According to Hrag Vartanian, a blogger who also works at the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the backlash against the Anti-Defamation League started on July 8*, when Jewcy published Fire Foxman, our call for Abe Foxman to be fired as head of the ADL in part for his denial of the Armenian Genocide. Then the Huffington Post got on board, the Armenian blogosphere took notice, and before long the Boston Globe had published a supportive op-ed about the controversy.
Last night, the Armenian community of Watertown, Massachusetts voted to break all connections with the Anti-Defamation League by severing ties with its No Place for Hate Program, which attempts to promote tolerance (though not, apparently, for descendants of the Armenian Genocide.) Armenian-American activists in Watertown are promising to lobby all 67 of the Massachusetts towns still participating in NPFH to drop their connection, too. Ultimately, they want the Massachusetts Municipal Association to stop working with the ADL entirely. These activists have Jewcy’s emphatic support, and we will do what we can to help their cause along.
The ADL has made a monster of itself by denying a genocide. It has made the entire Jewish community look morally incompetent for allowing ourselves to be represented by someone who engages in Holocaust denial. And it has earned the justified fury of the Armenian-American community, which bears witness to the mass-murder of its forebears, and refuses to see that memory trampled upon.
Several weeks ago, it might have been enough for Abe Foxman to give up encouraging others to share his agnosticism about the Armenian Genocide. But the controversy has gained momentum, and now it’s too late for him to just stop talking. We think it would be fitting to see Foxman take a sensitivity course on the challenges faced by the modern Armenian-American community, but all we really want from him are three simple responses:
- Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide
- Apologize to the Armenian-American community
- Apologize to the Jewish community, for humiliating us before our fellow-citizens
Over on the Shvitz, you’ll find John DiMascio’s first-hand account from last night’s meeting. John DiMascio is an incorrigibly eccentric columnist for the Watertown TAB & Press, and has played a leading role in getting the ADL evicted from Watertown.
This isn’t just an abnormally short Jewcy article, by the way; it’s a petition. If you’re with us, show us (and the ADL) your support by signing on in the comments section. Tell us why you’re motivated to sign, and, if the spirit moves you, either register (you can use a pseudonym) or add your name.
* The date of the publication of "Fire Foxman" was previously listed differently in different parts of the site. The correct date is July 8. * This petition also accessible via www.firefoxman.com * Check our always up-to-date list of Jewcy’s posts on the ADL/Armenian Genocide issue