Every year the Armenians scattered across the earth commemorate the event that lead to their being scattered across the earth, the Armenian Genocide. What resistance this term still provokes comes from two sources, logically from two sources that will be damaged directly by its recognition. The apparent source is the present Turkish Republic, which does not want to be known as a state built on genocide, and therefore avoids the odium of being known as a genocidal state. The other, and the more troubling, is the zealous opposition of Israel and Jewish organizations.
For years all the top Jewish organizations, the Anti-Defamation League, (which in ’07 under Abe Foxman fired the head of its New England chapter, Andrew Tarsy, for accepting the Armenian Genocide) AIPAC, (which trains Turkish diplomats in ways to obfuscate the issue of the Genocide) the B’nai Brith, and the mother of all Jewish organizations, the ‘Jewish state’, Israel, have not merely refused to recognize the Armenian Genocide, which would be understandable and well within their rights as an uninvolved party,–no honest man demands tears of sorrow from strangers for his own loss, he is too begrieved to look for an audience– but is actively at the forefront of suppressing the first genocide of the 20th century.
They have created lovely euphemisms for their dishonesty, calling Jewish genocide deniers, like Bernard Lewis, Richard Pearle, and others, ‘The Jewish Exclusivist School’; that is, Jews who want to keep the Holocaust ‘unique’ event. They certainly are unique, we’ll give ’em that, if their leaders cast themselves as the defenders of the memory of genocide and the sufferers of ‘the most unspeakable crime in history’ while at the same time working hard to make people forget, denying the genocide that preceded and influenced their own. Their most often stated excuse, these Jewish leaders, is that the passage of an official statement either in the U.N. or especially in the legislature of the U.S., will adversely effect the relationship between Israel and Turkey, Israel’s only Muslim ally. “Oh,” we are to say, “they are not evil, merely political opportunists.”
There are men in prison today, like David Irving in Britain, for doubting the Holocaust; yet for the conscious act of suppressing the recognition of the Genocide, Jewish groups and Israel are kosher because in so doing they’re pursuing selfish political interests. (To be sure, there’s a good bit of denial too: a Jewish attorney named Bruce Fein working for the Turkish Coalition of America can safely write an article titled “Lies, Damn Lies and Armenian Deaths” (Hufington Post, June 4, 2009) Which, I ask, is worse: To doubt sincerely, or to cynically suppress and to say “We believe it” and to suppress it nonetheless? The former is merely foolhardy, the latter is evil.
Even if a bill recognizing the Genocide passes this or in the coming years, it will be because of Jewish groups withdrawing their hand and allowing it to pass to hurt a Turkey that no longer cooperates with Israel, as recently Turkey refused to admit Israel into a joint NATO military excercise; or when the President of Turkey scolded Shimon Peres on Palestinian deaths, the next day in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz a columnist mused: “Perhaps the next time the Armenian genocide bill comes up in the U.S. congress, the Palestinians will help them block it.”
You know what? Maybe it will pass sometime soon, but for all the wrong reasons.