The Algemeiner: Obama’s failure to press Erdogan to apologize for the Armenian Genocide

If Obama were true to his word as a presidential candidate in 2008 and interested in a significant success in the Middle East, he should have pushed Erdogan to reciprocate and apologize to the long-suffering Armenians for thefirst genocide in modern history, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes in an article published by The Algemeiner. 

As discussed in a resolution by the House of Representatives, this massacre is “documented with overwhelming evidence in the national archives of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, the United States, the Vatican and many other countries…”

To win support from Armenians while running for office, Sen. Obama said on January 19, 2008, “Two years ago, I criticized … the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term ‘genocide’ to describe Turkey’s slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915…. The Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence… As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian genocide resolution, and as president I will recognize the Armenian genocide.”

“But instead of working to fulfill his promise, President Obama and his administration repeatedly have avoided the term “genocide,” and worked behind the scenes to prevent Congress from recognizing it. Indeed, although in March 2010, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 23-22 on a resolution to recognize the Armenian deaths officially, the administration came out swinging,” the author writes.

After the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States and warned the Obama administration about the ramifications if a vote ever reached the House floor.

As displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as Hitler prepared to attack Poland without provocation in 1939, he dismissed objections by saying “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” setting the stage for the Holocaust. Ronald Reagan recognized this threat in 1981 when he said, “like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians, which followed it — and like too many other persecutions of too many other people — the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”

“More than 20 countries and 42 U.S. states already have recognized the events of 1915 as genocide. As Obama seeks to shape his Middle East policy and consider his legacy over the next four years, he should consider the promises he made as a young candidate and recognize a massacre that never should be forgotten,” the article concludes.

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