Turkey is pressing Israel to help reverse the Anti-Defamation League’s new position on the Armenian genocide.
Turkey’s foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, reportedly told Israel’s ambassador in Ankara, Pinhas Avivi, that Israel could have done more to prevent the ADL’s shift, Ha’aretz reported. The ADL described World War I massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as “tantamount to genocide” last week, after declining for years to take a position on the question.
The Gul-Avivi meeting, which became “shrill” according to Israeli Foreign Ministry sources, seemed to confirm the seriousness with which the Turks view the prospect of a resolution, now under consideration by Congress, recognizing the genocide. Jewish officials have publicly expressed concern that such a resolution could impact Israel’s strategic relationship with Turkey, American interests in the Middle East, and potentially the security of the Turkish Jewish community. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is now conducting discussions on the matter.
The ADL has been under fire for weeks for its position and its refusal to endorse the Congressional resolution. After reversing itself last week and calling the massacres a genocide, ADL almost immediately issued a second statement reiterating its opposition to the resolution and supporting efforts by Turkey and Armenia to resolve this issue by themselves.