ISRAEL CHARNY: A MORAL ISRAEL MUST RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Tert.am
25.01.12

Below is an article by Israel W. Charny posted on http://massispost.com
with reference to The Jerusalem Post Magazine

Israel must put an end to this charade and fully recognize the
Armenian genocide.

I never cease to be amazed at the "upside-down double talk" that
genocide deniers speak - not only in denial of the Armenian genocide,
but in denial of the Holocaust and, believe it or not, denial of the
Rwandan genocide. In fact, many of us scholars characterize denial
of genocide as the "last stage of genocide."

In a recent article in The Jerusalem Post entitled "Armenian Genocide:
Israel must maintain its moral compass," the arguments set forth
by Hakan Yavuz and Tal Buenos are a thin veneer for nothing less
than a pro-Turkish government position of maintaining denial of the
Armenian genocide.

What is their argument? For Israel to now to break its silence and
recognize the Armenian genocide, it would be tantamount to confessing,
retroactively, that its been playing politics all along by remaining
silent and, with crocodile tears, admitting that those of us who care
about Israel cannot allow that to happen.

Wrong enough, but their basic argument is extended by a manipulative
and factually irresponsible debate of the very concept of "genocide."

Suddenly the historic Polish attorney Raphael Lemkin, a Jew with
a high post in the Polish government legal system who we recognize
as having virtually given his life to bring into international law
the concept of "genocide" that he created, is characterized as "an
employee of the US Government" who he was serving to gain a moral
advantage over the Germans after WWII.

There is not a word of recognition that Lemkin first submitted a
resolution about the mass killing of religious and national entities
to the League of Nations long before WWII. Lemkin was an employee of
the US occupational Army in Germany very briefly after surviving the
Holocaust in which he lost virtually all of his family. After giving up
law positions at Duke University as well as Yale, he devoted himself
full time to the passage of the Genocide Convention in the newly
founded United Nations. The authors should be reprimanded severely
for their distorted presentation of Lemkin's identity.

The key issue that emerges is the question of whether, after years
of a realpolitik denial of the Armenian genocide, in disheartening
obsequiousness to Turkey in an attempt to gain their favor at the
expense of the basic moral principles that are intrinsic to recognition
to another people's genocide or holocaust, Israel's recognition of
the Armenian genocide would constitute another politicized move rather
than a moral correction.

Finally, the authors seek to stall with a disingenuous promise,
70 years after the Holocaust, that further study of the concept of
"genocide" will bring us to an understanding we do not have, as if we
do not know that genocide is the mass murder of a significant part
of a targeted people, executed by a government or any other entity,
such as a religious or ideological group or a terrorist organization.

The facts are well known: The Turkish government executed the Armenian
genocide - in which one to one-and-a-half million Armenians were
murdered.

And for us Jews and Israelis, there are added meanings: One Israeli
Professor at Bar Ilan University once characterized the Armenian
genocide as a "dress rehearsal for the Holocaust." We also know that
Hitler explicitly built on the precedent of the Armenian genocide
when he went after us Jews.

The writer is executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust
and Genocide in Jerusalem, editor of the Web Magazine GPN GENOCIDE
PREVENTI0N NOW, a co-founder and former president of the International
Association of Genocide Scholars and editor of the Encyclopedia of
Genocide. He was awarded the Armenian Presidential Prize -similar to
the Israel Prize - in Yerevan in June 2011 for his contributions to
the study of denials of genocides-of course including the Armenian
Genocide and the Holocaust.