Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia
June 30 2005

When Will Turkey Admit the Armenian Holocaust?
Turki Ali Alrabi'u Al-Hayat - 30/06/05//

I was too young when I learned about the Holocaust that happened
against the Armenians, when I realized the existence of the "Armenian
other" living among us. Our neighbor Mubarak - that was his name- was
Armenian. He was really "mubarak" (= blessed, in Arabic), since he
had the chance to have relations with four women. He was one of ours
in the tribe. Miriam, our generous aunt used to feed us with fresh
bread strait from the bakery. Her four offsprings used to share with
us the same normal life. I never heard a single remark of
discrimination against them based on the fact that their mother is
Armenian. I was really surprised later when I read the auto
biography of Yassine El Hafez that he wrote in his book entitled
"Defeat and the defeated Ideology" published back in 1978. The author
was called 'the son of the Armenian' in Deir El Zoor City, despite
the fact that this Armenian was known always known as "the aunt" in
that city. The most important is that my concern about the Armenian
Holocaust started growing later when I began to become acquainted
with more Armenians, who live among us in the tribe or in nearby
zones inhibited by Armenians who settle in their own villages. I
recall that I ran barefoot all the way in order to say good bye to
Armenians in the "Abu Jalal" village before they went back to
Armenia. This was back in 1963. The Armenians still feel these strong
ties with the Arabs, especially with members of the Arab tribes who
received and hosted them in dire moments of their life to protect
them from the intolerant bigotry.

I accompanied my friend Abu Zuba', who became an Engineer, to listen
to uncle Mubarak, who used to tell us about his dilemma. We were
circumspect to keep in mind what he has to tell us. We were even
determined to tape his memoirs before it may be too late since the
man was elderly. Nothing happened because we lost sight of each other
in the course of time.

The Holocaust was vivid in the collective memory in cities like "Al
Qamishli". Victims recognize their tyrants or, specifically, those
who participated in the Holocaust. Some books like "the Utmost in the
Catastrophes Against Christians" mention the names of families that
participated in the massacres against the Armenians. The will to
coexist was given high priority, which allowed the Armenians to
succeed in the various disciplines they worked in. Some went in
Diaspora over the hemisphere. They were adept and innovative after
their new settlement. It is as if they are the salt of the globe as
said. Other nations seem to have forgotten what happened to the
Armenians despite the continuous reminders of the Holocaust. It
appeared to some that the Jewish Holocaust is paramount. We Arabs
have no interest in denying the Jewish Holocaust; we followed Roger
Garaudy to adopt his opinion mentioned in his book "The Founding
Myths of Israeli Politics". As a matter of fact, the Jewish efforts
to monopolize the use of the term Holocaust is vain, both
intellectually and ethically. One wonders about Norman Fenkelstein's
claim in his book "The Holocaust Industry" that promotes the
exclusivity of the Jewish Holocaust model. What makes the monopoly?
Fenkelstein opines that the exclusive suffering yields an exclusive
privilege. The exclusivity of the Holocaust make it an "ethical
asset". The Jews must claim the right to this "Sacred Property".
Claiming exclusivity for the Holocaust is tantamount to claim
exclusivity for the Jews. This claim led to minimize other Holocausts
and genocide. Fenkelstein scorns, "one cannot compare the loss of
the life of a Gypsy as compared to the life of a Jew." Moreover,
admitting the mass murder of the gypsies means losing the Jewish
privilege. The Armenian case follows the same rationale. Later, the
eminent British Orientalist Bernard Lewis came to deny the
perpetuation of the Armenian Holocaust by Turks, the matter that led
him to be condemned by a French court of justice.

The Armenian Holocaust remained a taboo. At the end of the Second
Millennium and as the Third Millennium started its day break the
Holocaust industry is undermined by pressures and new lobbies. These
new factors forced the United States to build a museum for the Red
Indians next to the Congress. The Museum was inaugurated on
21/9/2004. It is located on the last green field, gathering several
museums. It is called the "Potomac", which means that good people may

I believe that denying the Armenian Holocaust has been subject to
political and ideological factors. Since Turkey is still a NATO
member and has established friendly ties with Israel, the U.S. does
not exert any pressure. The question that may be raised is: What if
the Justice and Development party of (AKP), led by Turkish PM Recep
Tayyib Erdogan goes to admit the Holocaust against the Armenians,
regardless of its size. The Turks say that only three hundred
thousand Armenians were killed and not one and a half Million. Still,
this does not justify the Genocide. The question that comes to mind
is: Why Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan, who is currently visiting
Lebanon, does not admit the Armenian Holocaust? Why modern Turkey
does not admit the Armenian Holocaust?

*Mr. Ali Alrabi'u is a Syrian writer.