Jewish group: The 'Armenian Resolution' Should be Opposed and Defeated





Like swallows returning to Capistrano, Congress’s annual determination to debate the history of the Ottoman Empire is a sign of spring. The Turkish government’s approach to the American Jewish community to help sink the proposed congressional resolution officially recognizing the horrific killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in the early 20th century as genocide is a similar ritual. Unlike the swallows, however, both Congress and the Turks are out of their habitat.

During the flowering of Turkish-Israeli political and security relations, it was easy for representatives of the “organized” Jewish community to speak on behalf of its Turkish friends and against the resolution. As the Turkish government began to slide—and then rush—away from its relationship with Israel and slide—and then rush—toward new accommodations with Syria and Iran, the Jewish community has become less inclined to use its organizational skill on behalf of the agenda of a country that is less inclined toward the Western side of the great divide. It doesn’t help that the Turkish “request” for “help” has begun to sound more like a threat of damage yet to come....

To the extent that either side believed opposition to the resolution was a test of loyalty, or tied it to extraneous issues, they made a mistake. The Armenian resolution—driven largely by the Armenian American community—should be opposed and defeated. But the reasons stand without regard to the (increasingly difficult) behavior of the Turkish government and without regard to (increasingly difficult) Turkish-Israeli or Turkish-American relations....



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