ADL makes the wrong choice — again

On Thursday I wrote as follows about the response of the ADL to an article critical of its position against legislation to recognize the Armenian Genocide, specifically a letter signed by Andrew H. Tarsy, then Regional Director in New England:

…the argument that efforts to force the Turks to accept the truth will be ‘counterproductive’, that one is somehow preventing them from “coming to grips with their past” by supporting such resolutions — please. This argument is disingenuous, and is enough to make me blush on behalf of Tarsy and the ADL.

Andrew TarsyApparently Mr. Tarsy himself, who is now out of a job, agrees with me.

Tarsy, 38, said he had been struggling with the national position for weeks and finally told Foxman in a phone conversation Thursday that he found the ADL’s stance “morally indefensible.”

…”I regret at this point any characterization of the genocide that I made publicly other than to call it a genocide. I think that kind of candor about history is absolutely fundamental.”

As recently as Tuesday night, however, Tarsy defended the ADL’s position before a hostile crowd at the Watertown Town Council meeting. In explaining why he did it, Tarsy said yesterday that he was doing the best he could to explain the ADL policy while struggling at the same time to change the policy internally. Neither side would back down and he was fired. — Boston Globe

The ADL’s position is not only “morally indefensible” as Tarsy has said, but is unlikely to have any effect on the Turkish government’s policy toward Israel, or Turkish Jews.

Ironically, the result of the ADL’s stubbornness on this issue has been to seriously weaken the respect in which the ADL is held in the broader Jewish and non-Jewish community, and to diminish its effectiveness in anti-bias activism.

Kol hakovod to Mr. Tarsy, who took the moral high road that his boss would not.

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