ADL's Domino Effect: Genocide
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
30 August 2007
For too many years, Abraham Foxman and ADL's leaders have gone far beyond their organization's noble mandate of stopping the defamation of the Jewish people, by meddling in international politics. The ADL had apparently appointed itself the guardian of
Foxman and his group would not have become involved in last week's controversy on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, had they simply stuck to their mission of fighting anti-Semitism. As Herb Keinon pointed out in his August 24 column in the Jerusalem Post, the ADL, besides being unhelpful to
ADL officials were acting as if they were in charge of Israel's security rather than heading a U.S. civil rights organization, forgetting that the duly elected leaders of Israel were fully capable of protecting not only the interests of their country, but those of their kinsmen residing in Turkey. In the process of recklessly delving into foreign politics, the ADL had no qualms about collaborating with Turkish denialists and even lobbying on their behalf to block the passage of a congressional resolution affirming the facts of the Armenian Genocide.
Through a long series of unwise judgments and draconian decisions, Foxman managed last week to entangle his organization, the Jewish-American community as well the state of
After rejecting for years all pleas by Armenians and others not to cave in to Turkish blackmail on the Armenian Genocide, Foxman arrogantly fired last week ADL's regional director in
After persistent calls for Foxman's resignation from the American-Jewish community, the ADL issued a statement acknowledging for the first time that the mass killings of Armenians were tantamount to genocide. While many welcomed the reversal of ADL's long-standing policy of referring to the genocide as a massacre, this statement itself generated a new controversy. Many Armenians and Jews were not fully satisfied because Foxman's acknowledgment was not forceful enough. They were even more upset by Foxman's declaration that the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide was 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
Turkish leaders were shocked and alarmed by ADL's unexpected statement which might have the effect of further eroding Jewish support for
As pressure mounted on the ADL from
Erdogan had good reason to be alarmed. One day after the ADL statement, matters got worse when the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which for years has openly sided with
A Simon Wiesenthal Center official told the Jerusalem Post last week that the Armenian Genocide should be recognized as a historical fact despite the political ramifications. We have an obligation to tell the truth about historical events even if they sometimes create certain problems for us, said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi hunter of the
Dr. Zuroff was joined by Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, who told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week that it is imperative for Jews to acknowledge the truth of the Turkish genocide against Armenians, notwithstanding Turkey's relationship with Israel. He added: It's high time for
The domino effect continued. One day after the ADL and the AJC statements, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the main umbrella group on Jewish affairs, held a conference call to discuss adopting a position on the Armenian Genocide.
Finally, Foxman announced that the ADL would consider going beyond merely acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and possibly support the pending congressional resolution. This issue would be put on the organization's national policy making agenda at its next meeting on November 1.
The only question now is whether the Armenian Genocide resolution would have already been adopted by the House of Representatives by the time the ADL holds its meeting on November 1. The hope is that neither the ADL nor other Jewish-American groups would lobby to block the resolution, sending a clear message to members of Congress that most American Jews support it, while the rest do not oppose it.
As this writer was quoted saying in last Sunday's Boston Globe: the truth is finally prevailing over all sorts of political powers and pressures. And this has a domino effect. One by one all the pieces of denial are crumbling.
ADL's Domino Effect: Genocide