier own benifit as well Armenias.As to the “oppressive” Isrealis,please lets not forget the wantent bloodlust of the jihadist and fundimentalist that cause every bit as much pain and suffering.No the Palistinian does not deserve the intollorable treatment handed down to them,but Hammas as well as others are as much to blame for the hostile mental state that exst there.No Armenian could possibly endorse or condone the acts of terrorism that too many Islamist believe in.At least I pray that we don’t degenerate down to that level.If jihadist tactics become acteptable to those wanting revenge then we lose everything.

  25. Rita said:

    John Papazian- do not forget that it was the Palestinians who trained our fedayees in Lebanon, and Israel that for Turkeys sake, massacred Armenian freedom fighters who were training with the PLO and PFLP.

    HAMAS was supported by ISRAEL financially and militarily up until the Oslo accords. HAMAS is correct in not accepting the Jewish state, and correct in realizing that talks do not work, for 62 years they have not worked.

    The Jews did not steal Palestine by “talking” peacefully with the Palestinians and the British. They used terrorist militias to steal the land. Now why shouldnt the natives of the land be able to take up arms and resist???

    If you can remember back to the 70s and 80s, we were called “terrorists” too. Are you going to condemn our fedayees too?

    • Ria's Friend said:

      Rita:

      It seems as of if you have an issue with Jews in general. We call people like you anti-Semites. Your comments are false and straight out of Der Stuemer

  26. TimurlangIAN said:

    Another question is….where does the ANC and associated groups direct their energy if and when the resolutions pass in US, Israel, and the genocidal events of 1878-1923 get incorporated into standard school curriculums?
    Even if the resolution does not for some reason pass this year, the opening of the museum at 14th and G streets will be almost as powerful an instrument of justice.

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