Fourth Mass. town breaks with ADL

A fourth Massachusetts town has broken with the ADL because of its position on the Armenian genocide.

The mayor of Newton, David Cohen, announced Tuesday that his city was withdrawing from the Anti-Defamation League-sponsored No Place for Hate program until the organization definitively recognizes the World War I massacres of Armenians as genocide, the Boston Globe reported. Newton is an affluent suburb with a large Jewish population.

The ADL reversed its longstanding position on the genocide question last month under intense pressure from its New England regional leadership. After years of claiming it could not make a judgment on whether the massacres constituted a genocide, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said the consequences of the massacres were indeed “tantamount to genocide.” The ADL continues to oppose a congressional resolution recognizing the genocide.

Communities in Boston’s western suburbs, home to one of the country’s largest Armenian communities, have reacted with outrage. Three Massachusetts towns – Watertown, Arlington and Belmont – moved to sever ties with No Place for Hate, an anti-bigotry program.

On Sept. 11, the Newton Human Rights Commission voted unanimously to recommend ending their city’s participation. The ADL is scheduled to reconsider its position at a national meeting in November.

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