WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), released the following statement today in response to the recent conflict between the New England Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the national ADL over recognition of the Armenian Genocide:

Rep. Markey said, “Like many in our community, I have been greatly pained by the refusal of the national office of the Anti-Defamation League to recognize, formally and without reservation, the genocide of the Armenian people at the opening of the 20th century. I have been a steadfast supporter of the ADL for many years and believe that its vital mission of standing against bigotry and hate in all its forms is essential for Boston, for the nation, and for the world. But the careful political positioning of the national organization, acknowledging that Armenians were massacred but refusing to apply the necessary term 'genocide' out of caution not to offend the Turkish government, flies in the face of the non-negotiable principles for which the ADL has always fought.


“The Armenian Genocide is not an historic dispute or a rhetorical argument over semantics. The failure of the international community to deter and, if necessary, stop genocide by use of force, has only served to embolden those who seek to do evil. Remember that Hitler wrote to his commanders a week before the Nazi invasion of Poland, ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’


“A true reckoning of history is essential, which is why I have long supported the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, and I am currently a cosponsor of the House Resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.


“Since its founding, the Anti-Defamation League has played a vital role in our community and in our country to ensure the just and fair treatment of all people. As a friend of the ADL, I encourage the national organization to reconsider its position and recognize the Armenian Genocide, and I also commend the New England region for its principled decision on this important issue.”


August 20, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836