Sunday, August 19, 2007
A shout out to Andy Tarsy, former New England regional director for the Anti-Defamation League. Andy was canned on Friday for breaking with Abe Foxman and the home office by stating publicly that the group should recognize the Armenian Genocide. I have met Tarsy in the past and been impressed with him. This incident does nothing to dampen that. JR Telegraph, a blog which has been highly critical of Tarsy in the past but also praises Tarsy for this principled move, points to the Boston Globe story on the firing: ADL local leader fired on Armenian issue
The firing of Andrew H. Tarsy, who had served as regional director for about two years and as civil rights counsel for about five years before that, prompted an immediate backlash among prominent local Jewish leaders against the ADL's national leadership and its national director, Abraham H. Foxman.
"My reaction is that this was a vindictive, intolerant, and destructive act, ironically by an organization and leader whose mission -- fundamental mission -- is to promote tolerance," Newton businessman Steve Grossman, a former ADL regional board member, said yesterday.
"I predict that Foxman's actions will precipitate wholesale resignations from the regional board, a meaningful reduction in ADL's regional fund-raising, and will further exacerbate the ADL's relationship with the non-Jewish community coming out of this crisis around the Armenian genocide."
Tarsy, 38, said he had been struggling with the national position for weeks and finally told Foxman in a phone conversation Thursday that he found the ADL's stance "morally indefensible."...
Here's the crux:
Andy Bostom wrote last Wednesday on The perversity of denying genocide. According to his article:
ADL is responding with An Open Letter to the New England Community taken out in the Boston Globe and The Jewish Advocate which states in part:
We believe that the Turkish government must do more than it has to confront its history and to seek reconciliation with the Armenian people. We have said that to the Turkish government and its officials, we will continue to do so, and we take this opportunity to repeat it publicly. We will continue to work to convince Turkey to pursue recognition and reconciliation, and we will seek ways to encourage this process.
We believe that legislative efforts outside of Turkey are counterproductive to the goal of having Turkey itself come to grips with its past. We take no position on what action Congress should take on House Resolution 106. The Jewish community in Turkey has clearly expressed to us and other major American Jewish organizations its concerns about the impact of Congressional action on them, and we cannot ignore those concerns. We are also keenly aware that Turkey is a key strategic ally and friend of the United States and a staunch friend of Israel, and that in the struggle between Islamic extremists and moderate Islam, Turkey is the most critical country in the world...
It's a sticky wicket. You have a small, dhimmi community and a country that's an important...friend...of Israel. Even Armenia itself understands the calls of realpolitik and avoiding issues where you don't have to take a stand. On the other hand, truth is truth.