Another Mass. group cuts ADL ties

A Massachusetts advocacy group has cut ties with an embattled Anti-Defamation League program against bigotry.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Massachusetts Municipal Associated broke its association with No Place for Hate because of the ADL’s failure to unequivocally recognize the Armenian genocide.

“The Board believes that unequivocal recognition of the Armenian Genocide is both a matter of basic justice to its victims as well as essential to efforts to prevent future genocides,” the group said in a statement.

The MMA recommended that state municipalities seeking an alternative anti-bigotry program consider the National League of Cities Inclusive Communities program.

A statement from the ADL’s New England office said it was “disappointed” in the vote, but noted that the No Place for Hate program had been expanded into a “community-based network” and that it was “growing and vital.”

At least 12 Massachusetts communities have withdrawn from the No Place for Hate Program since a controversy arose last summer over the ADL’s refusal to label the World War I massacres of Armenians a genocide. Amidst a mounting backlash, including fierce protests from the ADL’s New England board and the resignation of the Boston office director, the league issued a carefully worded statement saying the massacres were “tantamount to genocide.”

Activists in the Boston-area, home to a large concentration of Armenian Americans, said the league was still equivocating. The ADL denies the charge.

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