*Bombing in Boston* Abe Foxman’s Genocide Denial Road Show

*Augus t 22, 2007*
*Bombing in Boston* Abe Foxman’s Genocide Denial Road Show


It seemed innocuous enough at first. Watertown, a suburb of Boston, sported
a sign on the Town Hall, proclaiming the town a participant in an
anti-bigotry program "No Place for Hate." But one of the good citizens of
Watertown with libertarian inclinations objected that the sign seemed like
some kind of PC thought control. His objections set in motion investigations
by the town mothers and fathers into the program. Lo and behold, it was
sponsored by Abe Foman’s Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

In itself this sponsorship might not be a problem, unless you are a Muslim,
an Arab or a Palestinian and know full well the ADL’s positions on bigotry.
But there are over 8000 Armenian-Americans in Watertown, and the ADL has
long denied that the Turkish massacre of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to
1923 amounted to genocide. Turkey is of course an ally and arms purchaser of
Israel’s, but the denial antedates this alliance. A good friend of mine, an
Israeli expatriate, tells me that when he went to school in Israel, mention
of the Armenian genocide was verboten so as not to detract from the
"uniqueness" of the Jewish genocide under the Nazis and to maintain a
"monopoly on suffering," as he puts it. Shoah business does not like the

The whole matter in Watertown was given added urgency by a resolution now
pending in Congress calling on Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide.
This resolution is supported by the Armenian community and opposed by the
national ADL.

Anger began to mount in Watertown and the citizens called on the city
mothers and fathers to withdraw from the ADL-sponsored program. (ADL Dollars
and awards flow to participating towns.) The Watertown Town Council called
meeting which was packed with a lot of angry Armenians. Regional ADL
director Andrew Tarsey came to the meeting to defend the ADL genocide
denial, (as had the ADL’s national director, Abe Foxman, in an interview
with the Boston Globe,) and to call on the town to stick with the "No Place
for Hate" program. Tarsey was booed out of the hall with hisses and
catcalls. At that the town mothers and fathers voted unanimously to quit the
program, and at the cost of overtime for two city workers the sign was gone
before dawn.

Tarsey was unable to prevail with his genocide denial and couldn’t move
Foxman and the national ADL to reverse course. Tarsey then reversed his
position and agreed that Armenians had indeed endured a genocide.They then
cut through the Gordian Knot by firing Tarsey. Two local ADL board members
duly resigned in protest. The rest stood by their man, Foxman. Tarsey is now
hailed repeatedly as a "hero" by local Jewish leaders. If armies were
composed of such heroes, every battle would culminate in mutual mass
retreat. Notably and unusually, the city of Watertown and its council were
not labeled anti-semitic by the ADL and its assorted acolytes. Even Alan
Dershowitz did not raise a peep. This seems to be a kind of sea change, and
it may have something to do with the Lobby’s weaker position now that it is
more widely seen. post Mearsheimer and Walt, as a principal instigator of
the disastrous war on Iraq.

At this point the Boston Jewish community was divided. Foxman was under
pressure, and Armenian-Americans from across the country were getting
involved. How to respond? With a big expensive newspaper ad of course. And
how did Foxman’s ad make his case? By blaming it on the Jews! Specificially
the Jews of Turkey whom Foxman and company claim would be endangered by a
change in the ADL position. But there have been many reports of the
tolerance shown to Jews in Turkey, as one letter writer to the Boston Globe
noted. The Foxman ad also let the Israeli cat out of the bag, saying, "We
are also aware that Turkey is a key strategic ally and friend of the United
States and a staunch friend of Israel." (Some staunch friend if it were true
that Turkey was persecuting Turkish Jews. What a tangled web has been woven
by ADL.) But of course the ADL was only stating its long-time position that
Israel comes first – way before any consideration of human rights.

Two days ago, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
(JCRC) known for its pro-Iraq war stance, its Iran bashing and its
opposition to Palestinian rights joined the fray. It sent out a letter
repudiating Foxmam’s genocide denial – and claiming it recognized the
Armenian genocide long long ago – in fact in 2005, although this received
scant notice until now. Let’s see; the genocide happened in 1915 and the
JCRC recognized it in 2005 – after the passage of 90 years. By that logic
Holocaust denial should be OK for another 13 years.

Today Foxman and his national ADL, hastily joining the local ADL in full
retreat, have pronounced the Armenian slaughter is a genocide after all.
Upon reflection and with the help of that great humanitarian, Elie Wiesel,
who seems to be acting as a kind of Jewish Billy Graham and who has never
acknowledged the injustice done the Palestinians, Foxman thinks that it was
a genocide after all. (Of course according to their newspaper ad of several
days back this means that the national ADL is now abandoning Turkish Jewry
to a horrible fate.) ADL was in fact founded in 1913 just before the onset
of the Armenian genocide, so ADL’s acknowledgement is not overly hasty.
Perhaps the ADL’s new slogan could be "Building on 100 years of Genocide

But Foxman and company have not given up yet. National ADL still refuses to
support the Congressional resolution put forward by Rep. Adam Schiff of
California to recognize the Armenian genocide. (ADL in fact has lobbied
against the resolution.) But the Armenian community is not buying it. Schiff
wants ADL to support the resolution. And Watertown Councilor Marilyn Pettito
Devaney said that she and others will accept nothing less than full ADL
support for the resolution. Meanwhile she said that she and others will
lobby other towns to pull out of the ADL’s bigoted, "anti-bigotry" No Place
for Hate" program. (You may want to look at that site to see whether you can
find any statement about the slow genocide being wrought on the
Palestinians.) This program is found in cities and towns all over the United
States. Do you have one in your town?

*John V. Walsh* can be reached at [email protected]. This story
continues to develop with Foxman making a personal visit to Beantown today.
CounterPunch will keep an eye on the situation as it unwinds.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress


Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS