Andrew Tarsy, the head of the Anti-Defamation League’s Boston office, was fired after dissenting from the organization’s position concerning the Armenian genocide.
Tarsy was fired Friday, one day after he publicly broke ranks with the organization over its refusal to acknowledge the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide, the Boston Globe reported. In an interview in Friday’s Globe, Tarsy urged the ADl to change its position on the matter.
“I strongly disagree with ADL’s national position,” Tarsy said. “It’s my strong hope that we’ll be able to move forward in a relationship with the Armenian community and the community in general.”
The ADL responded with a statement, due to be published as an advertisement in regional newspapers this week, saying it did not deny that genocide took place but reiterating its opposition to an effort, vigorously opposed by Turkey, to have Congress pronounce on the issue.
“We believe that legislative efforts outside of Turkey are counterproductive to the goal of having Turkey itself come to grips with its past,” the statement said. “We take no position on what action Congress should take on House Resolution 106.”
Tarsy’s firing is the latest twist in a saga that began with a letter to the local weekly in Watertown, Mass., a Boston suburb with a substantial Armenian population, criticizing the ADL’s position. On Tuesday, the Watertown Town Council voted to rescind its participation in No Place for Hate, an ADL-sponsored anti-bigotry program. Other Massachusetts communities are reported to be considering similar moves.