Watertown Votes To Sever Ties With Anti Defamation League Citing Arm


AZG Armenian Daily

The Watertown, Massachusetts Town Council voted unanimously this
evening to cut ties with the Anti-Defamation League, citing concerns
about ADL National Director Abraham Foxman’s denial of the Armenian
Genocide and opposition to Congressional legislation reaffirming that
crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of
Eastern Massachusetts (ANCEM).

"The ANCEM applauds the Town Council for stating clearly and
unequivocally that there is no place for Armenian Genocide denial in
Watertown," stated ANCEM chairperson Sharistan Melkonian "We hope that
this action will prompt the ADL and its National Chairman Abe Foxman
to rethink their flawed policies on this issue, recognize the Armenian
Genocide and end their efforts to stop its reaffirmation by Congress."

The proclamation, introduced by Watertown Councillor-At-Large Marilyn
Petitto Devaney, stated: "The Town Council has become aware that
the ADL, denies the facts of the horrific Armenian Genocide, that
occurred from 1915 to 1923, in which the premeditated, systematic and
deliberate murders of more that one and one half million Armenians
from 1915 to 1923 took place, as well as continuing to deprive the
Armenian people of a right to their history – The Town Council can
not continue to join with such an organization."

The proclamation went on to reaffirm Watertown’s commitment to
"celebrate its diversity and continue to honor its tradition of
tolerance and respect for all people for which it has always been
known."Watertown residents spoke poignantly before the capacity
crowd in attendance to express their concerns about local affiliation
with the ADL’s genocide denial policies, moving Town Council members
to take decisive action and encourage other Massachusetts towns to
follow in their footsteps.In her remarks before the Town Council,
ANCEM representative Grace Kulegian stated that "We are confident
that the just resolution of this matter will deepen Watertown’s
commitment to tolerance, strengthen No Place for Hate’s ability to
speak with real moral clarity, and – for the sake of its members and
its own future as an organization – end the ADL’s truly unfortunate
affiliation with genocide denial."

The Watertown – ADL controversy erupted in recent weeks, with Boston
area civil rights advocates, and local Armenian and Jewish American
community members expressing disappointment and outrage at recent
statements by ADL National Director Abe Foxman denying the Armenian
Genocide. Editorials and community letters in the local Watertown Tab
and Boston Globe cast a shadow on the credibility of the anti-racism
program, No Place for Hate, due to its affiliation with the ADL.