In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy that befell the Armenians.
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…..
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.
That’s fine and well, but having given up the argument that the Armenian Genocide didn’t really amount to a genocide, the ADL’s only case now is that a recognition of that genocide by the United States would be… bad for Jews, and bad for Israel. This hardly seems to be a very principled position; I very much doubt that the ADL would have suggested that a congressional resolution recognizing the Holocaust would have been “a counterproductive diversion that would not foster reconciliation between Germans and Jews.” I mean really, if Germany had behaved as badly in regards to memory of the Holocaust as Turkey has to the Armenian Genocide, would Abe Foxman (or, really, anybody with moral sense) write that off in the name of geopolitical posturing?