BEVERYLY HILLS, CA — In response to an event hosted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Beverly Hills, the Armenian Youth Federation-Western Region (AYF-WR) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Shant Student Association joined Jewcy Media in protesting ADL National Director Abraham Foxman for his continued Armenian Genocide denial. For many years, the ADL, working on behalf of the Turkish government, has refused to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and even lobbied on behalf of the Government of Turkey to prevent American governmental legislation affirming the Armenian Genocide.
Protesters held signs calling out Foxman and in statements read to the public, urged the ADL to return to its core humanitarian values in which the organization professes. Those attending the ADL event saw the protesters and signs as they entered the hotel. Several passersby asked about the protest and voiced their disagreement with Foxman.
Braving the bitter cold evening to join the protesters was Ghazaros Kademian, a 100 year old survivor of the Armenian Genocide. In a statement read by his family, he spoke about his family’s loss during the genocide and called on the US Government to swiftly adopt H.Res.106, the Armenian Genocide resolution.
Joey Kurtzman, Executive Editor of Jewcy Media, highlighted the growing awareness among the Jewish community regarding the ADL’s hypocritical stance on the Armenian Genocide and the dismay Foxman’s genocide denial is causing within the community. Jewcy Media is an online, progressive Jewish community magazine and forum.
Speaking on behalf of the AYF-WR, Arek Santikian pointed to a history of the ADL posted on its website in which the ADL professes to have learned in the 1920s that “the welfare of any one minority was intertwined with the welfare of all,” and urged today’s ADL leaders to reacquaint themselves with this lesson from their own past.
This year, under pressure from the New England community, the ADL issued a highly ambiguous statement regarding the Armenian genocide. It stated that the “consequences” of events in Turkey were “tantamount to genocide.” This duplicitous statement sidestepped the legal definition of genocide by avoiding any language that would imply intent, a critical part of the 1948 UN Genocide treaty.
In the same statement, the ADL reiterated its opposition to H.Res.106, calling it “a counterproductive diversion.” The ADL then apologized to the Prime Minister of Turkey for having put his government “in a difficult position,” expressing its “sorrow over what we have caused for the leadership and people of Turkey.” No apology has been offered to date to Armenian Genocide survivors and their heirs.
Summarizing the ironic danger posed by Foxman’s Armenian Genocide denial, Santikian noted, “his denial is a betrayal not only of the Jewish community, but is counterproductive to the ADL’s mission as his denial is empowering the next generation of Holocaust deniers who now see Foxman as a role model.”