U.S. Representatives Press Obama to Recognize Armenian Genocide

Representatives Join Senators in Sending Bipartisan Letters to the White House

WASHINGTON—Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama, encouraging him, this April, to properly affirm the Armenian Genocide as a clear case of genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We thank members of both the U.S. House and Senate for their bipartisan efforts to encourage President Obama to speak openly and honestly about the Armenian Genocide during this April’s Centennial observance,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Special thanks to Congressman Pallone and Dold for leading this effort, and to each signatory of this Armenian Caucus letter.”

Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chairs Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)
Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chairs Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)

The House letter, spearheaded by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), echoed language from Obama’s campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide: “A clear recognition of the Armenian Genocide, particularly in this centennial year, would affirm that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.” They added, “A principled presidential statement clearly citing the Armenian Genocide would help strengthen condemnations of the past, and recognize the important relationship the United States shares with Armenia today.”

Joining the Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chairs in signing the letter are Representatives Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Dave Brat (R-Va.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), James Langevin (D-R.I.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Edward Royce (R-Calif.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), David Trott (R-Mich.), Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), and Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.).

A U.S. House resolution, H.Res.154.—the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution seeking improved Armenian-Turkish relations based on justice for this crime—has 50 cosponsors.

A similar Senate letter, led by Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), noted that: “While the United States Congress has a long history of support for the victims and the memory of the Armenian Genocide, the Administration has not formally recognized the atrocities that were perpetrated against the Armenians as ‘genocide.'” The Senate signatories stressed that a principled stand by the president would “send a powerful signal to the international community that this Administration is committed to recognizing the Armenian Genocide, to upholding the ideals of tolerance and universal human rights upon which our country was founded, and to preventing similar atrocities from ever happening again.”

The text of the Congressional Armenian Genocide Centennial Letter to Obama is available here:

http://www.anca.org/assets/pdf/misc/040215_House_Genocide_Letter.pdf

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16 Comments

  1. Who is going to vote against this, and what possible reason would they have for opposing it?
    It should be passed unanimously.

    • Semantics are creepy. It’s not okay to finesse the definition of a word for political ends.

      What Armenians survived was what the Jews survived: holocaust.
      Tasmanians were victims of genocide.

      Homocide: killing of a man.
      Genocide: killing of a “race”.

      There are no Tasmanians left. They are all dead. That is genocide. If you’re Armenian and you’re campaigning for the recognition of the systematic killing of your entire race – you are a victim of holocaust, not genocide.

      Claiming you are mocks the fate of two Native American cultural groups and the Tasmanians who saw REAL genocidal destruction.

      Again, Genocide and Holocaust are not the same thing and if the President has a brain, which he does, he will not bow.

  2. My mother and grandmother were the victims of the Armenian Genocide. They walked seven months from Erzerum to Mosul where I was born. I have heard endless unbearable stories from other victims. It is sad that the United States and Great Britain refuse to recognize the Armenian Genocide for political reasons. What a shame? I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have said?

    • I am trying to reach Loris Ohannes Chobanian, he was my fellow classmate in Tarkmanchadz Elementary School in Mosul, Iraq in 1946.

  3. Every Armenian family have victims from 1915 !!
    From Armenian genocide
    My grandfather family were killed in ERZERUM
    Turkish solders enjoyed to do that

    • They Can Start by Giving us our Land Back, of course they will not ,,, so its time to take it back.. and we need to stop handing the Azeris with kids gloves.

  4. Encouraging and commendable job by the ANCA.
    In my humble opinion, short of expectations and a bit of a letdown.
    – 49 House Representatives have signed. 39 Democrats, 10 Republicans.
    Republicans are still underrepresented.
    Armenian-Americans who are leaning Republicans, for whatever their reasons and political thinking is, should exert more pressure on their Republican Representatives, to counterbalance the lobbying of the Turks/Azeris and the military establishment.
    – 20 Representatives are from California. This is primarily due to the large Armenian community in CA, and can have an impact on elections. Great job by the ANCA WR.
    – 6 From New York, 4 Mass, 3 Colorado,3 Michigan. We should be able to exert more pressure in these States.
    – 2 each from Minn, Md. Ill, R.I, NJ.
    – 1 each from FL, VA, Nev.

    We have 44 States that have passed and recognized the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Only Representatives from 13 states have signed the letter. This clearly indicates that our efforts are more effective at the State level that the Federal.
    Still a lot of work to be done.
    Vart Adjemian

  5. Semantics are indeed creepy.
    Quite so: it is not OK to finesse the definition of a word for political ends, like you are doing, our Turk guest.

    Very noble of you to try to come up with a new, political, Turkophile definition of the legal term ‘Genocide’.
    Nice try: no cigar.

    Read what the definition of the word ‘Genocide’ says: what it says about “in whole or in part” before you go thru your convoluted illogic to try to absolve your Turk kin of the crime of Genocide.
    Also read up on Specific Intent (Dolus Specialis) to understand the difference between deaths as a result of unintended consequences, massacres, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and – Genocide.

    And President Obama does have a brain: but like many before him, lacks the courage and integrity, being beholden to special interests.
    And he will bow to his friend the radical Islamist Neo-Sultan Erdogan and the vile Turkophile Anti-AG lobby in US and will chicken out.

    But it’s OK: Denialists have to keep wining every time.
    We need to win once, and that’s all she wrote.

    • “vile Turkophile”
      Really?

      gen•o•cide (jĕnˈə-sīdˌ)►

      n.
      The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.

      You need only open a browser and type “define genocide” to get a definition. Keep grasping. Nothing about English is too difficult [for me] to grasp.

      Also, Ottoman Turks do not exist anymore. Nice try yourself. Good luck in your quest for benefits.

  6. Hazmik,( whoever you are)
    I never intended to dignify your comments with a response. Avery is performing that function quite well.
    Now , I suggest you continue your argument with Pope Francis and the Vatican about the definition of Genocide.
    May be, you can also explain why the Turkish government is so riled up ? Big wow!!! they called the Vatican Ambassador. What are they going to threaten the Vatican with?
    Vart Adjemian

  7. @vart Adjemian question is what are you hoping to achive by getting genocide recognized? the whole world can recognize it doesnt mean anything unless turkey does and do you think turkey will bow down to hostile approach by armenians? again what do you want? lands? compensation? citizenship?

  8. (Hazmik // April 11, 2015 at 12:08 am //)

    Yes, really.
    You need only open the legal definition of Genocide to get the real definition, not the denialist Turkish make-believe version.

    http://www.teachgenocide.org/files/UN%20Definition%20of%20Genocide.pdf

    [The International Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on December 9, 1948 set the United Nations definition of genocide:
    General Assembly Resolution 260A (III) Article 2
    In the present Convention, genocide means any of the
    following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole
    or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
    (a) Killing members of the group;
    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life
    calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group]

    {“ Also, Ottoman Turks do not exist anymore. Nice try yourself. Good luck in your quest for benefits.”}

    Modern Republic of Turkey is the legal Successor State of the recognized State of Ottoman Empire.
    Use your skills with the browser of your choice to look up what that means and what legal obligations it imposes on the successor state.
    And we don’t need any so-called ‘benefits’ from descendants of Yurt-dwelling Turkic nomads from Uyguristan who are living on our lands: we want what was stolen from us by Turks and we will get it back.
    Have no doubt.

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