09/12 Forward: ADL Still in Hot Water (scroll down)

ADL Still in Hot Water

Though it acknowledged last month that World War I-era massacres of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks were “tantamount to genocide,” the Anti-Defamation League, which long steered clear of using the word genocide in connection with the Armenians, continues to draw fire from a number of quarters for not endorsing a congressional resolution recognizing atrocities committed against the Armenians.

“It’s progress,” said Elizabeth Chouldjian, communications director of the Armenian National Committee of America, of the ADL’s August reversal, “but more needs to be done — and that certainly includes congressional reaffirmation of this crime against humanity.”

The ADL changed course last month after the town council of the Boston suburb of Watertown voted to sever ties with an anti-bigotry program sponsored by the ADL. In the weeks since the ADL’s reversal, still more Massachusetts towns have voted to reassess their ties to the ADL.

Voices from Massachusetts were echoed this week by a representative of Armenia’s Jewish community. In a letter reportedly sent to the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, a leader of the few hundred person community lamented the ADL’s refusal to endorse the congressional resolution.

The ADL has also continued to draw barbs from writers at the blog Jewcy.com, which last Thursday night staged a protest outside the 92nd Street Y in New York while Foxman sat onstage inside discussing antisemitism with Clinton adviser Stuart Eizenstat.

The future of the Armenian Genocide bill now before Congress is uncertain. The resolution has 225 co-sponsors, enough to ensure passage, said Chouldjian, but its fate is ultimately in the hands of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The ADL and a number of other mainstream Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, have declined to endorse the legislation, largely due to a fear of offending Turkey.

At the same time, a wide and unlikely coalition of Jewish organizations has signed on in support of the congressional bill, including the dovish Americans for Peace Now and the hawkish Zionist Organization of America.

Gabriel Sanders

Source: http://www.forward.com/articles/gelt-complex-funds-end-strange-trip-adl-still-in-00467/