Culture, Politics

More on Jewish denial of the Armenian holocaust

Looks like I’m not the only one miffed about the organized Jewish community’s opposition to recognizing the Armenian genocide. Daniel Sokatch, director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, writes in the LA Times:

For the last 60 years, the Jewish community has labored to avoid granting Hitler, in the words of philosopher Emil Fackenheim, “a posthumous victory.” Jews have taken as their motto “never again,” and most tend to understand that this charge refers to all of humanity, not only to fellow Jews. One of the last surviving leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Simha “Kazik” Rotem, once said that the central lesson of the Holocaust to him was that the Jewish people should stand vigilant against genocidal acts directed at any people.
This is why it is troubling that some major Jewish organizations have lined up in support of Turkey’s efforts to keep the U.S. Congress from recognizing the Armenian massacres as an act of genocide. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and B’nai B’rith International recently conveyed a letter from the Turkish Jewish community opposing a resolution recognizing the genocide.
The ADL and the JINSA also added their own statements of opposition, suggesting that the massacre of Armenians was a matter for historians, not legislators, to decide.
The American Jewish community has insisted, and rightly so, that the U.S. Congress, the United Nations and other governmental bodies formally commemorate the Holocaust. Why should Jews not insist on the same in this case, especially given the widespread scholarly consensus that what happened to the Armenians from 1915 to 1923 was genocide? After all, the man who coined the term “genocide” to refer to the Holocaust — the Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin — cited the Armenian massacres as a precedent.

Full story.

15 thoughts on “More on Jewish denial of the Armenian holocaust

  1. This is exactly what LA needs more of – people standing up for some clear ethical standards.
    I ran the LA office of the Natl. Fnd. for Jewish Culture before we had to close down (basically the office imploded bec. our ent. industry side and big-time board members (basically old Jewish money, real estate, and other multi-million business I couldn’t understand. How the hell do they make so much money!!!) never were able to really work together – the ent. industry culture is too closed off and rich LA Jews lives in their sealed Westside/BH worlds too. So let’s just say, Hollywood and the mainstream ent. Jewish “herd” mentality is as strong as ever.

  2. Didn’t Hitler propose that he could get away with the slaughter of Europe’s Jews by asking “Who remembers the Armenians?”
    For the ADL to oppose this is doubly appalling.

  3. The interesting thing is that even Israelis almost all agree that the Aremenian Holocaust (äùåàä äàøîðéú – that’s what its called here) happened and should be commemorated. Its the arms deals with Turkey and regional diplomacy that prevent the political establishment to acknowledge the simple truth. So the ADL and AJC are not acting in the interests of the Jewish community: they are acting in the interests of the Israeli government. hm.

  4. I don’t understand why the Turks have to act like the Japanese and try to deny long-ago wrongs that were committed by an entirely different government.
    Modern-day Germans seem to do a pretty good job of distancing themselves from their Nazi past. Why can’t the Turks distance themselves from their Ottoman past and the Japanese distance themselves from their imperial past?
    Any historians who want to enlighten me?

  5. I agree that if we continue to advocate Holocaustism, we would have to be consistent. Which is politically not in the interest of the Zionist Entity, and yet another reason to DROP HOLOCAUSTISM.

  6. hey it’s all good guys. once Turkey goes Islamist in the next decade and severs all ties with the US and Israel, we’ll no longer have to keep up this pathetic charade.

  7. Maybe, Rootless, but you got the vocab. And don’t think I don’t know who is the upcoming young caustic queen of the moderate Old Yiddish Left.

  8. mobius – I practically live across the street from you. Leave a comment on my blog and I’ll send you my phone number.

  9. It is a difficult situation ethically, politically and morally for the Israeli Government. Turkey is the only Muslim nation that maintains normal relations with Israel. Currently, Turkey is a secular state that shares common interests with Israel. The ethical dilemma: do you condemn the actions of the Ottoman Empire and early Republic of Turkey that occured decades earlier and potentially risk important “realpolitik” ties between the two countries? Israel, unfortunately, has few allies and cannot afford to lose them. Personally, I believe that what happened to the Armenians was genocide and should be accounted for by the Turks. The Pontic Greeks and Christian Assyrians were also victims of genocide and need to remembered as well. The bottom line is that while on the individual level the correct ethical response is self evident, on the national (or existential) level it is not always clear. Hopefully, some day the reality will be different but I am not optimistic as long as ethnic hatreds continue.

  10. rootless–
    700,000 turks protested in favor of separation of mosque and state this week. islamicization seems further than 10 years off. UNLESS we bomb iran. in which case it could happen tomorrow.

  11. NB: the article was co-authored by Professor David Myers, who directs UCLA’s Center for Jewish Studies. It’s relevant that this challenge came not only from the progressive political world but also from the academic world. There’s simply no moral or intellectual credibility in denying the Armenian genocide.
    And then there were the Assyrian and, by some accounts, Pontic Greek genocides, too….

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