NEEDHAM LETTERS: 'NO PLACE FOR HATE' CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

Wicked Local Needham
Posted Jul 29, 2010 @ 12:06 PM

Needham - It is incredible that New England Anti-Defamation League
board Chairman Michael Sheetz claims the "controversy that led to (No
Place for Hate's) demise in Needham" has "been over for a long time."

Nothing has changed since Needham took a principled stand in support
of universal human rights and withdrew from NPFH, due to the ADL's
denial of the Armenian Genocide.

The official ADL statement on the Armenian Genocide is worded to
actually contravene the international legal definition of genocide
and is remarkably similar to Turkey's pronouncements.

Armenians did not protest simply because "the ADL national leadership
did not fully recognize the Armenian Genocide." The ADL for years
actively lobbied on behalf of the Turkish government to prevent U.S.

recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The ADL continues to speak out
against U.S. affirmation of this crime against humanity. In March,
ADL national director Abe Foxman called the current Congressional
resolution "a counterproductive diversion," adding, "We oppose it."

Many in the Jewish community strongly disagree with the ADL's position,
and have joined with Boston-area Armenians to work toward Armenian
Genocide recognition. (See www.recognizearmeniangenocide.org.)

Genocide denial is hate speech. The ADL does not "secure justice for
allpeople" and should not be permitted to instruct others.

Laura Boghosian

Rabbi Howard Jaffe

Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide

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Needham Letters: Returning to the ADL's noble mission

Wicked Local Needham Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 05:05 PM

Needham - I was appalled to read Michael Sheetz of the Anti-Defamation
League stating, "I think the controversy that led to the [No Place
for Hate] program's demise in Needham is over and been over for a
long time." ("Needham man, Michael Sheetz, joins ADL New England
leadership," July 21.)

Let me set the record straight. The ADL not only continues to deny the
veracity of the ongoing Armenian Genocide, but also supports passage
of congressional resolutions on all genocides except the Armenian one.

In fact, the ADL's most recent formal statement (Aug. 21, 2007) on the
Armenian Genocide employed language deliberately designed to contravene
Article II of the U.N. Genocide Convention of 1948, which defines
genocide as "the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical, racial or religious group." The ADL statement said that
"the consequences of those actions [by the Ottoman Turkish Empire]
were indeed tantamount to genocide." The ADL knows full well that
"consequences" is the functional opposite of "intent," the latter of
which is required for an action to legally be termed genocide.

Thus, the ADL statement was the very opposite of a genocide
acknowledgment. Under these circumstances, no program sponsored by
the ADL or any other genocide-denying entity is welcome in our town
or in any other city or town nationwide and worldwide.

There is nothing more appropriate on this the 95th anniversary of
the start of the Armenian Genocide than for the ADL to steadfastly
return to its noble mission of stopping "the defamation of the
Jewish people and [securing] justice and fair treatment to all"
and to forthrightly recognize the Armenian Genocide and openly back
congressional legislation on this genocide. By doing so, the ADL will
not only restore its moral credibility as a human rights organization,
but also become a leading international partner in genocide prevention
and restorative justice.

As the esteemed Rabbi Hillel advised centuries ago, "What is hateful
to you, do not do to your neighbor ... If I am not for myself, then
who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And
if not now, when?"

Luder Tavit Sahagian

Hunting Road

Copyright 2010 Needham Times. Some rights reserved




From: A. Papazian