BOSTON—Armenian and Jewish community leaders here launched an online petition urging people to sign a letter to President Obama and the Congress that calls for the immediate passage of H. Res. 252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution pending in Congress, announced the Armenian National Committee of Massachusetts.
Joining the ANC of Mass. in the Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide and in launching the grassroots campaign are Armenian American Action Committee of Massachusetts, leaders of the state’s Armenian and Jewish communities, as well as Investors Against Genocide—a non-profit working to discourage investment in countries that have and are currently committing Genocide.
The dialogue group was initiated by Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe of Temple Isaiah, Lexington, Mass. Rabbi Jaffe first advocated recognition of the Armenian Genocide in October 2007, when he told the New York Times that he must do what is “right and righteous.” In 2008, he co-authored an article with Lexington resident Laura Boghosian that condemned the Anti-Defamation League’s lobbying for the Turkish government and called on the Jewish community to join in efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide. He also invited the local Armenian community to participate in a joint Genocide-Holocaust commemoration at the temple, inviting Dr. Richard Hovannisian to speak on the parallels between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust.
“This initiative is important because it demonstrates how on a grassroots level, in both the Jewish and Armenian communities, there is a demand for justice for the Armenian Genocide. It is vital that the powerful in Washington, whether they are in the State Department or in lobbying organizations, realize that they will be called to task when they sacrifice principle and historical truth for political expediency,” said Laura Boghosian, ANC of Massachusetts member and co-chair of the petition drive.
The Armenian-American community in Massachusetts has been engaged in healthy dialogue with its Jewish counterparts since the 2007 rift between the local Anti-Defamation League branch broke with the organization’s national leader, Abraham Foxman, by recognizing the Genocide. This campaign was a result of grassroots activism by Mass. Armenian community members to distance towns and cities affiliated with the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program. The impetus of the latter campaign was the ADL’s continued support of Turkey and Turkish lobby and its blatant denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Sign the petition: www.change.org/recognizearmeniangenocide