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ADL: no further action on genocide

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The Anti-Defamation League has decided to take no further action on the Armenian genocide question.

At the league’s national commission meeting in New York last week, ADL’s New England leadership pushed for a more unambiguous statement recognizing the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide. The matter was discussed at a three-hour closed door session on Friday afternoon, after which the ADL’s national commissioners voted overwhelmingly to endorse its current statement on the genocide. The New England leadership withdrew its resolution calling for a further statement.

In August, under mounting pressure from Boston-area communities, the ADL reversed longstanding policy and referred to the “consequences” of the killings as “tantamount to genocide.” Critics said the statement was insufficient and a dodge, a charge the ADL has repeatedly denied.

ADL leaders from New England, who had initially pushed hard for a clearer statement, claimed to be satisfied with the outcome. James Rudolph, chairman of the New England regional board, told the Boston Globe that he had received assurances that the August statement was unequivocal.

“I feel comfortable with it,” Rudolph said.

New England ADL leaders say they plan to try and mend fences with several Boston communities who broke ties with a popular anti-bigotry program sponsored by the ADL in protest of its position on the genocide. But local Armenian activists gave no indication that they would stop pressing for a change.

“I am very disappointed,” said one Armenian leader who wished to remain anonymous because talks with the New England leadership are ongoing. “The current decision by the entire cadre of ADL commissioners from across the U.S. makes the entire organization complicit in Turkey’s genocide denial campaign.”

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