A congressional committee will vote on whether to recognize the World War I massacres of Armenians as a genocide.
The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee will vote Wednesday on bipartisan legislation recognizing the genocide, a move fiercely opposed by Turkey and major Jewish organizations. The groups are concerned about its impact on Turkish ties with the United States and Israel, as well as its potential impact on Turkish Jews.
“The United States has a compelling historical and moral reason to recognize the Armenian genocide,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “But we also have a powerful contemporary reason as well – how can we take effective action against the genocide in Darfur if we lack the will to condemn genocide whenever and wherever it occurs?”
The Armenia issue has roiled the Jewish community since Watertown, Mass., a Boston surburb, moved this summer to end its partnership with an anti-bigotry program sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL had refused to recognize the killings as genocide, but was forced to reverse itself amid the uproar, acknowledging the massacres were “tantamount to genocide.”