ADL local leader fired on Armenian issue
Genocide question sparked bitter debate
Andrew H. Tarsy's firing sparked a backlash, by Keith O'Brien
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.
Foxman and Glen S. Lewy, the ADL's national chairman, said "we have acknowledged the massacres of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and called on Turkey to do more to confront its past and reconcile with Armenia. We will continue to press Turkey, publicly and privately . . ." But the letter also makes clear that the national ADL feels the safety of Israel, which considers Turkey a rare Muslim ally, is paramount.
Watertown [is[ home to more than 8,000 Armenian-Americans. Residents there became angry when they learned that the ADL was the sponsor of the town's anti-bigotry program "No Place For Hate" and, on Tuesday this week, the Watertown Town Council voted unanimously to pull out of the program.
At issue was not the program itself, but rather a tangle of international politics dating back more than 90 years. From 1915 to 1923, Ottoman Turks massacred as many as 1.5 million Armenians in what is now modern-day Turkey. Armenians, historians, and some European nations have recognized the killings as genocide. But the Turkish government has refused to accept the genocide label and the national ADL refuses to use it as well.
...Foxman "should understand that the truth of any genocide is not conditional upon political relationships," said Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America in Washington, D.C. Rather, he said, it should be dictated by "truth" and "history."
...Hamparian said it spoke poorly of the ADL's national leadership that Tarsy "was not rewarded, but fired for speaking the truth..."
Full report in Boston Globe, 18th April 2007
When Hitler first proposed his final solution, he was told that the world would never permit such a mass murder. Hitler silenced his advisers by asking, "Who remembers the Armenians?"