I am ashamed…
…of one of the largest Jewish human rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League. To tell you the truth, I always thought of this organization as ineffective, but relatively harmless. ADL leans left and always keeps looking for enemies where very few left. They are the ones that seem to be suing municipalities for putting up Christmas trees. But they once in a while would have a thoughtful opinion piece. But recently they hit the bottom:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)-sponsored campaign to combat bigotry and celebrate diversity (“No Place for Hate”) has sparked bitter resentment in Watertown, MA—a small town whose 8,000 Armenian-Americans comprise nearly 25% of the population. Local Armenians do not object to the initiative, rather the group behind it, the ADL and its director, Abraham Foxman—whom they charge, correctly, with denying the ugly established legacy of the World War I era Armenian genocide. Under the authoritarian Young Turk (Ittihadist) regime, the bulk of the Armenian population from the territories of the Ottoman Empire—some 1 to1.5 million Armenians—were purged by violent and lethal means, which reproduced the historical conditions of a classical Islamic jihad: deportation, enslavement, forced conversion, and massacre.
Mr. Foxman maintains that dismantling a program designed to fight hatred simply because the ADL does not share what he refers to as the “Armenians’ viewpoint”, would be “bigoted.” Moreover Foxman and the ADL, who have spoken out in recent times against ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Balkans and the genocide against the syncretist black African Animist-Muslims in Darfur, are in effect oddly “neutral” on the Armenian genocide: “We’re not party to this, and I don’t understand why we need to be made party.” But even this morally-challenged “neutrality” is disingenuous. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (4/23/07, “Turks want genocide commission”), Mr. Foxman and the ADL are actively lobbying against the Armenian genocide recognition legislation in the Congress (HR 106) and the Senate (SR 106), including the presentation of letters from the Jewish community of Turkey complemented by, “their own [i.e., the ADL’s] statement opposing the bill.”
The national Anti-Defamation League fired its New England regional director yesterday, one day after he broke ranks with national ADL leadership and said the human rights organization should acknowledge the Armenian genocide that began in 1915.
Tarsy, 38, said he had been struggling with the national position for weeks and finally told Foxman in a phone conversation Thursday that he found the ADL’s stance "morally indefensible."
At least two prominent board members of the regional Anti-Defamation League have resigned in protest over the national ADL’s decision to fire the regional director for acknowledging the slaughter of Armenians during World War I as genocide.
Former chairman of the Polaroid Corp., Stewart L. Cohen, and City Council member Mike Ross told the Globe yesterday they could no longer be part of an organization with national leaders who refused to acknowledge the Armenian genocide and fired regional director, Andrew H. Tarsy, on Friday for taking a position in support of Armenian-Americans.
NEW YORK (JTA) — In a dramatic reversal, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director has issued a statement describing the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as "tantamount to genocide."
Despite the shift on the genocide question, Foxman says he still does not support the legislative measure, which he described in his Tuesday statement as "a counterproductive diversion" that could threaten the Turkish Jewish community and "the important multilateral position between Turkey, Israel and the United States."
As a Jew, I find the ongoing efforts by Mr. Foxman and the ADL to deny recognition of the Armenian genocide morally repugnant, ignorant, and particularly inappropriate for an organization geared to reducing, as opposed to abetting and fomenting Antisemitism, and other forms of irrational hatred.
I can certainly sign my name under this statement.
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