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Third town severs ties with ADL

A third town moved to sever ties with a popular Anti-Defamation League program to protest ADL’s position on the Armenian genocide.

The Belmont Human Rights Commission, in Massachusetts, voted unanimously Thursday to recommend quitting the ADL’s No Place For Hate program until the organization supports congressional legislation recognizing the Armenian genocide, the Boston Globe reported.

“If you have an organization that states that their purpose is to defend people, you can’t choose only one,” said Janet Boswell, a commission member.

In moving to break with the ADL, Belmont follows the lead of Arlington and Watertown, two suburban Boston communities that have severed ties with the group over the Armenian issue. Amidst the initial outcry, the ADL reversed itself and recognized the World War I massacres of Armenians as “tantamount to genocide,” but the ADL maintained its refusal to support legislation recognizing as much.

Along with other major Jewish groups, the ADL has refused to support the legislation out of concern for U.S.-Turkey and Israel-Turkey ties, as well as for the security of the Turkish Jewish community. Turkey has lobbied intensely to defeat the legislation, which has majority support in the House of Representatives but has not yet come to a vote.

Twelve Jewish organizations – including the Union for Reform Judaism, Americans for Peace Now, the Zionist Organization of America and the Progressive Jewish Alliance – are supporting the legislation.

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