AT contributor Andrew G. Bostom examines the imbroglio over the curious unwillingness of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to condemn the genocide perpetrated against Armenians by the Turks in the early part of the last century, in an op-ed op-ed in the Providence Journal.
THE CAMPAIGN sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to combat bigotry and celebrate diversity ("No Place for Hate") has sparked bitter resentment in Watertown, Mass., a Boston suburb whose 8,000 Armenian-Americans make up nearly 25 percent of the population. Local Armenians do not object to the initiative, rather to the group behind it, the ADL and its director, Abraham Foxman - whom they charge, correctly, with denying the ugly established legacy of the World War I era Armenian genocide.
Under the authoritarian Young Turk (Ittihadist) regime, the bulk of the Armenian population from the territories of the Ottoman Empire - some 1 million to 1.5 million Armenians - were purged by violent and lethal means, which reproduced the historic conditions of a classic Islamic jihad: deportation, enslavement, forced conversion and massacre.
Mr. Foxman maintains that dismantling a program designed to fight hatred simply because the ADL does not share what he refers to as the "Armenians' viewpoint" would be "bigoted." Moreover, Foxman and the ADL, who have spoken out in recent times against ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Balkans and the genocide against the syncretist black African Animist-Muslims in Darfur, are, in effect, oddly "neutral" on the Armenian genocide: "We're not party to this, and I don't understand why we need to be made party."
Foxman and the ADL have long worried more about America's evangelicals and the imaginary danger of The Passion of the Christ igniting anti-Semitism than about the real perpetrators of genocide in Armenia. Hitler reportedly remarked that the world would not care about his genocide of the Jews, since it had not minded the Turks doing the same to the Armenians.
One has to wonder at the priorities of Foxman and the ADL.