Archive for October, 2007
When asked to stop denying the Armenian Genocide, the ADL leader Abraham Foxman, in his own words, had “sleepless nights.”
But it wasn’t the thought about the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians that kept Foxman awake; nor the reflections on murdered children scattered all around the Syrian desert. In fact, the suffering of the Armenians was the last thing Foxman had in his mind.
What had “shocked” him, says Foxman, was that many Jews in Boston had “criticize[d] us” – the Anti-Defamation League.
He was shocked that Jews would protest a Jewish organization for denying the Armenian Genocide. Now try to convince me that Foxman is not being an anti-Semite in his statement. He thinks that there is a Jewish conspiracy that cares about nothing else but the good of Israel? He thinks that the Jews of Boston should tolerate genocide denial by the ADL because the latter supposedly works for Israel? Read his interview and make up your own mind.
JTA: Did you do anything wrong in the controversy over whether to describe as genocide the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks?
FOXMAN: I didn’t do anything wrong. I miscalculated. We said it is a massacre, an atrocity, we’ve said it for 40 years. The Armenians wanted us to say genocide. To me it was sufficient for us to say I’m not a historian we don’t adjudicate all the issues. What I miscalculated was the Jewish community. I respect the Armenian community for wanting their memory, their pain, their suffering to be recognized globally in the most sensitive way or the most meaningful way. So we said it is an atrocity and it is massacre, but we just don’t think that Congress should adjudicate it. What I did not suspect was where the Jewish community was.
I was shocked, upset, frightened by the fact that this was an issue where Jews were attacking us. It’s one thing for the federation director or the CRC director or for Jewish pundits to support the Armenian position, but to criticize us, to organize against us, that shocked me….
We are a community in transition. I believe in Hillel; I think this agency is an expression of the Hillel thesis [If I am only for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I?]. In fact, our founding fathers had this vision in 1915, to defend the Jewish people and to protect the right of all individuals. But there is one and two. To me, it was very clear; there are moral imperatives here, the moral imperative to feel somebody else’s pain, to recognize their anguish, and the moral imperative that is the safety and the security of the Jewish community.
I don’t believe that the Turkish government tomorrow will go and take it out on the Jews. But the Turkish Jewish community came to the United States, met with Jewish representatives, and asked them to transmit a letter on this issue. It was very clear to me what the interests of the Jewish community in Turkey are. It was also very clear to me that after the United States the most important ally Israel has is Turkey. It’s a country that not only has promised to provide Israel with water until moshiach comes, but it’s a country that permits Israel’s pilots to do maneuvers over its land. And, so, to me, it was very clear that there are two moral issues, but one trumps the other. And it was clear to me that I cannot save one Armenian human being, not one. But if I do what the Armenians want me to do, I will put in jeopardy the lives of Turkish Jews and Israeli Jews.
What I didn’t realize was to what extent the American Jewish community has reversed Hillel, or at least in Boston and Massachusetts. That comes out of a changed demography, sociology. When we talk about assimilation, when we talk about intermarriage — you know what, that’s what it is.
So that’s one thing I misread. Two, I misread something else. Israel is no longer as significant. Some of this stuff I read and hear about in Boston was: “Why do we have to sacrifice our relationship with our Armenian friends and neighbors for Israel.” I heard people say to me if the [Jews in Turkey] are in trouble, let them leave. That’s what I miscalculated.
Then I turned around, and I got made fun of for it, and said we need unity now because Iran is a threat, Hamas is a threat, Hezbollah is a threat. [There’s] anti-Semitism in Europe and Latin America. The last thing we need now is for [Boston Jewish leaders] Barry Shrage and Nancy Kaufman to be fighting us.
JTA: Given your concerns about Turkey, why did you reverse yourself on the use of the word genocide?
FOXMAN: I need, you need, we need a strong unified Jewish community to help Israel. And if we begin splintering…. I gave [in] for the greater purpose so that we can now sit and talk together. It almost destroyed our operation in Boston. And in the greater scheme of things, to go from massacres and atrocities to genocide, OK.
You know what? I’ve had sleepless nights about it.
Foreign relations Committee calls WWII Killing of Jews “Genocide”
September 24, 2022,
Los Angeles, CA
Aris Janigian—staff writer
On Wednesday, September 23, The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 27 to 21 to condemn as genocide the mass killings of Jews in Germany during World War II. New Germany reacted angrily, recalling its ambassador from Washington and threatening to withdraw its support for the continuing War on Terror.
“America has crossed a line with this resolution,” Foreign Minister Helmut Gottschalk said. “Petty domestic politics has trumped American national interests. The New German people can only take so much insult. We will see our next steps.”
It was a harsh rebuke from one of America’s closest allies, and sent shock waves through the White House. The resolution comes at a time when the United States is actively drumming up support for the War on Terror, and two deputies in the State Department departed for Berlin immediately after the vote in an attempt to forestall a diplomatic disaster. At home, Secretary of State Candid Price called the resolutionStill Waiting for Recognition: For the few remaining survivors of the Jewish tragedy, this year’s resolution may be the last chance “irresponsible.”
In a Rose Garden press conference President Hernandez acknowledged the Jewish tragedy, but sternly warned against the resolution. “This is not the right time or the right place for this kind of resolution,” Hernandez said.
Jews, along with the large majority of historians outside New Germany, say that from 1939 to 1945 the German Nationalist Socialist Party carried out a systematic campaign to kill as many as six million Jews in Europe. They claim the killings amounted to “genocide,” a term that the New German government fiercely rejects.
New Germany acknowledges that between 1 and 1.6 million Jews died during the war, but contends that a vast majority of those deaths occurred in the throes of war when disease and starvation was widespread. According to New Germany the intent to exterminate Jews is historically unfounded. “There was a context for these events. Many Germans died and suffered as well, far exceeding the number of Jews. These were the sad unintended consequences of war.”
Since the establishment of New Germany, the influential Jewish American lobby has sought acknowledgment of their ancestors’ suffering. The authors of the resolution are from heavily Jewish districts in California and Florida and New York. They note that the United States must recognize the Jewish tragedy while the few remaining survivors are still alive.
Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Gregory Demerdjian, a descendent of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, said, “These events must be characterized for what they were: genocide. It is well documented in our own national archives that genocide of Jews occurred during the Second World War. This is merely an acknowledgment of America’s own understanding of the events during that time. None of this should be construed to mean that New Germany is in the least responsible for these deaths.” Demerjian said that he would soon introduce a resolution reinforcing America’s strong and lasting relationship with the New Germany.
The Jewish tragedy is a sensitive issue in New Germany. Under a progressive movement called “Identity Reformation,” the New Germans have radically reconsidered what an older generation had taken for granted. Historians in New Germany argue that between the First and Second World War Germany was caught between JewishTaking Pride in Our Past: The New German government has insisted that the alleged genocide is simply not consistent with the nobility of German history industrialists and Jewish socialists intent on overthrowing the German state. “They wanted to destroy the country from within,” said New German Ambassador Norbert Sommer. “It was a difficult time. Everyone regrets the death of Jews, but wartime choices had to be made to save Germany’s very existence.”
Today, New Germany rejects the verdicts of the Nuremberg Trials that found members of the Nazi party guilty of war crimes, pointing out that Germans admitted to those crimes under duress from the prosecuting Allies. “No document has ever been produced that shows that Hitler ordered the extermination of Jews,” Sommer said. “Indeed, many attempts were made by Germans at the time to find a safe harbor for Jews, including some negotiations with Zionists in Europe. It is a total fallacy that there was anything resembling genocide.”
Members of the House committee who voted against the resolution characterized it as unwarranted “meddling” in a foreign state’s accounting of its own past. Representative Stefan Kohler said, “Maybe it was a genocide, maybe it wasn’t. None of us here are historians. This was 92 years ago. All I know is that passage of the bill would cause real-time harm to real people.”
Democratic Representative Richard Wechsler had stronger words: “You’d think with the War on Terror ongoing and all, the congress would find something better to do than rummage through the trash bin of history. What congress should be acknowledging is that when the rest of Europe has turned its back on America, New Germany has stood strong by our side.”
After WWII, America provided Old Germany with massive economic support under the Marshall plan. Old Germany remained a strong ally of the United States, and in 2112 it began an accelerated militarization program. Virtually one-third of New Germany’s GDP is devoted to military expenditure.
Since 2017, when President Harold Jones stepped up the War on Terror, America’s relationship to the European Union has been severely strained. Germany is one of the only European countries with which the United States has strong diplomatic and military ties.
Under penal code 3001, a number of writers have been prosecuted and convicted for “insulting Germanness” after using the term “genocide” or “holocaust ” to refer to the Jewish tragedy. In 2020, New German dissidents attempted to organize an academic conference in order to revisit the events of 1939-45 from a “Jewish perspective.” The conference was cancelled when then-Foreign-Minister Helmut Gottschalk called the organizers “traitors.”
Some Parliamentarians of the European Union, of which New Germany remains a nominal member, have argued that Germany should be censured for its view towards the Jewish tragedy. Other countries have decided to stay neutral, sharing the position of the United States that the events of that time should be left to historians to sort out.
“Let bygones by bygones,” said Roland Young, Secretary of Defense. “In a time of war, the United States has precious few allies. We respect history, but the life of our society depends upon our strategic position vis-à-vis our enemies today.”
Some Jews in New Germany say the house resolution would be counter-productive. Chief Rabbi of Munich Abraham Grynszpan said, “New Germany must come to terms with its own history. We resist pressure from foreign countries to set a timetable.” Members of the Jewish community in America believe that German-Jews are defending their dwindling numbers inside Germany, and yet others believe that the existence of Israel is in peril should they speak out.
New Germany has no diplomatic ties with Israel, and has repeatedly called on Israel to renounce its “genocide” claims. Its satellite state of New Lebanon has closed its borders with Israel.
Last year, some diplomats perceived a softening in the New German stance when it called on Israel to establish a joint commission to study the wartime atrocities, but that perception has since been altered. In January of this year Herschel Mintz, the ethnic Jewish editor-in-chief of the New German daily Agon was murdered in the streets of Berlin for attention he drew to the Jewish tragedies. The accused murderer, a 17-year-old German, is currently on trial for the crime, but human rights groups believe that the New German Deep Police were accomplices to the murder, and prosecutors claim that evidence was been destroyed.
In 2021, New German novelist Otwin Polk was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. In an explosive interview with an Italian newspaper, he said “In New Germany today, nobody but me speaks of the killing of over six million Jews.” Today Polk lives in exile.
The head of ADL
Armenian Defamation League Abraham Foxman has posted a press release on the ADL website condemning the Yerevan State University for honoring Iran’s president Ahmadenijadiad with a degree.
Despite the fact that Iran’s president really needed a degree, I also find the State University’s honor to a person who denies the Holocaust to be a wrong deed.
But for Foxman, a devoted friend of Turkish officials who deny the Armenian Genocide and a genocide denier himself, to condemn the University is pretty ironic, isn’t it? Oh, and why doesn’t Foxman support Armenia’s Jewish community when it comes to the latter’s call for a formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. Congress?
ADL Supports Armenian Jewish Community In Condemnation Of Yerevan State University
New York, NY, October 30, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed support for the Armenian Jewish Community in their condemnation of Yerevan State University, which recently honored Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with an honorary doctorate and a medal.
“It is disgraceful for a reputable institution of higher learning to honor a man who routinely compromises the rights of Iranian citizens, and especially students and academics,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We commend the Armenian Jewish Community for speaking out against this poor judgment on the part of Yerevan State University.
“It is one thing to provide a forum to speak, as universities are environments where freedom of speech should be promoted and encouraged,” said Mr. Foxman. “However, it is quite another to confer degrees and awards on a dictator who denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Such tributes should be reserved for those academics and world leaders who rightfully deserve them.”
UPDATE: Just noticed that our friends at Jewcy.com have a similar entry on Foxman, titled “More Foxman Irony.”
An article in Israel’s Haaretz writes that members of Israel’s legislature had met with the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives a week after the committee passed the Armenian Genocide resolution to advise on the future of the resolution:
Two and a half weeks ago the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee decided to recognize the Armenian genocide – that Turkey had perpetrated genocide against its Armenian population. The harsh Turkish response to this decision, and the pressure exerted by Turkey, resulted in the decision to not bring it before Congress for approval, and this worsened the crisis even more. The Knesset, it turns out, was a party to the pressure.
A week after the House Committee’s decision, a meeting was held in Washington as part of the joint security dialogue between the U.S. Congress and the Knesset, led by Republican Senator John Kyle of Arizona and MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud). The MKs also met with the committee, and the representatives asked the Israelis what they thought of their decision; if they should continue with the process of recognizing the Armenian holocaust; and about the status of relations between Turkey and Israel.
Steinitz replied that cooperation between Israel and Turkey is very good. Regarding choosing between the issue of relations with Turkey and clarifying historical truth, Steinitz has no doubts as to which the Americans should favor.
“The massacres happened 90 years ago, during the Ottoman Period, but today there are only two Muslim countries that are partners in the war on terror, and who maintain joint efforts with the United States and Israel: Turkey and Jordan,” Steinitz said. “Turkey deserves a commendation.”
Steinitz added that Turkey made a suggestion that seems reasonable: to establish an international committee of historians, before whom both parties would open their archives.
Among the delegation of MKs was Meretz-Yahad Chair Yossi Beilin. When Beilin was deputy foreign minister in 1994, he told the Knesset plenum that what had happened was genocide; had aroused deep anger in Turkey; and had become the darling of the Armenians. Beilin also told the members of Congress that there is no doubt that there was a genocide. Still, he did not demand that they continue with the recognition process. Beilin noted that they have to consider the risk to relations with Turkey, as well as the fact that Israel has been drawn into this conflict.
The truth is that even before the Congressional committee’s decision, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met with Steinitz during a visit to Israel, and ask Steinitz’s assistance in opposing the decision. Steinitz says that he mentioned this, of his own volition, to several congressmen. He believes that the Israeli position influenced the shelving of the committee’s decision. The Armenian holocaust will have to wait for a time when Turkey’s strategic importance declines.
via Yesoudo, an ad for a rap party in Armenia’s capital Yerevan says “gays and animals are not allowed.”
What caught my attention most, though, is not the American-flagized blond nor the homophobic message but the name of the party (rap group?) – Hin Jugha (Old Djulfa). This is the historic Armenian place where Azerbaijan destroyed thousands of stone-crosses in December of 2005. What do homophobia, rap and Old Djulfa have to do with each other?
It is rare for an international organization such as OSCE – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – to post news on its website that are entirely made up. I must say, my bet.
At least until October 25, 2007, OSCE’s Combating Human Trafficking website – http://www.osce.org/cthb/ – listed the Huliq.com article that tells of Armenia’s new law aiming at identifying and saving human trafficking victims on airplanes before take off. I must say, I had written the article and had made it up. Armenia, unfortunately, has no such a law.
But Armenia has way over a hundred legislators, so I decided to make up a law for them and quote at least one parliamentarian, who seems most progressive, as the co-sponsor of a law that would require distributing information about human trafficking to all passengers leaving/connecting in Armenia’s Zvartnots International Airport.
I posted it at Blogian, then submitted to Huliq. The news went to many around the world through www.news.google.com and got republished through Groong.com, AraManoogian.blogspot.com and others. Ironically, the made-up article wrote about something similar tha was supposebly made up by me months ago. It was ALL made up.
But what was not made up was my helplessness and depression in fighting human trafficking. What was not made up was and is my anger at Armenia’s total ignorance and neglect of thousands of women and children who are being stolen out of Armenia for forced sexual oppression.
And what is still true is that no politician in Armenia – left or right, in power or in prison – cares about human trafficking. And even the widely perceived progressive legislator didn’t comment on his fabricated co-sponsorship of a bill that never existed. I guess it was a good PR for Armenia’s government in the eyes of OSCE and others – something totally different from my intention.
So, no, dear OSCE, Armenia has no law fighting human trafficking. Armenia gives nothing but fuck for the brutalized and oppressed women and children suffering in Dubai, Turkey and who knows where.
Where is the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenians from Human Trafficking anyways?
LINK (cashed by Google): http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:MZQ9oA1VU6sJ:www.osce.org/cthb/+%22Armenian+parliament+passes+act+on+human+trafficking%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us&ie=UTF-8
David Boyajian, whose letter to an editor sparked local and national outrage against Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for its denial of the Armenian Genocide, has now written a guest column that deals with a local ADL member’s opposition to an Armenian Genocide memorial. A powerful column.
The magnificent New Center for Arts and Culture, sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston, will probably soon rise on Boston’s new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
But suppose – hypothetically – that the chairperson of the Greenway Conservancy, which is charged with the future maintenance of the Greenway, had been impeding final approval of the New Center’s construction. Suppose, too, that he or she was a leading member of a Holocaust denying organization that also opposed Holocaust resolutions in Congress. Impossible, you say?
Probably, but the Armenian Heritage Park is actually undergoing just such an ordeal. The Mass. Pike, which owns the Greenway, approved the Armenian Park in 2005, but construction has been held up, mostly by Greenway Conservancy chairperson Peter Meade.
Meade sits on the board of the New England Anti-Defamation League (ADL). As the national and international media have reported, ADL has worked with Turkey to deny the Armenian genocide of 1915-23 and to defeat Armenian genocide affirmation by Congress.
It is a conflict of interest, therefore, for a person with strong ADL ties to sit in judgment of anything Armenian.
Peter Meade – he’s Catholic, not Jewish – is a long time Vice-President of Blue Cross Blue Shield and travels in Boston’s elite corporate and political circles. He is an outspoken supporter of Israel, whose government has log aligned itself with Turkey in refusing to recognize the Armenian genocide.
Interestingly, Meade was instrumental in getting Blue Cross to fund ADL’s “No Place for Hate” anti-bias programs, which are now mired in scandal because of ADL’s genocide denials. Blue Cross was the first company that ADL certified as “No Place for Hate.”
Why does Meade oppose the Armenian Park? He says that Conservancy policy bans “memorials” on the Greenway. Part of the Armenian Park will, indeed, commemorate both the Armenian genocide and all genocides.
However, the alleged “no-memorials” policy has never been written down or formalized, and the Mass Pike itself has no such policy. Indeed, there are or will be many memorials on, next to, and near the Greenway.
For example, the Greenway’s Chinatown Park contains the Tiananmen Square Massacre memorial. A memorial for community leader Mary Sou Hou is in the works.
The Greenway’s North End Park has a lengthy Memorial Railing that will honor the neighborhood’s past Irish, Italian, Jewish, and other immigrants. Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Brennan is promoting a Mother’s Memorial Walkway with named bricks in the Wharf District Parks.
The Greenway itself memorializes the venerated Kennedy matriarch, while underneath runs the Tip O’Neill tunnel.
Christopher Columbus Park, which abuts the Greenway, contains the Beirut U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, the Frank S. Christian Memorial, and the Rose Kennedy Memorial Garden honoring the Gold Star Mothers of WW II.
It looks like the Conservancy’s “no memorials” policy may be a “no Armenians” policy.
Steps from the Greenway are the Holocaust Memorial’s six towers of glass 54 feet high with steam rising from subterranean chambers named after concentration camps. The memorial also commemorates Poles and other victims of Nazi Germany. It is impressive, somber, and moving.
Nearby are the 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fighters Memorial, the Irish Famine Memorial, and other memorials too numerous to mention.
The Armenian Park and a wide-ranging human rights lecture series at Fanueil Hall are permanently endowed by the Massachusetts Armenian community and endorsed by the North End/Waterfront Residents Association.
It has been alleged that the Armenian Park would be out of place as too ethnic. Yet the Greenway’s Chinatown Park will, quite properly, feature various Asian cultural elements, including waterfalls and streams based on Feng Shui.
The New Center, “rooted in Jewish culture,” was designed and funded by Jews. Its director and board are Jewish. Every event it has held thus far, in non-Greenway venues, has centered on a Jewish theme, such as the 1933 Nazi Book Burning. The New Center will surely also be commemorating the Holocaust in many ways, and rightly so.
Thus the Greenway does have ethnic projects.
We forgot to mention that Peter Meade was instrumental in having the world famous bridge near the northern end of the Greenway named after Lenny Zakim, the late, respected regional ADL director. He also co-chaired its Dedication Committee and is an advisor to the Lenny Zakim Fund. Not surprisingly, Meade has won ADL’s prestigious Chairperson’s Award.
We should also add that national ADL’s recent alleged acknowledgment of the genocide, which implied that Turkey did not intend to kill Armenians, knowingly contravened the UN’s official 1948 definition of genocide.
Peter Meade is an accomplished and generous man, and I am not accusing him or anyone of impropriety. However, a top ADL leader must recuse himself from any matter relating to Armenians. This is unfortunate but necessary.
Why should you care about any of this? Fairness. And your taxes, after all, paid for the Big Dig, which created the Greenway.
Meanwhile, the ADL and kindred organizations need to halt their Turkish-organized proxy war against the Armenian people.
Our friend Art Tonoyan from iArarat.com has published an interesting opinion piece on the Armenian Genocide resolution at Wacotrib.
Some 90 years ago the Ottoman Turkish government set out in the most thorough fashion to destroy its Christian minorities. But the brunt of the Turkish ire fell on Armenian Christians.
Death came in many guises. As a result, some 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were killed — nearly two-thirds of all Armenians in Turkey.
You might ask why I care.
By chance or providence, my grandparents managed to survive the massacres.
“Apparently, some Turks think that by attacking the Armenians in Brussels they can convince the world that the Turks never committed a genocide of the Armenians,” writes Paul Belien for rhw Brussels Journal (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2588).
Apparently, “On Sunday night Turkish youths in Sint-Joost destroyed the pub of Peter Petrossian, an ethnic Armenian who had to flee for his life.”
The United States Postal Service has issued two stamps commemorating the Armenian Genocide and urging Recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic…NOT!
But YOU CAN. I just created the above stamps from http://www.yourstamps.com, ordered 40 copies of the Genocide stamp and 20 copies of the Artsakh stamp. These stamps are as valid as the ones with the American flag. There are other options of creating your own stamps that you can find about at http://www.usps.com/postagesolutions/customizedpostage.htm (for US residents only).
Takuhi Ghasapian (later Maghakian) is my great-grandmother, and if you wonder who is she looking at – the answer is me. This is the one and only photograph with me and my great-grandma (taken in 1986) who survived the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire with the help of a kind Turkish woman.
If you live in Canada, you can do the same by visiting https://www.picturepostage.ca/picpostageprod/DispatcherServlet?op=welcome_public&lang=ENGLISH; if in France, visit http://tpp.laposte.fr/accueil.pgi?cmd=afficher; and if in UK, visit http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/content2?mediaId=3800008&catId=5200022.
If you want to use my designed stamps, send me an e-mail at email@example.com and I will send you the contents for free.
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