09/21 Watertown Tab: Letter: Devaney to Host Public Meeting on ADL Thursday

Letter: Devaney to host public meeting on ADL Thursday
Fri Sep 14, 2007, 04:14 PM EDT

WATERTOWN, MA - Devaney to host public meeting on ADL Thursday
An open letter to the citizens of Watertown: I am inviting you to a public meeting, which I am hosting at the Watertown Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. Please note this meeting has been changed from Wednesday with respect to the Jewish holiday. This meeting is intended to follow up on the proclamation (to withdraw from the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program), which I presented to the Town Council on Aug. 14, 2007. I am thankful for the Council’s vote. I am grateful to all who attended, to those who eloquently spoke and for the beautiful cards and calls I have received. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each one of you.

Communities who have accepted the No Place for Hate program are invited, as well as Andrew Tarsy, ADL New England regional director. The day after the proclamation was adopted, the Council received a letter from him. In his letter, he expressed his strong opposition to the proclamation. In his letter he stated: “The people of Watertown, their children and grandchildren will no longer benefit from this well-respected and highly successful national program created by ADL to promote the reduction of prejudice, bias, bigotry and hatred of all kinds.” (I do want to recognize Mr. Tarsy for his reversal in accepting the reality of the Genocide.)

It is ironic, in recalling Mr. Tarsy’s letter — it is the ADL that has been practicing prejudice, bias and bigotry for years by denying the Armenian Genocide and, most egregiously, opposing resolutions before Congress to recognize this atrocity. The National ADL recently stated that if there was a word for genocide at that time, it would be tantamount to genocide, but it would be counterproductive to have a resolution passed in Congress.

Years ago, when a resolution was passed in Congress recognizing the unthinkable extermination of 6 million Jews, who would say that it was counterproductive? The systematic, premeditated and deliberate murders of more than 1.5 million Armenians must finally be recognized by a Congressional resolution. The Armenian people have been deprived of a right to their history.

Some have said that communities should stay with the ADL and that this is an Armenian issue — that the Armenians should revisit this issue with the Turks. Would we ask the Jews to revisit with the Nazis?

My goal in writing the proclamation was threefold:
1. To work to get all 59 communities who are in the ADL’s No Place for Hate to withdraw from the program.

2. To have the Mass Municipal Association, which was established to advocate for towns and citizens, withdraw its sponsorship with the ADL until such time as the National ADL publicly supports the resolution in Congress. (The ADL has been working behind the scenes to defeat past resolutions through the years.)

3. The most important goal — is that we all have “one united voice” demanding that the National ADL stand with us for successful passage of the pending resolution in Congress. Anything less is unacceptable. This is the year we can prevail.

Source: http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/opinions/x428360511