Genocide position an unsettled question

October 12, 2010

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IN HIS article “ADL leader criticized over N.Y. mosque: Jewish agency opposes new center’s location’’ (Metro, Oct. 8), David Abel errs when he writes that the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, “eventually reversed years of ADL policy and acknowledged the mass killings [of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks] as genocide.’’ In fact, the only official ADL statement on the Armenian genocide is carefully worded to ensure that these killings do not meet the legal international definition of genocide, which requires intent.

By declaring that the “consequences’’ of Turkey’s actions were “tantamount to genocide,’’ the ADL statement supports Turkey’s claim that Armenians died simply as a result of World War I conditions and not from a deliberate, planned program of extermination.

The Massachusetts Municipal Association severed ties with the ADL’s No Place for Hate program after this statement was issued, judging it unacceptable, as did 13 of the 14 Massachusetts communities that withdrew in protest from the program.

It is also important to note that Foxman and the ADL continue to speak out against a congressional resolution affirming the Armenian genocide, calling it “counterproductive.’’

In opposing the proposed Islamic center in New York City, as well as US recognition of the Armenian genocide, the ADL has utterly betrayed its original mission “to secure justice and fair treatment to all.’’

Laura Boghosian
Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide

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