The Armenian Genocide resolution was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today, January 30, 2007, reports Associated Press via Los Angeles Times.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have introduced a resolution urging the government to recognize as genocide the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians at the end of World War I.

Turkey has adamantly denied claims by scholars that its predecessor state, the Ottoman government, caused the Armenian deaths in a genocide. The Turkish government has said the toll is wildly inflated, and Armenians were killed or displaced in civil unrest during the disarray surrounding the empire’s collapse.

After French lawmakers voted in October to make it a crime to deny that the killings were a genocide, Turkey said it would suspend military relations with France. Turkey provides vital support to U.S. military operations. Incirlik Air Force Base, a major base in southern Turkey, has been used by the U.S. to launch operations into Iraq and Afghanistan and was a center for U.S. fighters that enforced the “no-fly zones” that kept the Iraqi air force bottled up after the 1991 Gulf War.

The resolution (H. Res. 106) calls “upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other purposes.” The full text of the resolution is available online.

Interestingly, one of the first to respond to the reintroduction of the Genocide resolution was Armenia’s tiny Jewish community. According to Global Jewish News,

Leaders of Armenia’s small Jewish community praised the resolution and expressed solidarity with the approximately 1.5 million ethnic Armenians killed between 1915-17, “because the histories of our people are similar and we too have gone through discrimination, tragedy and a genocide.”

This is perhaps in response to some Jewish groups (especially from Turkey) that lobby against the Genocide resolution, although at least one cosponsor of the resolution is of the Jewish faith. Israeli scholar Yair Auron’s “Banality of Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide,” which I finished reading last week, states that the resolution was pulled out in 2000 because Shimon Perez had written a letter to Clinton saying that Jewish lives in Turkey would be under danger if it passed. But more recently, a former Turkish FBI translator has claimed that then House speaker Hastert pulled out the resolution because he was bribed by nationalist Turkish groups in America.