Tuesday, August 21, 2007

AJC Executive Director David Harris Recognizes Armenian Genocide

After Foxman's statement, the American Jewish Committee, arguably the most prestigious organization representing U.S. Jewry on the national as well as international stage, for the first time recognized the killings of Armenians during WWI as genocide:
At the same time, I cannot escape the events of 1915 and the conclusions reached by credible voices, from Ambassador Morgenthau to Harvard professor Samantha Power, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem from Hell: American and the Age of Genocide, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, about the nature of what took place: it was a genocide, they determined, albeit one that occurred more than thirty years before the term was coined (see full press release).
This is a huge development whose significance cannot be overstated. It marks a major policy shift for the organization. To think that all this started from the controversy in Watertown is actually deeply inspiring. Truth and justice have triumphed over realpolitik.

It remains to be seen what the fallout will be for relations between American Jewish organizations and Turkey. To be sure, Turkish diplomacy has been dealt a serious blow. With the issue having taken center stage, neither the ADL nor AJC could any longer afford to take a "neutral" or strategic position.

Thanks to R. for the link.


Anonymous said...

Alas, the Turkish Jewish community remains unconvinced:



Anonymous said...

Interesting take by Deborah Lipstadt on her blog History on Trial:


Anonymous said...

In Turkish newspaper 'Today's Zaman' columnist Ali Aslan in a piece titled 'Time for a plan B over Genocide' says that the ADL story means its time for the Turkish Government to rethink its approach and start preparing the Turkish people.


This is fascinating and shows the impact of this issue and its unfolding.