Armenian Genocide: The Fallout

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Jewcy is rallying the troops for a boycott of Abe Foxman’s speech at the 92nd Street Y next week to further their public outcry over his previous refusal to label the Armenian genocide “genocide.” They, and others, are still criticizing Foxman for failing to endorse a proposed congressional resolution to recognize the genocide.

I will not defend Foxman for punting on the genocide question, but I do urge my rabble-rousing friends to keep in mind that in the world of realpolitik, it’s not always easy to work out the balance sheet between morality and diplomacy.

The Forward is reporting the extent to which the ADL’s reversal has created rifts with Turkish government officials (particularly vis-a-vis Israel), but what gave me a jolt this week was something else. A journalist who has been following this story very closely, has little sympathy for Foxman, and was disgusted with his initial approach to the genocide question, told me he was now genuinely fearful for Turkish Jewry.

The well-being of Turkish Jews has always been a concern for those who opposed the “genocide” label, and my journalist friend was starting to think this was a legitimate worry now.

So while I’m all for speaking truth to power, let’s make sure we’re doing it for the right reasons — and with a clear head about our risks and responsibilities.

Posted on August 31, 2007

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