By Martin Demoorjian/Guest Columnist
April is the time of year when Armenians worldwide solemnly reflect on their history of persecution with special attention to the 1915 Armenian Massacres having started on April 24. The Young Turk movement, once a liberal organization that the Armenians supported, had taken control of the Ottoman Empire and then adopted a “pan-Turkism” plan espousing a singular Turkish-speaking nation.
Shortly after their surprise victory over the Allies at the Dardanelles, they fell upon the Armenians as Winston Churchill referred to their “merciless fury” unleashed upon the Christian minority. The Young Turks of the Ottoman Turkish government planned and systematically carried out a campaign of annihilation resulting in the deaths of over 1.5 million men, women, and children, and exiling a nation from its historic homeland. Uniform findings of hundreds of genocide scholars conclude that what was wrought upon the Armenians was genocide that some now call the Armenian Genocide and that is recognized as such by 28 countries and 49 of the U.S.′ 50 states, and yet for which there is no official US recognition. Acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide is opposed by Turkey’s government.
Two congressmen are launching a renewed Armenian Genocide Resolution to establish U.S. policy for the rejection of Armenian Genocide denial and the importance of Armenian Genocide education to hopefully prevent modern-day atrocities.
The Armenian Genocide recognizes and memorializes the historical fact of the Ottoman Empire’s genocidal campaign against the Christian Armenians, as well as the Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, and other religious minorities. U.S. humanitarian efforts for the 1915 Armenian Massacres was when the U.S. Congress passed the Near East Relief effort, the first of its kind legislation which provided the largest foreign relief aid up to that time.
The Jewish media has reported the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other major Jewish groups, the American Jewish Committee (AJC), The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and B’nai B’rith, adhere to a long-standing arrangement among themselves, Turkey, and Israel to deny the Armenian Genocide. Turkey can and should learn from its World War I ally Germany taking responsibility for their Nazi crimes. Evidently Turkey is unable to be honest with itself.
This is sharply contrasted by the efforts of two local synagogues, Temple Israel, Boston, and Temple Isaiah, Lexington, that sow new seeds on the Armenian Genocide among their congregations. Many American human rights, ethnic, and church organizations have supported the Armenian Genocide Resolution, including the American Jewish World Service and the Jewish War Veterans.
The ADL professes defending the human rights for all ethnic groups, insisting that people acknowledge and pass legislation on their Holocaust yet works to prevent recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Recognizing that it is their money they do not owe anyone anything, but such hypocrisy disgraces the organization. By its own actions the ADL has become a part of the issue and works to negatively impact its image and gravely discredits itself.
Such anti-Armenian efforts are corroborated in the book “Model Citizens of the State” by Jewish author, Rifat Bali, exposing various Jewish groups collaborating with Turkey to influence the United States government to not recognize the 1915 Armenian Massacres as the Armenian Genocide. It shows how some can forfeit their souls and be manipulated to do so by employing Turkey’s Jewish population to influence Jewish organizations in the Diaspora. Such is the challenge of politics.
The 20th century is marred by mass killings. From the Armenian Genocide at the start of the century, the Holocaust, to the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the atrocities in Rwanda and the decimation of the population of Darfur, crimes against humanity continue. All the while some believe that there is progress in human rights.
Martin Demoorjian lives in Marlborough.