WATERTOWN–The Boards of Selectmen of three Massachusetts towns–Arlington, Lexington, and Westwood-Monday voted to break ties with the Anti-Defamation League because of the organization’s failure to unambiguously acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee Eastern Massachusetts.
Lexington voted to sever ties with the ADL and disband the No Place for Hate committee, replacing it with a town sponsored Committee that is not associated with the organization.
In Westwood, the Board decided to suspend ties with the ADL until the ADL change its position on the Armenian Genocide. The Board will be taking down the No Place for Hate signs in the city and has renamed the No Place for Hate Committee, "Human Rights Committee."
In Arlington the Board of Selectmen voted to accept the Human Rights Commission’s recommendation and rescind its endorsement of the No Place for Hate program.
"Arlington, Lexington, and Westwood reaffirmed a clear message," stated ANC of Eastern Massachusetts chairperson Sharistan Melkonian. "Genocide denial, in any form, at any time, is unacceptable, not matter who engages in it."
On behalf of the Armenian-Americans of Lexington, Laura Boghosian addressed the Board of Selectmen Monday, by pointing out the an organization that denies the Armenian Genocide had no place in Lexington.
She also proposed that Lexington continue an anti-discrimination/human rights campaign that is unaffiliated with any organization and encompasses the Genocide as part of its teachings.
"The ADL’s failure to recognize unambiguously the Armenian Genocide and its efforts, on behalf of Turkey’s denialist government, to oppose Congressional affirmation of this genocide is unconscionable," said Boghosian.
"As recently as three weeks ago, the ADL’s national director endorsed Turkey’s call for a joint commission to study the events of 1915, a proposal that the International Association of Genocide Scholars labeled a ‘red herring [that] would only serve the interests of Turkish genocide deniers,’" Boghosian pointed out.
"By voting to rescind its endorsement of the ADL’s No Place for Hate program, Lexington’s Board of Selectmen will uphold the human rights and dignity not only of its Armenian residents, but of all people everywhere. Human rights are universal and should never be subordinated to political interests, whether on the local, state, national, or international level," added Boghosian.
"Let us speak tonight of the annihilation of the Armenia’s and take a principled stand against the ADL’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. Lexington, Massachusetts has served as a symbol for justice and human rights since 1775. Let us honor that legacy now by ending our association with the Anti-Defamation League," concluded Boghosian.
Asbarez will provide expanded coverage of this developing story in upcoming issues and on the Web at www.asbarez.com.