Anti-Defamation League restates position on Armenian Genocide

Recently, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued another statement attempting to clarify its position on the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

“Because questions continue to be raised about the Anti-Defamation League’s position on the Armenian genocide, we want to make clear that as we said in August 2008, ADL recognizes the Armenian genocide,” read a statement on the ADL website’s Europe section. This new statement then recycles a 2008 ADL statement on the Armenian Genocide.

However, a 2007 statement from ADL-National Director Abraham Foxman refrains from using the proper term: Armenian Genocide. The “consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide,” stated Foxman. Furthermore, “we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States,” Foxman’s 2007 statement said.

The most recent ADL statement comes in advance of Abraham Foxman’s scheduled appearance at the Suffolk University Law School graduation on May 17. Suffolk University’s choice of Foxman as the 2014 commencement speaker has stirred controversy within the school’s student body, as well as from Armenian American organizations, who urged the university to reconsider. “Suffolk claims to embody diversity and be a place for all people, but this clearly is a speaker who does not embody those values,” Amy Willis, President of the university’s National Lawyers Guild chapter, told the Boston Globe.

The ADL’s restatement comes on the heels of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) statement on April 23 whereupon they call on the Turkish Government to “address the realities” of the Armenian Genocide.

“This is the beginning of a process to better understand if Mr. Foxman and the National ADL are sincere in turning towards a new and clear course on Armenian Genocide affirmation,” stated Assembly Board Member Anthony Barsamian. “As a graduate of Suffolk University Law School, this issue becomes ever more personal as the Armenian community of Massachusetts remains skeptical of Mr. Foxman’s position on the Armenian Genocide and efforts in Congress. Actions speak louder than words, however, given the university’s decision to proceed with Foxman, and the recent ADL statement, he now has a unique opportunity to address and make clear his organization’s position on the Armenian Genocide,” Barsamian said.

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