By Shahkeh Yaylaian Setian
We all know that the national Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has long refused to forthrightly acknowledge the factuality of the Armenian genocide and has actively helped Turkey defeat U.S. Congressional resolutions about it.
Since 2007 the ADL’s immoral, hypocritical position has prompted over a dozen Massachusetts cities to toss out (www.NoPlaceForDenial.com) the ADL’s alleged anti-bias program, “No Place for Hate.”
With these facts in mind, I attended a presentation on “bullying and anti-Semitism” by the ADL’s New England Regional Director, Derrek L. Shulman, at the Jewish Congregation in Falmouth, MA on July 22.
I asked Mr. Shulman two questions during the question and comment period.
Question #1: Would you comment on the ADL’s lobbying the U.S. Congress each year to defeat the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution?
Shulman’s answer: ‘We are opposed to the resolution as are others such as members of Congress and the President.’
Of course, that was no answer at all. Plenty of members of Congress support the resolution. In 2007, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, headed by a Jewish American, voted in favor of the Armenian genocide resolution. And several Jewish American organizations support passage of the resolution.
Question #2: Would you comment on Turkey’s threat that it cannot guarantee the safety of Jews in Turkey if the ADL does not succeed in defeating the Armenian genocide resolution?
Shulman’s answer: ‘I don’t know about that.’
It is well-known that in 2007, when the “No Place for Hate” issue and the genocide resolution were being extensively reported by the media, ADL National Director Abe Foxman said that one reason he opposed the resolution was anxiety about Jews in Turkey. At that time, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan made this threat: “We have told them [the ADL and other Jewish groups] that we cannot explain it to the Turkish public if a road accident happens. We have told them that we cannot keep the Jewish people out of this.”
Shulman is a clever speaker who digresses when put on the spot. His background may partly explain his evasive answers. Before being hired by the ADL, Shulman was a political director of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC has admitted that it has lobbied Congress on Turkey’s behalf to defeat the Armenian resolution.
As such, Shulman is an appropriate spokesperson for the ADL, which has become a political organization posing as a human rights group. It made a deal with the devil – genocide-denying Turkey – and is sticking to that deal.
Shulman said that the ADL was a driving force behind the creation of Massachusetts’ anti-bullying law for schools and is a leading voice nationwide on the issue of bullying.
It’s rather ironic that ADL preaches against bullying while at the same time it uses its considerable political weight to bully Congress into defeating the Armenian genocide resolution. The ADL is also an agent of a bullying country, Turkey, and as such wears the mantle of bully.
Is “anti-bullying” another way that the ADL is working its way into public schools and communities under the guise of being a human rights organization? The ADL has no right to insinuate itself into the public arena through such an important issue as bullying.
The ADL was founded with the noble mission of fighting bias against Jews, but has morphed into a political entity that, while claiming to uphold human rights, commits a human rights abuse by opposing recognition of the Armenian genocide.
All Americans, including those of Armenian descent, must continue to counter the ADL’s immoral stance on the Armenian genocide and oppose its attempts to penetrate communities under the pretext of human rights.
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The author holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her recent book on the Armenian genocide, Humanity in the Midst of Inhumanity, is available on www.Xlibris.com.