The ADL and the Armenian Genocide: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

The Armenian-American writer David Boyajian takes a look at the recent apparent — and lukewarm — reversal by the Anti-Defamation League of its position on the Armenian Genocide.

The ADL and the Armenian Genocide: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

by David Boyajian

In mid-May, on the Anti-Defamation League’s “blog,” CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that the ADL now “unequivocally” acknowledges the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey. Curiously, he doesn’t mention Turkey. The ADL, he added, “would support U.S. acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.”

It’s surprising that such a serious subject would only be “blogged.” But let that go.

For decades the ADL has been colluding with Turkey to defeat Armenian Genocide resolutions in the U.S. Congress and to avoid acknowledging that genocide. For an organization that loudly espouses human rights and insists on Holocaust recognition and legislation, the hypocrisy has been breathtaking.

Just imagine the ADL’s reaction had some Armenian-American organization questioned the Holocaust and lobbied against Holocaust-related legislation.

Jewish and Israeli media have long candidly conceded that Turkey, Israel, the ADL, and groups such as the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, AIPAC, and others had mutually agreed to help Turkey stop U.S. acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide. See, “Press Kit.”

Consider Yola Habif Johnston, a director at JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs). In 2006 she explained that for over 15 years “the Jewish lobby has quite actively supported Turkey in their efforts to prevent the so-called Armenian genocide resolution from passing.”

The general public became aware of the ADL’s hypocrisy in the summer of 2007. As a result, over a dozen Massachusetts cities — including Arlington, Belmont, Medford, Newburyport, Newton, Northampton, Peabody, Somerville, and Watertown — cut ties with ADL “anti-bias” programs such as “No Place for Hate.” So did the Massachusetts Municipal Association, which represents every city and town.

Human rights advocates and many principled Jewish Americans and Israelis blasted the ADL. They also rejected ADL National Director Abraham Foxman’s ambiguous statement that what happened to Armenians was merely “tantamount” to genocide. Hundreds of editorials and articles nationwide and around the world exposed the ADL.

But New England Regional Director Andrew Tarsy soon recognized the Armenian Genocide. Foxman immediately fired him. Tarsy was rehired, but later resigned. He has since criticized the ADL. Greenblatt’s recent statement, says Tarsy, should have gone further: “Assets, land, money, family heirlooms … everything that Holocaust reparations has represented … should be on the table” for Armenians too.

In 2007 Foxman arrogantly declared that the Armenian genocide doesn’t belong “in the U.S. Congress or the parliament of any other country.” Yet Canada, France, Switzerland, Uruguay, the Vatican, a UN sub-commission, the World Council of Churches, the European Union Parliament, and many more have all acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. What brought about the ADL’s seeming reversal?

Newton, Massachusetts School Superintendent David Fleishman recently began sending students to an ADL “social justice” program. Hired in 2010, perhaps he was unaware that Newton had ceased its affiliation with the ADL three years earlier.

After reading about this in March, I contacted Armenian American organizations and individuals. Newton Mayor Setti Warren and many of the city’s citizens and officials were made aware that Newton was breaking its 2007 promise.

Only under renewed pressure and unwanted scrutiny did the ADL and Greenblatt issue their May “blog” post. Greenblatt’s statement that “We would support U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide” is a bit suspicious, however, given the ADL’s past word games. Why not “do support” or “will support” rather than “would support”?

Moreover, the official Armenian-American website has long contained this demand: “The ADL must support U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, as it does with the Holocaust.

In partial atonement, will the ADL lobby as hard for the Armenian Genocide resolution as it has for Holocaust legislation? Highly doubtful. Sadly, two American organizations — the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Committee of America — have taken the ADL’s bait. But many Armenian Americans have not. They’re protesting the obvious sellout.

While the ADL claims to be concerned with human rights and genocide, it has for decades consciously and grievously hurt not only the Christian Armenian people but also the cause of genocide recognition and prevention.

The ADL, therefore, also owes an explicit public apology to Armenians and human rights and genocide prevention organizations. In 2007, Abraham Foxman did apologize, but not to Armenians. He apologized to Turkey because the publicity surrounding the ADL-Turkey collusion had embarrassed that country.

The ADL must also make public the agreements and documents that created and sustained the genocide denial pact among itself, Turkey, and Israel.

Other organizations, including B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee (which has since apparently accepted the factuality of the Armenian genocide and claimed it would support a Congressional resolution on it) should do the same. They owe it to the American people and their consciences.

As Yogi Berra, the late, great New York Yankees catcher, famously noted, “It Ain’t Over till It’s Over.”

The author is an Armenian American freelance journalist. Many of his articles are archived at Armeniapedia.

Previously: “The Allies At Gallipoli: Defeat In 1915, Disgrace In 2015

23 thoughts on “The ADL and the Armenian Genocide: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

  1. Good grief, this makes for depressing reading. In a world that tells us Jews and muslims are enemies, how can they collude together, on anything? But that they both align against the genocide of Christians, only reminds me that they are both [redacted]. I need to keep reminding myself of that truth.

    • Look at the support that Jewish groups give to open borders politicians such as the recent victory of der Bellen (Green Party!) in Austria.
      I find it infuriating that they complain about Moslem attacks on Jews in the EU yet support policy that enables large numbers of Moslems to enter the EU.
      The head of the European Jewish council even stated last year that Moslems and Jews were natural allies in Europe.
      Then again, the Pope is saying similar things these days so it seems there is no longer anyone in power who actually supports the continuation of Europe outside a couple of Eastern European countries.

  2. There is a good article by Andrew Tarsy here

    Basically, many American Jews have not wanted to acknowledge what happened to Armenians because (1) it might threaten the percieved interests of Israel, which always trumps any other moral consideration; and (2) any ‘sharing’ of the word ‘holocaust’ might make their WW2 suffering something other than unique. It’s a kind of perverse twist on the Chosen People theme i.e. even our suffering is different from everyone else’s, as our souls are qualitatively different from that of the non-Jew

    Congratulations to the Armenians for sticking to their guns on this, and also to those American Jews like Andrew Tarsy who are disturbed by this blatant moral particularism to want to redress this wrong, even if overcoming that kind of ingrained particularism is a very tough battle indeed

  3. Up until 6-7 years ago Israel and Turkey were allies and strong trading partners. Then Turkey started turning Islamo and started with the trash talk against Israel and the boats to Gaza, etc.
    Maybe that is why the ADL and other Jewish orgs didn’t want to condemn Turkey up till recently. Now that Turkey is a hairs breath away from full Islamo fascism they feel OK doing it.
    Just a thought.

    • They say genenerals always fight the previous war, and I think the same is often true of political agitators like ADL.

      That is, while I could understand why some Jews once saw advantages, say, in opening up immigration to western countries, they must surely now be disturbed by Islamic migration levels, esp in Europe. I really do hope many rethink their globalist assumptions.

      • Observer

        Here’s to really, really, hoping for that rethink.

        You’re dead right about generals fighting previous wars (both the German navy and the British navy fought WW2 as if it were a re-run of WW1 until Admiral Doenitz bested Admiral Raeder in 1942) and the analogy with present day diaspora Jews fighting for open slather immigration. It is a terrible irony that “globalist”, multi-culti, mentality Jews have played no small role in making Europe an increasingly hostile and dangerous place, especially for Jews.

        In central Marseilles, the Or Torah synagogue has recently been sold for conversion to a mosque. The first such synagogue in France. It is no longer safe for Marseilles’ 70,000 Jews to live in the vicinity of that synagogue because it has become a Muslim area. To be fair, France would have pursued these policies with or without the support of a single Jew.

        Yet in the States I watched in appalled astonishment about 18 months ago as a Dr Morton Rosenthal (or some such name) of Manhattan Beach (as I recall), Los Angeles called for the US government to bring 40,000 Syrian refugees to settle in Detroit. So with 90% of them single men and bringing over a wife/wives in due course and breeding 4 or 5 kids per wife. lets make that a minimum 76,000 adults and a minimum quarter of a million kids within a few years.

        And one got the distinct impression that Dr Rosenthal would have been just as happy to have the 40,000 “settled” in South-Central Los Angeles a mere few miles to the east of his home, as his rationale was that such “refugees” would “re-invigorate” the local economy.

        I can assure Dr Rosenthal that this is the scenario he would confront if this happened. The beach itself would become, during the day, a dangerous place for girls, women and families as Muslim rule No.1 is “Dominate the public space with your presence”, intimidate with verbal abuse backed up with the threat of violence. The shore-front parklands would be dominated on weekends by aggressive Muslim visitors from South-Central. So that their women can swim in their burkinis, sections of the beach would become de facto off-limits to non-Muslims. Very quickly Muslim-run convenience stores and kebab shops would spring up in the commercial areas of Manhattan Beach; these don’t have to actually turn a profit because they are just money-laundering (drugs, auto-theft, etc) enterprises anyway whose employed staff are on welfare whilst being paid low cash wages. So they out-compete legitimate businesses. At night time the Manhattan Beach shorefront would become a very dangerous place as “unemployed” hoodlum Muslim youth with plenty of money congregate around late-closing establishments, harassing and robbing (and worse) all others. Dr Rosenthal’s daughters and grand-daughters would be most unsafe if they chose to take an evening stroll by the beach, alone or accompanied by their husbands/brothers/male friends. This is what happens in Sydney and in Barcelona.

    • Babs

      It’s a fair point you make. Sadly.

      But see MCin Sderot below. And do note Mr Tarsy’s principled stand.

      For a while back there Israel was very pleased to have a regional ally in Turkey, albeit a Muslim one. One friend in the neighbourhood seemed worthwhile having and cultivating. (Israel imports fresh water from Turkey in huge ship-drawn cuboid balloons). It has proven to be a chimera. Grazie, Mr Erdogan. Silly Israel for thinking any Muslim-majority country would ever be its enduring ally. Much less its friend.

      • Is it really “silly” if a country surrounded by enemies sworn to its destruction cultivates an ally, even a tenuous ally, in the region? And if that cultivation included the Israeli government looking the other way regarding the Armenian genocide – a charge, by the way, which is not substantiated in this article – would that be condemnable? Well, nations have interests, which often demand that they hedge perfect moral rectitude.

        The ADL’s refusal to classify the Armenian holocaust a holocaust is another matter. Because the ADL is an organization that declares itself a moral arbiter.

        • No, it wasn’t silly, it was perfectly understandable for Israel to try to ally with Turkey for the reasons I stated. It just turned out to be silly, a term used more in sorrow than in derision. If a Kemalist, ie, secular, military regime were in power in Turkey, Israel’s alliance would have proven prudent.

          On denial of the Armenian Genocide, this is an absolute. Any country which doesn’t embrace and acknowledge the truth of it out of expediency (trade deals, whatever) is, even in a world governed by realpolitik, condemning itself as utterly amoral. It is an entirely different matter to, say, turning a blind eye to the ugliness of the Saudi regime in order to trade with it: the Saudis aren’t trying to kill off a minority.

          The Turks set out to exterminate all the Armenians within their grasp, as part of a long-running campaign to marginalize the Ottoman Empire’s Christian minorities. The Turks used desert heat and distance, the Russians used Siberian cold, the Germans, not having the space and the climatic extremes, used Zyklon B.

  4. The ADL is run by “elites” who, in the U.S., are overwhelmingly multi-culti, no matter what their religion.

  5. ADL is very American. I can probably go as far as to say New York even. But certainly does not speak for Jews outside of the USA.

    “In 2003, the Catholicos of All Armenian Karekin II visited the then Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger who accepted an invitation by Karekin II to visit Armenia,[207] a trip that he made in 2005, including a visit to the Tsitsernakaberd (the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan).[208] While doing so he formally recognised the Armenian Genocide as an historical fact.[209]

    Israel appeared to move closer to officially recognizing the genocide in 2011 when the Knesset held its first open discussion on the matter. By a unanimous vote of 20–0, the Knesset approved referring the subject to the Education Committee for more extensive deliberation.[210] Israel’s speaker of the Knesset told an Israel-based Armenian action committee that he intended to introduce an annual parliamentary session to mark the genocide.[211] A special parliamentary session held in 2012 to determine if Israel would recognize the Armenian Genocide ended inconclusively. Then–Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Cabinet Minister Gilad Erdan were among those supporting formal recognition by the government.”

    Rivlin is now our President, Israel is further along the line of recognition than is the USA. and, so it appears, Cheshire:

    “The devolved legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all formally recognised the Armenian genocide. In 2000, an Early Day Motion recognising the Armenian Genocide by the UK Parliament was signed by 185 MPs.[198][199]
    Armenian memorial unveiled in Cardiff in 2007.

    However, in 2007, the position of the British government was that it condemns the massacres, but “neither this Government nor previous British Governments have judged that the evidence is sufficiently unequivocal to persuade us that these events should be categorised as genocide as defined by the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide”

    • Actually Israel is not further along the way than USA – according to http://www.Armenians, USA recognizes the genocide and Israel does not.

      Of course, Israel is not alone in sitting on the fence, as you point out the UK is in a similar position, as are many other countries.

      For me, Israel alone should not be held to be falling short, as many others have, too. What does grate, however is when self-styled moral paragons like the ADL are such obvious hypocrites.

    • Thanks for the information on Israel. I’m gratified that Israel, at least, is recognizing the Armenian genocide.

      The American Jews I see consider the Holocaust to be a reason for the US to accept the Middle Eastern refugees. In other words, Jews suffered because national boundaries and immigration limitations were observed, so now they think it is up to them to maintain sympathy for the present-day refugees.

      The pre-Islamic government of Turkey was just as prickly about the Amenian question as the Islamist Erdogan, probably because Ataturk, the great Turkish secularizer, was up to his elbows in the massacre. It was a Turkish policy, rather than a Muslim policy, to eliminate the Armenians.

      The US government has been hell-bent on eliminating the stable governments of the Middle East that actually provided some protection for minority peoples in danger of genocide.

  6. Like Lawrence Auster, I’ve been wondering whether there isn’t a special subcategory of the Problem of the Problem (the secondary problem of the West inadequately dealing with the primary problem of Islam), whereby it wouldn’t apposite to term it the “Jewish Problem of the Problem”. This report here only nudges me further in that direction.

  7. The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact which impacted my family and probably every other Armenian family on the globe. We are all descendants of Genocide survivors or those who perished. The barbarity of the Armenian Genocide is reflected in ISIS today.

  8. The ADL, like the NAACP, Amnesty International or HRW, is merely a leftist propaganda outfit posting as a human rights outfit.

    They could care less about defending Jews. It has been that way for 20+ years since Foxman’s time.

    And I’m Jewish.

    • Very true. It’s become rabidly Leftist and anti-Christian as well(like most leftist front groups). Oh yeah they support amnesty for illegals and open borders as well . Again typical globalist/Leftist thinking. Though oddly enough these are the same values espoused by TNR as well.

      Maybe I shouldn’t label it Leftist but merely another group promoting globalism.

  9. I wonder, will the time come, when not only Armenian but also Assyrian genocide is officially recognised and due tribute is paid to its victims?

    Assyrians are a relatively small people with little political clout, so the genocide perpetrated against them is little known or discussed.

    But, of course, although remembering the genocides of the past is very important, it is much more important to stop the current genocide against Christians, Yezidis and other non-Muslims perpetrated in Syria and Iraq. And the persecution of non-Muslims in Egypt, Pakistan and a number of other Muslim nations.

    If the West does nothing to stop this genocide and other forms of persecution over there, they will come to the West – first of all, to Europe. There have already been cases of murder of and aggression against Christian refugees by Muslims in Europe. And against European Jews, by the way.

    • It is breathtaking that throughout the nominally Christian West, nobody, and especially the church establishment, seems to give a rat’s a*** about the appalling horrors being meted out to the Assyrians and other Christians of the Middle East.

      One would think that the primary focus of international concern by Christians worldwide would be the fate of the Copts, the Syriac Catholics, the Armenian Orthodox, etc, etc. But no, the Anglicans busy themselves re-creating segments of the “Apartheid Wall in Palestine” on the church grounds of some place in London. And it’s a roaring success.

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