Top Jewish Civil Rights Group Endorses US Congressional Resolution to Recognize Genocide of Armenians by Turkey
A leading US-based Jewish civil rights group publicly endorsed on Monday a bipartisan House of Representatives resolution that recognizes the systematic genocide of the Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turkey more than a century ago.
In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) affirmed that H. Res 296 — introduced into the House of Representatives in April — was a “historic Congressional resolution…long overdue,” praising it as “an important step toward raising awareness and educating the American public about the horrific genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians during the early part of the 1900s.”
More than 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered by Turkey between 1915-23, in a killing campaign that formed the basis for the subsequent legal definition of “genocide.”
“The 20th century saw the worst episodes of genocide in recorded human history, beginning with the Armenian Genocide, through the Holocaust and all the way to the atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in the statement.
Greenblatt observed that “historians note that Hitler viewed the Armenian Genocide and the world’s indifference toward it as inspiration to launch his own genocidal campaign across Europe. We believe that remembering and educating about any genocide — Armenian, the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and others — is a necessary tool to prevent future tragedies and begins with recognition.”
Greenblatt added that the ADL hoped that the congressional resolution would “facilitate a constructive dialogue, and we encourage the Turkish government to introduce additional safeguards for protecting Turkey’s Armenian citizens and other religious minorities.”
Successive Turkish governments have prevented the Armenian genocide from gaining international recognition for several decades, and Ankara officially denies that the massacres occurred.
However, rising tensions between Western countries and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent years have provided new political opportunities for recognition of the Armenian genocide.