02 03 2007 - Armenian Genocide Resolution: Turkey's Chutzpah
|Jean Eckian: www.inhomage.com
relayed from weekly magazine "Jewish Press"
the most important Jewish organ of press to the United States of America (Chutzpah: word of Yiddish origin - means impudence or arrogance)
Armenian Genocide Resolution: Turkey's Chutzpah
By: Editorial Board
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
We are certainly not insensitive to the significance of Turkey's support of Israel. But the Turkish government's attempt to capitalize
on that support by pressing the American Jewish community to oppose a Congressional resolution that condemns as "genocide" Turkey's murder of a million and a half Armenians during World War I strikes us as
being the height of chutzpah.
As The New York Sun reported, on February 5 the Turkish foreign
minister met with representatives of several major Jewish groups and
"made a hard sell" against House Resolution 106, which now has 176
co-sponsors. The Turkish official reportedly appealed to the
participants by noting – outrageously, we think – the uniqueness of
the German genocide against the Jews.
The Turks do not deny that between 1915 and 1917 they conducted
a devastating military campaign against the Armenians and that
thousands of Armenians were killed on forced marches. They claim,
however, that the hapless Armenians were a fifth column, often armed
and working on behalf of the Russian army in World War I.
But the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time,
Henry Morgenthau, wrote in his memoir, "I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this."
The orders for the deportations of the Armenian families in 1915 "were merely giving a death warrant to a whole race," he wrote.
Anyone who seriously and objectively considers those events cannot but conclude that there was a calculated and purposeful effort to exterminate the Armenians. After all, approximately 1.5 million
That said, we understand that opposition to House Resolution 106 does not necessarily signify lack of sympathy with the victims, or, indeed, sentiment against the concept itself. Not buying into an initiative on someone else's schedule is not always an indicator of nefarious motives at play.
We also have no doubt that some would argue the Jewish community should oppose the resolution if only to preserve the aura of uniqueness surrounding the destruction of European Jewry in the Holocaust.
And this, perhaps, was the point the Turkish foreign minister was trying to make in his presentation to Jewish leaders.
But acknowledging as genocide the systematic murder of a million and a half human beings of a particular ethnic heritage in no way detracts from recognition of the Holocaust as a uniquely monumental
evil in the blood-soaked annals of human history.