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Letter to the Boston Globe Regarding Abraham Foxman

by Charles Sahagian — Needham, Massachusetts, May 21, 2014.

Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 01:29 PM UT


Editors' Note: The following letter was sent to the Boston Globe newspaper in Massachusetts on May 21, 2014, which has not published it.  At the request and permission of the author, the letter has been posted below in its entirety.

“The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has done considerable damage to human rights by opposing Congressional resolutions on the Armenian genocide. The ADL must repair that damage by working for the Armenian resolution.”

— Charles Sahagian

May 21, 2014

My father’s family lost 25 people in the Armenian genocide of 1915. I fought in George Patton’s 3rd Army as it advanced into Germany. It eventually reached the death camps, though I was wounded and sent home before that.  So I know something about genocide

Therefore, I reject the claim by the ADL’s Abraham Foxman (“Why I spoke at Suffolk Law’s commencement”, May 20) that he “clearly and unequivocally acknowledged [the Armenian genocide] as a reality six years ago.”

The ADL’s only definitive, formal statement was seven years ago, on Aug. 21, 2007. It used legalistic word games to skirt the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention. The statement implied that the Armenian genocide was only a “consequence” of Turkish measures rather than, as the Genocide Convention requires, “intentional”. The ADL itself must withdraw that statement and release a formal, unambiguous statement that doesn’t mince words about the Armenian genocide. 

The ADL has done considerable damage to human rights by opposing Congressional resolutions on the Armenian genocide. The ADL must repair that damage by working for the Armenian resolution.

If it is the human rights champion it claims to be, the ADL will do these things without hesitation.

Mr. Foxman also pleads for open-mindedness and freedom of speech. Yet he fired New England ADL director Andrew Tarsy in 2007 when he acknowledged the Armenian genocide.

The ADL must reverse course if it is to be credible regarding genocides and the Holocaust.

Sincerely,

Mr. Charles Sahagian
Needham, Massachusetts



Editors' Note: 
The 8 Stages of Genocide — 1. Classification, 2. Symbolization, 3. Dehumanization, 4. Organization, 5. Polarization, 6. Preparation, 7. Extermination, and 8. Denial

This is an official telegram sent by Henry Morgenthau Sr. on July 16, 1915 to what he describes a process of 'race extermination' in regards to what was happening to the Armenians at that time. Morgenthau served as the United States ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-1916. (Source: United States State Department)

This is an official telegram sent by Henry Morgenthau Sr. on July 16, 1915 to what he describes a process of 'race extermination' in regards to what was happening to the Armenians at that time. Morgenthau served as the United States ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-1916.
(Source: United States State Department)

PRESS RELEASE
Anti-Defamation League

New York, NY, August 21, 2007: Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) statement:

In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy that befell the Armenians.

We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide.

I have consulted with my friend and mentor Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and other respected historians who acknowledge this consensus.  I hope that Turkey will understand that it is Turkey's friends who urge that nation to confront its past and work to reconcile with Armenians over this dark chapter in history.

Having said that, we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.

New York, NY, August 21, 2007: Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) statement on the Armenian Genocide.

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