ADL’s new statement struggles, fails

ADL's Abraham FoxmanAbraham Foxman of the ADL has issued a new statement regarding the Armenian Genocide, which includes the following truly remarkable paragraph:

We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide. [my emphasis]

Does Mr. Foxman think he is writing some kind of international treaty whose language must be creatively ambiguous? Or perhaps one of those software licensing agreements?

What he should be saying is that the ADL was wrong in not applying the word ‘genocide’ to the aforesaid events, which in fact were a genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire. It would have been much easier to write than the tortured prose above, which is not going to win him a lot of friends among either Turks, Armenians, or Jews who understand the importance of calling genocide by its name.

The statement also includes the following explanation:

Having said that, we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.

Of course I don’t know what threats the Turkish government has made. However, if they are attempting to hold the Turkish Jewish community hostage for actions taken by the US Congress, this should be exposed as a clear violation of their human rights, and Turkey should be censured for it.

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