Letter by Charles Sahagian

May 21, 2014

My father’s family lost 25 people in the Armenian genocide of 1915. I fought in George Patton’s 3rd Army as it advanced into Germany. It eventually reached the death camps, though I was wounded and sent home before that. So I know something about genocide.

Therefore, I reject the claim by the ADL’s Abraham Foxman (“Why I spoke at Suffolk Law’s commencement”, May 20) that he “clearly and unequivocally acknowledged [the Armenian genocide] as a reality six years ago.”

The ADL’s only definitive, formal statement was seven years ago, on Aug. 21, 2007. It used legalistic word games to skirt the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention. The statement implied that the Armenian genocide was only a “consequence” of Turkish measures rather than, as the Genocide Convention requires, “intentional”. The ADL itself must withdraw that statement and release a formal, unambiguous statement that doesn’t mince words about the Armenian genocide.

The ADL has done considerable damage to human rights by opposing Congressional resolutions on the Armenian genocide. The ADL must repair that damage by working for the Armenian resolution.

If it is the human rights champion it claims to be, the ADL will do these things without hesitation.

Mr. Foxman also pleads for open-mindedness and freedom of speech. Yet he fired New England ADL director Andrew Tarsy in 2007 when he acknowledged the Armenian genocide.

The ADL must reverse course if it is to be credible regarding genocides and the Holocaust.

Mr. Charles Sahagian
Needham, Massachusetts