Genocide Denial at Center of Mass. Judicial Nomination

Joseph Berman

BOSTON—Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s nominee for a seat on the Commonwealth’s Superior Court is facing opposition because of his leadership role in the Anti-Defamation League and that organization’s refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The Boston Globe reported Thursday, that Joseph S. Berman’s nomination is being opposed by members of the eight-person elected panel that approves judicial nominations.

Councilor Marilyn M. Pettito Devaney, a Democrat from Watertown, led the opposition to Berman, saying she had the five votes needed to reject his nomination.

She stood and denounced Berman’s affiliation with the Anti-Defamation League, as the governor, who chairs the panel, looked on, chagrined, reported the Boston Globe.

“In 1939, Hitler, carrying out his horrific mission to exterminate the Jews, said, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’” Devaney said, her voice trembling and eyes filling with tears. “I do. And many others do, too,” according to the Boston Globe.

Devaney said if she belonged to “a group who denied the Holocaust,” she would resign. Several other councilors agreed that Berman’s ties to the Anti-Defamation League are a concern, while raising their own separate objections.

The opposition forced Gov. Patrick to postpone Berman’s approval to December 4.

Berman’s nominations and the ADL’s Genocide denial took center stage in 2007 when the organization launched its “No Place for Hate” campaign, causing backlash from the Armenian-American community in Massachusetts, which claimed that an organization that unequivocally denies the Armenian Genocide had no place in public schools promoting anti-discrimination.

A campaign called “No Place for Denial,” led by the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Mass. Chapter and including a cross-section of the Armenian-American community vocally opposed ADL’s efforts.

In 2007, the ADL fired its New England regional director, Andrew H. Tarsy, after he acknowledged the Armenian Genocide in opposition to the national leadership.

ADL’s national director Abraham Foxman has gone on record to say that the events of 1915 were “tantamount to Genocide,” but did not label it as such. He has also actively lobbied against Armenian Genocide resolutions in Congress.

According to the Boston Globe, Councilor Devaney stood firm on her opposition, saying: “We’re not going to change our minds. To prolong this serves no purpose.”

Councilor Terrence W. Kennedy agreed, saying that even though he supports Berman, a delay will not save the nomination, reported the Globe. “It’s a democracy, and I don’t think the vote is going to change,” he told Patrick.


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  1. Arthur Pilibosian said:

    Mass, Chicago, California all have their act together, the New York Armenian’s don’t give a shit.

  2. vartan said:


  3. Telo said:

    Congratulations and the gratitude of the Armenian community go to Councillor Marilyn Pettito Devaney for standing on the right side of justice!

  4. Norin Radd said:

    Sorry Joe, proper Genocide recognition isn’t reserved for only Jews anymore, Armenians suffered a far worse fate long before the Holocaust as did other groups. The 20th century is over and people are waking up, your people better play catch up really fast.

    Joe better call Abe Foxman.

  5. Pingback: Genocide denial at center of Massachusetts judicial nomination | Public Radio of Armenia

  6. Vahe said:

    Armenian Americans really have to thank Councilor Marilyn Devaney for all her great work in defending us against genocide deniers and thank Asbarez for covering this issue.

    This man Berman should not be confirmed as a judge because he is a leading member of the ADL, which still will not unambiguously recognize the Armenian genocide and which still is against the Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress. is a great website. A judge has to care about civil and human rights and not be a member of a genocide-denying organization.

  7. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Who denies the Genocide …He is a criminal like the deniers …
    In this century it is a great shame to have people…like those
    who don’t have any cores of humanity …
    Shame…Shame… Shame…
    Let them disappear and open their graves…!!!

  8. wellistennow said:

    Asbarez continues to publish articles about Armenian genocide denying Jews. Yes they are Jews and this is relevant. But when I as an Armenian try to comment on these articles explaining that it is not only Jews who can deny our genocide, we can question theirs as well, I am most often censored. I personally do not believe in the Holocaust. Why does Asbarez CENSOR this!?

    Why is it ok for Jews to deny AG, but NOT ok for Armenians to question the Holocaust? Asbarez??

  9. Samuel Darbinian said:

    If a person such as Joseph S. Berman, who is capable with his misjudgement based on lie,denyal & weakness ignores historical Facts of Armenian Genocides proper judgement, then what alternative he has on
    his record. be selected as a judge & the communities thrust donot insulted?

  10. Mihran said:

    Any genocide denier cannot be fit to be appointment a judge,his track record on the subject is appalling to say the least along with ADL.

  11. Hovsep D said:

    Berman, a man without a moral compass, has no place as a judge. Let him make an unambiguous affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, and reign from the ADL, and then we can think about it. Councilor Devaney should be congratulated and honored for her moral stance in support of the truth. Than you Councilor Devaney and shame on you Mr. Berman.

  12. Manoog said:

    All people, no matter where they live, should – PLEASE – email the Massachusetts “Governor’s Council” members (there are 8 of them) and ask them to please not – NOT – confirm Joseph Berman (the ADL official) to be a judge.
    The Governor’s Council’s email addresses are listed here:

    Please — also email Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and ask him to withdraw the nomination of Joseph Berman. See this web page to send the Governor an email:

    The message is: No top official of the genocide-denying ADL should be a judge. Also remember that the ADL has lobbied against the Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress.

  13. GeorgeMardig said:

    Why Diaspora Armenian’s do’nt deny the Jewish Holocaust, so they can feel what means to deny truth to people.

  14. Tom Sheff said:

    Joseph Berman led the way to have the ADL change their national position on the armenian genocide. Someone’s position in a national organization, when you’re only a member of the regional organization isn’t a litmus test for judges. This is appalling. The behavior of these people will absolutely hurt the judicial system due to less people wanting to put themselves through this circus. She needs to go!!!!

    • Kevork said:

      Bull***t! You don’t own the AMERICAN judicial system nor define it. The only thing appalling is charlatan cowards like you who hide behind legal bs talk to supposedly bring “credibility”. It is you and your ilk that need to get lost.

  15. Garo Yeghichian said:

    All those deniers they know they are not decent people themselves. Only the big bribes dominate the truth and the reality, you have to be very very naive to follow and believe the deniers.

  16. Vahe said:

    Please read the following record of the ADL’s utterly sickening disgraceful genocide denial and its working directly with Turkey, a major human rights violator, to defeat the US Congress’s Armenian genocide resolution. These excerpts are taken verbatim from the Jewish and Israeli media:

    Joseph Berman, as a national ADL Board member, cannot divorce himself from the ADL’s terrible actions.

    Mr. Berman is a lawyer. He should know that the August 21, 2007 statement by the ADL/Abe Foxman used deceptive legalese to imply that the Armenian genocide did NOT conform to the official 1948 UN Genocide Convention’s definition of genocide, which requires INTENT by the perpetrator. This is all explained on

    You see, the 2007 ADL statement used the word CONSEQUENCES in its language, which is the opposite of INTENT. Here is what the ADL said:

    “ … the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities . . . the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide.”

    No doubt a LAWYER wrote that. But WHICH ONE? We don’t know.

    In 2007 and 2008, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and many Massachusetts cities and towns severed ties with the ADL’s so-called No Place for Hate program even AFTER the ADL’s 2007 statement. That is because they knew how utterly dishonest that tatement was. Mr. Berman was a member of the ADL at that time and must be held accountable.

    As he is also a member of the ADL’s national board, he must acknowledge responsibility for the ADL’s continuing lobbying to defeat the Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress. No true human rights organization would ever do that. Draw your own conclusions about the ADL.

    If an Armenian American was proposed as a judge and was a member of a Holocaust denial organization that had also lobbied against Holocaust resolutions, he would have been run out of town.

    See the double standard?

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