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Article: Obama should have pushed Erdogan for Genocide apology
Article: Obama should have pushed Erdogan for Genocide apology

April 13, 2013 - 16:29 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - President Barack Obama's first trip to Israel since he became president had the potential to yield many tangible results, not the least of which could have been a demand on the part of the leader of the free world that Hamas revoke its genocidal charter against Israel, according to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s article published in Huffington Post.
“The episode with the Mavi Marmara should have been part of Obama's calculus during his trip, as it sheds light on Turkish behavior toward Israel as well as on other examples of Turkey's stubborn denial of historical facts, including its refusal to speak honestly about its role in the Armenian Genocide between 1915 and 1923, which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
If Obama were true to his word as a presidential candidate in 2008 and interested in a significant success in the Middle East, he should have pushed Erdogan to reciprocate and apologize to the long-suffering Armenians for this first genocide in modern history. As discussed in a resolution by the House of Representatives, this massacre is "documented with overwhelming evidence in the national archives of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, the United States, the Vatican and many other countries..." To win support from Armenians while running for office, Sen. Obama said on January 19, 2008, "Two years ago, I criticized ... the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term 'genocide' to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915.... The Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence... As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian genocide resolution, and as president I will recognize the Armenian genocide."
But instead of working to fulfill his promise, President Obama and his administration repeatedly have avoided the term "genocide," and worked behind the scenes to prevent Congress from recognizing it. Indeed, although in March 2010, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 23-22 on a resolution to recognize the Armenian deaths officially, the administration came out swinging. In Guatemala, she told reporters, "The Obama administration strongly opposes the resolution that was passed by only one vote by the House committee and will work very hard to make sure it does not go to the House floor." According to the Associated Press, "a senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said there was an understanding with the Democratic leadership in Congress that the resolution would not go to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives."
After the vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States and warned the Obama administration about the ramifications if a vote ever reached the House floor.
As displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as Hitler prepared to attack Poland without provocation in 1939, he dismissed objections by saying "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" setting the stage for the Holocaust. Ronald Reagan recognized this threat in 1981 when he said, "like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians, which followed it and like too many other persecutions of too many other people the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten."
More than 20 countries and 42 U.S. states already have recognized the events of 1915 as genocide. As Obama seeks to shape his Middle East policy and consider his legacy over the next four years, he should consider the promises he made as a young candidate and recognize a massacre that never should be forgotten,” the article reads.


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