NEW YORK–In an effort to raise awareness of genocide denial, the Armenian Youth Federation of New York held Monday a candlelight vigil in front of the national headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League in Manhattan.
The vigil specifically addressed the ADL’s efforts at preventing US Congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. AYF New York Chairman Justin Kaladjian said, "Any organization which assists Turkey in denying the Armenian Genocide, will be confronted by the AYF, no matter how ‘respectable’ it
might make itself out to be."
ANC of New York Chairman Doug Geogerian commended the AYF for "coming in force and standing up to one of the most influential organizations in our society, all in defense of the Armenian Cause. The AYF courageously represented the New York area Armenian community."
The vigil served as a prelude to a larger rally to be held Thursday evening at the same location (605 3rd Ave., New York, NY). According to
Geogerian, a multi-ethnic array of musicians, comedians, commentators, scholars and activists will speak about the ADL’s morally bankrupt policy on the Armenian Genocide and why it must change.
The ADL will hold its national convention this Thursday and Friday in New York City at an undisclosed location. During the convention, ADL delegates will address the controversy of its failure to support congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. The ADL has seen its anti-bias program "No Place for Hate" come under fire in recent months, as six Massachusetts towns-Watertown, Newton, Belmont, Arlington, Lexington and Westwood-have severed ties with the ADL over the organization’s role in denying the Armenian Genocide. The website
www.noplacefordenial.org provides comprehensive information on the campaign waged by Armenian activists in Massachusetts.
The Jewish on-line magazine Jewcy and the No Place for Denial team are organizing Thursday’s event, where music and speeches will highlight the ADL’s unsavory position regarding the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian National Committee of Eastern U.S. is a co-sponsor.
"Youthful representatives of two ancient peoples will hit the pavement to demand that the ADL come down on the right side of a key human rights issue: unqualified opposition to genocide denial," said ANC Eastern Region Board Member Sevag Arzoumanian. "Spontaneous, irreverent, unscripted, a celebration of Jewish-Armenian solidarity, hard hitting political messages transmitted through irony, parody and verse…impromptu speeches and chants…that is what people should expect and contribute to."