Sunday, August 26, 2007

The ADL, Jews, Turks and Armenians:

Further to my post here, Mick Hartley has this to say:

As the Jewish Anti-Defamation League dither about the Armenian Genocide - first appeasing the Turks, then, in the face of mounting protests, changing their mind - Turkey's Prime Minister threatens to return the 'Courage to Care' award presented to him by the ADL in 2005 in honour of Turkish diplomats who played a role in saving Jews during World War II:

Speaking to journalists last night PM Erdogan answered questions about his phone
conversation with Israeli President Shimon Peres and said: “I called Mr. Peres
to express our disappointment. I told him that if ADL does not make the
necessary correction, I will return the award they gave me. On one hand, they
give an award to Turkish prime minister out of appreciation, on the other hand
they declare that they recognize Armenian genocide claims. ‘If this is the case
I have no use for their award; I will give it back’.

It's hard not to feel at least some sympathy for the ADL and its national director Abraham Foxman, despite calls for his
resignation. Why antagonise Israel's only ally in the region for the sake of a cause which, frankly, isn't theirs? But of course this goes beyond realpolitik:

"It is obscene for us, of all people, to quibble about definitions," one prominent California rabbi recently told the Jewish Journal.

To the ADL's credit, they've reached the right decision. No credit whatsoever, though, to
the Turks:

The Turkish government is pressuring Israel in an effort to reverse an
American Jewish organization's decision to recognize Turkey's massacre of
Armenians during World War I as genocide.

A meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Israel's
ambassador to Ankara, Pinhas Avivi, became "shrill," according to Foreign
Ministry sources in Jerusalem. Gul expressed Ankara's "anger and disappointment"
over the matter.

On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League announced that it recognizes the
events in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were massacred as "genocide."

ADL's national director Abraham Foxman, said he made the decision after
discussing the matter with historians and with Nobel Peace Prize laureate and
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

(Read more...)


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