NEW YORK—The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) this week endorsed a bipartisan House resolution that recognizes the Armenian Genocide.
Res. 296, which states that the U.S. officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide and encourages education and public understanding on the issue, was overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday in a rebuke to NATO ally Turkey.
The resolution recognizes the atrocities committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians in the First World War as genocide, which is an accusation that Ankara vehemently rejects.
The US chamber voted 405 to 11 in support of the measure “affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide”, a first for the US Congress, where similar measures with such direct language have been introduced for decades but never passed.
The genocide, which saw some 1.5 million Armenians killed by the Ottoman Empire during the first World War, began with the ruling government arresting and executing several hundred Armenian intellectuals. After that, Armenian families were removed from their homes and sent on death marches. The Armenian people were subjected to deportation, expropriation, abduction, torture, massacre and starvation.
“This historic Congressional resolution, while long overdue, is an important step toward raising awareness and educating the American public about the horrific genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians during the early part of the 1900s,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “The 20th century saw the worst episodes of genocide in recorded human history, beginning with the Armenian Genocide, through the Holocaust and all the way to the atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda. Indeed, historians note that Hitler viewed the Armenian Genocide and the world’s indifference toward it as inspiration to launch his own genocidal campaign across Europe. We believe that remembering and educating about any genocide – Armenian, the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and others – is a necessary tool to prevent future tragedies and begins with recognition.
“We hope that this resolution will facilitate a constructive dialogue, and we encourage the Turkish government to introduce additional safeguards for protecting Turkey’s Armenian citizens and other religious minorities,’’ he said.