More than 93 Signatories on Knollenberg-Pallone Letter
WASHINGTON–Representatives Connie Morella (R-Md.) and Steve Rothman (D-NJ) are the latest Congressional Armenian Caucus members to urge their House colleagues to co-sign a letter to President Bush urging him to describe the centrally planned and systematically executed slaughter of over 1.5. million Armenia’s by the Ottoman Turkish Government as "genocide" in his annual April 24th statement–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.) Ninety-three House members have already co-signed the letter–initiated by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.).
In their "Dear Colleague" letter–Reps. Rothman and Morella reminded Members that in response to the Armenian Genocide–"governmental bodies throughout the world have passed resolutions and declarations affirming the Armenian Genocide including Canada–Argentina–Belgium–Lebanon–Vatican City–Uruguay–the European Parliament–the Russian Duma–the Greek Parliament–the Swedish Parliament and the French National Senate." Referring to the ongoing campaign of denial led by the Turkish government–the Representatives argued that–"If we continue to react with silence regarding these events and are unwilling to stand up and publicly condemn these atrocities–we effectively give our approval to abuses of power such as the Armenian Genocide."
"We would like to thank Representatives Morella and Rothman for their efforts to educate their House Colleagues about the consequences of ignoring the truth regarding the Armenian Genocide," said ANCAExecutive Director Aram Hamparian. "The Armenian American communities in Maryland–New Jersey and across the country appreciate their principled leadership and the support of all 93 Members of Congress who have already co-signed the Knollenberg-Pallone."
Last week–Representatives Joe Knollenberg–George Radanovich (R-Calif.)–Connie Morella–John Sweeney (R-NY)–Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)–and Edward Royce (R-Calif.) also circulated a "Dear Colleague" reminding Republican House members of former Senator Bob Dole’s April 24–1990–statement in the Senate. "1.5 million people killed as a result of conscious–vicious policies of authorities of the Ottoman Empire. . . History calls it genocide," said Sen. Dole. The Representatives explained that by referring to the atrocities of 1915-1923 as "genocide," President Bush "will join with other great leaders of country–including President Ronald Reagan–who in his April 22–1981 proclamation on Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust–noted ‘the genocide of the Armenia’s.’"
Armenian Americans nationwide are participating in the campaign to enlist increased Congressional support for the Knollenberg-Pallone letter. Extensive e-mail campaigns as well as the "ANCA WebFax" system have provided community activists an opportunity to quickly voice their concerns to their Representatives regarding the Armenian Genocide as well as a host of other issues–ranging from the Administration’s proposed $20 million reduction in assistance to Armenia to concerns over US military aid to Azerbaijan.