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No Place for Lies -- Either!
Common Sense

The New England Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Andrew Tarsy, would have us believe that they are honest and neutral brokers, with respect to the Armenian Genocide. According to Tarsy, Abraham Foxman and the ADL never lobbied against a congressional genocide resolution. Rather, they just told inquiring media minds: “… that this issue was one to be resolved by the two countries---Turkey and Armenia”.

Under scrutiny however, Tarsy’s aforementioned claim, seems to fall apart.

The Turkish News website (Today’s Zaman) reported the following on April 26th 2007:

“In a letter addressing influential members of US Congress,… US-based Jewish groups demanded that voting on congressional resolutions urging the US administration to recognize an alleged genocide of Armenians be delayed”.

“The letter was jointly signed by B'nai B'rith International, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs ….”

This testimony is corroborated by Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (4/23/07). Kampeas reports as follows:

“…Four groups "B'nai B'rith International, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs are set to convey a letter from Turkish Jews who oppose the resolution to U.S. congressional leaders. The ADL and JINSA have added their own statements opposing the bill”.

Joey Kurtzman, pundit for Jewcy.com also adds a new wrinkle in his column:

“Fire Foxman--Denying the Armenian Genocide should be the last atrocity perpetrated by the ADL chief.”

According to Kurtzman, Abdullah Gul (Turkish Foreign Minister) met with Foxman and others in February 2007. Kurtzman asserts that at the said meeting, Gul asked them

“in essence, to perpetuate Turkey’s denial of genocide”.

Kurtzman goes on to say that Foxman

“..acquiesced, and in so doing, performed the pièce de résistance of Foxman’s highly effective, if unintentional, decades-long campaign to demoralize Jewish America and send young Jews scurrying for the communal exit doors”.

These sources do not paint a particularly pretty picture. Let us ponder the brushstrokes in review. A Turkish news site practically boasts that the ADL lobbied Congress. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency corroberates the story. And if Kurtzman’s allegations of the February 07 meeting are true, the lobbying was done at the behest of the Turkish government.

Regrettably, there is no shortage of incriminating information about the ADL’s treatment of Armenians. One just needs to do a ‘Google’ search. Cyberspace is swarming with article after article-- editorial after editorial. All sides are weighing in with their indictments; including those the ADL claims to represent. One cannot help but conclude: At the very least, the ADL has a long history of marginalizing the Armenian experience.

According to the Jewish Journal, in November of 1998, the ADL and other Jewish groups took out an ad (Nov.8,, New York Sunday Times) congratulating the Turkish Republic on its 75th anniversary. That’s understandable. Post-Ottoman Turkey assisted Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. The ADL promotes Holocaust awareness and rightly recognizes those who aided Jewish refugees. Therefore, it would follow that the ADL would observe the founding of the Turkish Republic.

But that appreciation morphed from being understandable to becoming outrageous! Commenting on some criticism related to the ad, Foxman said:

“…It [Turkey] has a magnificent history of tolerance”.

Granted, Foxman was referring to historic Judeo-Turkish relations. However, denying the slaughter of 1.5 million people does not indicate “a magnificent history of tolerance”. At least not where the sensibilities of Armenians are concerned! It only indicates a shameful tolerance of Ottoman atrocities.

It’s a sad but undeniable conclusion. The ADL overlooks and excuses Turkey’s genocide denial. It’s deplorable and contradictory. Nevertheless it’s their Constitutional right to do so. However, it’s time for them to stop the elaborate masquerade. The ADL is supposed to cultivate tolerance and advance human rights. It should stop acting like a self-serving lobby, wearing its social conscience only as an ornate costume.

The ADL’s behavior has other unintended consequences. The rapport between the Armenian and Jewish communities is being strained. And therein lies the distressing irony. The ADL, who’s so devoted to fighting anti-Semitism, is actually fostering resentment amongst Armenians towards Jews. So much for promoting “No Place to Hate”!

Speaking of which, our local ADL surrogate, “No Place to Hate”, attempts to evade complicity by claiming autonomy. Instead of trumpeting their independence, why don’t they prove it by repudiating Foxman. Surely, his historical disregard for the Armenian experience, warrants a stern response; especially from those on the “No Place to Hate” soapbox!

On the subject of local entities, there’s another group avoiding the “No Place to Hate” issue. The Town Council better jump off this runaway “Love Train”, before anymore of the peoples business get derailed. It’s time to rescind the proclamation, take down the silly sign, and withdraw from this unnecessary program.

Watertown has never been, is not now, and never will be a place to hate. And we don’t need the Abraham Foxman, the ADL, or its ancillaries to say so!

John DiMascio

Communications Director
Watertown Citizens for Common Sense Government

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