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The Stubborn Myth of Jewish Involvement in the Armenian Genocide

On Nov. 30, Jewcy published an article titled “Are Armenians Angry at Jews?” in which I argued that although the Armenian community is upset that a prominent Jewish civil rights organization (ADL) supports Turkey’s campaign to the deny the Armenian Genocide, it is also aware of the Jewish-American writers, bloggers, and activists who speak out against ADL’s hypocrisy. Armenians know, I said, that throughout the 20th century there was never a shortage of righteous Jews, individuals who spoke out against the Armenian genocide. I then proceeded to name three such righteous Jews: Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel (to whom I dedicated an entire article later), and Raphael Lemkin.

I received dozens of comments—made either to me in person or posted on Jewcy—immediately after the posting of the article. In one of the emails, a reader advised Jewcy to continue “kicking Foxman’s ass.”

I will not dwell on the positive remarks and the many emails, some from prominent academics, suggesting several other names of righteous Jews (about whom I might write in the future). I will, however, bring to the reader’s attention one point of view—from a fellow Armenian—that I thought was outrageous and, I believe, is shared by some other Armenians and non-Armenians.

“It is with great reluctance,” my fellow Armenian said, “that I wish to tell you that your article is oversimplified, very naïve and, at bottom, worthless. The Jewish involvement in Armenian Genocide is much complicated, intricate and perplexing.” He went on to cite historians who studied the “Zionist Jewish participation and their ominous role in Armenian Genocide.”

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