Appendix 3: Statements by Jewish Americans supporting the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and criticizing the ADL’s opposition to it

“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.”

Daniel Sokatch, Executive Director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance
David N. Myers, Professor and Director, UCLA Center for Jewish Studies
The Los Angeles Times
May 1, 2007

“For a non-profit like the ADL, which in fact has done important work to combat not just anti-Semitism but other forms of ethnocentrism and racism, to shill for Holocaust-deniers (yes, the Armenian genocide can fairly be called a Holocaust) is inexcusable.”

Mark Oppenheimer
Huffington Post
July 10, 2007

“Yes, Turkey is Israel's best friend in the Muslim world. But apart from the improbability of that country severing its relations with either Israel or the United States, we must ask whether supporting those who falsify and distort the historical record is ever in our or their interests.

. . . Foxman should follow the logic of his own statement and take the essential next step of supporting HR 106 . . . In parallel, our local Anti-Defamation League board should either announce its support for HR 106 . . . or renounce the organization's declared mission ‘to secure justice and fair treatment to all.’”

David N. Myers, Professor and Director, UCLA Center for Jewish Studies
The Jewish Journal
August 31, 2007

“There is legislation in Congress to declare the truth about this genocide. I’ve heard the argument that an American declaration would be counterproductive because the point is to quietly encourage Turkey to come to terms with her past – on her own.
That would be good, but it is surely not the point. The point is – for the victims, for their families and for history – to say the truth.

Jews cannot be therapists here. But we can be Jews. And the Jews of America, especially now, need to do what Henry Morgenthau and Absolom Feinberg knew to do.

We need to reverse our missteps, to lobby Congress, and to strike a blow against Armenian genocide denial.”

Charles Jacobs
President, The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership
The Jewish Advocate
August 31, 2007

“In fact, an American resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide protects Jews, including the 26,000 Jews in Turkey as well as all ethnic, religious and other minorities, as it places the world’s sole superpower firmly against such atrocities. It frankly boggles the mind that any Jewish group could possibly justify any sort of minimization of atrocities committed against another group.”

Mitchell Plitnick
Director of Education and Policy,
Jewish Voice for Peace
September 27, 2007

“It may be politically expedient to deny the Armenian genocide but it's morally wrong.

As the daughter of Czech Jews whose families were murdered during the Holocaust, [I understand] not only the facts of destruction of life, culture and community, but the long-term psychological ramifications of genocide and the healing power of validation.

. . . ‘It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator,’ writes Judith Lewis Herman. The perpetrator asks nothing of us but to be silent. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement and remembering.

The head of the ADL has chosen not to do this. As a Jew who understands what this means, [I urge] that No Place for Hate sever ties with the ADL.”

Helen Epstein, Author of “Children of the Holocaust”
Lexington, Massachusetts Board of Selectmen Meeting
October 15, 2007