Date set on Armenian Genocide resolution vote

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Howard Berman (D-CA), a leading Congressional supporter of human rights and a longstanding friend of the Armenian American community, has scheduled a vote of his panel on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252, for Thursday, March 4th, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The resolution, which was introduced in Congress back in March 2009, ‘calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other purposes.”

Further in the findings section of the resolution we read the following: “The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted legislation similar to H.Res.252, on a bipartisan basis, in 2000, 2005, and 2007. These past measures, despite their broad-based support, did not reach the House floor for an up or down vote, largely due to strident opposition from the Clinton and Bush administrations fearful of Ankara’s threats of retaliation.

President Obama, during his campaign for office, pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide and specifically voiced his strong support for this exact legislation; his Vice President, Joe Biden, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, both cosponsored this measure. Since taking office, the Obama Administration has yet to make any comments, either favorably or unfavorably, on the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress.

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One thought on “Date set on Armenian Genocide resolution vote

  1. Despite Bill Clinton’s and George Bush’s objections and fears of Turkey’s response in 2000, 2005 and 2007, Congress could have still put the Resolution for a vote but they did not because they too were fearful of offending Turkey and the Jewish lobbying groups which did their part in opposing Congressional vote about the Armenian Genocide. This is how politics works: They appease Armenian constituents by throwing crumbs at them every few years while they uphold their allies wishes, Turkey and/or Israel, much of the time.

    Once again, Turkey has already denounced the Congressional Committee for scheduling the Armenian Genocide Resolution for a vote, threatening that it would harm its relations with USA and Armenia – as if it has good relations with Armenia.

    Besides Turkey, Armenians have other oppositions and lobbying groups to contend with. Throughout the years, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), B’nai B’rith International, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs have been vehement about not recognizing the Armenian Genocide and they oppose any Congressional Resolution in this matter. In 2007, in addition to their opposition, they delivered letter from the Turkish Jewish community to US Congress to oppose recognizing the Armenian Genocide and to support Turkish government in this matter. US Congress obliged them by refusing to allow a vote in Congress on the subject.

    The Jewish community in Massachusetts was divided on this subject and some of their local leaders recognized the Armenian Genocide and opposed the national ADL’s stance, especially Abraham H. Foxman’s stance, National Director of Anti-Defamation League, who had fired the local ADL representative for recognizing the Armenian Genocide. To make a long story short, after an upheaval in Watertown, Massachusetts, where many Armenians reside, hypocrite Abraham H. Foxman softened his stance and stated that “Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States” and claimed that only historians, not lawmakers, should settle the debate over the 1.5 million Armenian deaths. They certainly never felt that laws which have passed regarding the Jewish Genocide, demanding billions of dollars in compensations for decades, filing countless lawsuits and building memorials and museums in various countries, including in USA at taxpayers’ expense, were not “counterproductive diversion)s)” and they continue to push Congress for laws beneficial to them.

    We shall see what happens this year but I am not holding my breath, even though there seems to be some friction between Turkey and Israel lately and USA is a bit annoyed with Turkey for demanding modifications to the protocols regarding Nagorno-Karabakh at this time.

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