Genocide Resolution Gains Momentum

WASHINGTON—A broad spectrum of veteran and freshmen House members are adding their voices to the global call for truth and justice, as support for passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res. 154) continues to grow, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Armenian American U.S. House Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) offers poignant remarks in support of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution (H.Res.154) on March 18
Armenian-American U.S. House Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) offers poignant remarks in support of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution (H.Res. 154) on March 18

A bipartisan cross-section of House Committee leaders have added their voices to the more than 45 supporters of the measure. Joining H. Res. 154 lead advocates Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), and Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) are the following:

Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the Budget Committee Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Chairman of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission James McGovern (D-Mass.), Co-Chairs of the Hellenic Caucus Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Representatives Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Janice Hahn (D-Calif.), Michael Honda (D-Calif.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), James Langevin (D-R.I.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Edwin Perlmutter (D-Col.), Jared Polis (D-Col.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), David Trott (R-Mich.), and Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.).

 

Armenian-American U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier offer personal accounts of the ravages of genocide

During a press conference held in conjunction with the introduction of H.Res. 154 last week, Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier offered powerful personal calls for U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide.
“I am of both Armenian and Assyrian descent,” said Eshoo. “I know the stories. I lost family in the genocide,” she said, as she went on to share her concerns about the ongoing horrors in the Middle East visited on Christian communities today. “History does repeat itself. Today, we are seeing the elimination of Christians across the Middle East. And so, history is repeating itself. The Armenian Genocide took place because Armenians were Christians—they had a mark on them. The Christians in the Middle East today are suffering at the hands of yet others who seek to exterminate them.”

Speier explained, “I am a proud Armenian American. I am also a pained Armenian American because our Congress has not seen fit to do the very least that we can do in recognizing the Armenian Genocide. This is the 100th anniversary. Certainly after 100 years we can recognize a fact and pass a resolution condemning the act.”

Armenian American U.S. House Members Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) offers poignant remarks in support of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution (H.Res.154) on March 18
Armenian-American U.S. House member Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) offers poignant remarks in support of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution (H.Res. 154) on March 18

 

Sherman: ‘Genocide denial is not just the last step of a genocide, it is the first step in the next genocide’

Throughout the inaugural press conference and in statements issued thereafter, House members cited the importance of ending U.S. complicity in Turkey’s Armenian Genocide denial.

“This is a genocide that Senator Barack Obama recognized, that Senator Kerry recognized, that UN Ambassador, Ms. Power, recognized and wrote the book on. And it’s time for both the executive branch and legislative branch to do the same,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee senior member Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). “We need to show the government of Turkey that we cannot be cawed. That we cannot ignore history. Because genocide denial is not just the last step of a genocide, it is the first step in the next genocide.”

“I think it is important that the world community, that the United States, Turkey, acknowledge the atrocities that occurred—the genocide,” said Michigan Freshman Republican David Trott. “I am new to this Congress. I have only been here a few months, but it is hard for me to fathom why we are still debating and discussing this topic. We need to move forward with this resolution. I am a proud sponsor of it.”

Southern California Congresswoman Judy Chu remembered her meetings with 104-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor Joseph Manjikian, who has since passed away, but remains a steadfast reminder of the horrors of the past and the need to speak truthfully about that crime. “With the Armenian Genocide Centennial quickly approaching, we must stand shoulder to shoulder with the Armenian-American community and on the side of justice,” said Chu. “We will not give up until our country stands on the side of history.”

Calls for reaffirmation and justice continued after the press conference, with Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline sharing this statement with the ANCA: “I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution. Though a century has passed since the horrific period of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey continues to deny these historical facts. I will continue to work hard for recognition of the Armenian Genocide and properly honor the memories of the Armenian martyrs. Rhode Island is home to a thriving Armenian-American community and I am honored to be a strong voice for this community in Congress.”

Fellow Ocean State Congressman James Langevin noted, “A century has passed since more than 1 million Armenians lost their lives in a senseless campaign of violence, and yet the Armenian people worldwide are still waiting for universal acknowledgement of the genocide committed against them. I am proud to support the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution, and I will continue to back these efforts to honor the victims and give the Armenian community the support and peace of mind that they deserve.”

 

Costa: ‘The time is now!’

Central Valley, Calif. Congressman Costa countered detractors who would argue the timing of the resolution. “Next month will be the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide. Acknowledging this atrocity would finally allow a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity. … The time is now! Congress and the president should go on record acknowledging this atrocity once and for all,” he said.

H.Res. 154, spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Dold, Schiff, and Valadao and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Pallone, reflects and reinforces previous U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide as a crime of genocide, citing the U.S. government’s May 28, 1951 written statement to the International Court of Justice regarding the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; President Ronald Reagan’s April 22, 1981 Proclamation; and congressional adoption of Armenian Genocide legislation in 1975 and 1984. The resolution calls on the president to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey’s full acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles written and submitted by members of the community, which make up our community bulletin board.

7 Comments

  1. This is getting really ridiculous. This article could have been written in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, or today. It’s the same EXACT article that’s been written for 30 years!!! How can the Armenian media survive while offering readers nothing but rehashed false hopes? This article doesn’t even TRY to explain what the reality of the situation is, nor does it try to remind readers that similar resolutions have been similarly supported just about 105,254 times! This is simply lazy journalism.

  2. Impressive. My deep concern is that it will fall on deaf ears at the White House, and President Obama will hide behind his normal description of the Genocide, as the ” Medz Yehghern” that no one other than Armenians will understand what he means. What a wimp !!!
    My humble suggestion to the ANCA- both ER and WR region, is to embark on an email campaign addressed to President Obama at the White House.
    Also, as it is obvious that we have more Democrats with moral fortitude and integrity than Republicans, we also embark an email campaign to the Republican National Committee and Republican National Senatorial Committee. I am of the opinion that there are American Armenians who are registered Republicans, who can influence the Republican party, especially that 2016 elections will be politically nasty and contentious.
    Vart Adjemian

  3. Barack Obama already acknowledged the genocide when he was a candidate for President. And he asserts every April that he has not changed his mind. Why not use these facts to our advantage and broadcast often and everywhere a “Thank you, Mr. Obama, for acknowledging the Armenian Genocide” campaign. We are foolish not to make the most of the words he himself spoke. He can’t deny it and we can use it.

  4. My great Grandmother lost her family in Banderma, Ottoman Empire in 1915.
    That is why she was always praying, my family said, when I was five years old.

  5. Vagharshak, I’ve been thinking the same thing for 6 years….. “For those of you that aren’t aware, there was a genocide that did take place against the Armenian people.” Barack Obama

  6. as a young boy of 5 or maybe 6 years of age i was sitting among Armenians young and old ,listening to their conversations.Someone mentioned the chart aka massacres.this was the very first time a sat and heard the many brutal acts of the turks.I noticed one man small in stature hunched over with a red welt across his back below his neck.being curious i asked what it was,i was told by others not to ask that question again,being naive i asked again and this time he answered.When the turks would cut off the head of the Armenians their headless bodies were thrown in the pit.The sword to behead him had become so blunt that all it left was this red mark.He started to weep along with the other elders,we the youn ,were in shock,we stood and promised revenge against the turks,they just rubbed our heads and told us not to forget,that was 1955 or 1956 in athens greece how can this world be oblivious to this crime.

  7. One of the reasons that the Turkish majority deny the Genocide is because all the people who executed it are dead and their text books teach that it was all just part of war. And the Turks who are in the know are supposedly systematically destroying the libraries across the region who still have documentation. They need to destroy it to be able to get into the UN someday (or so I understand).

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