WESTFIELD, N.J.—Tom Malinowski, a retired U.S. diplomat seeking to unseat a sitting U.S. Representative in central New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, has, in a statement shared with the Armenian National Committee of New Jersey (ANC of N.J.), backed U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and called out his opponent, incumbent Leonard Lance, for taking an all-expense paid junket to Azerbaijan in 2013.
“Acknowledging historical truth is essential to preventing genocide and promoting justice and reconciliation after it happens,” reads a part of Malinowski’s statement. “For this reason, I have long believed that the United States should recognize the Armenian Genocide, while continuing to encourage dialogue between Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian community to reach a common understanding of the past and cooperation on the present challenges they face,” the statement continues. (The full text of Malinowski’s statement to the ANC of N.J. can be read below)
The Garden State’s seventh Congressional District is home to a sizable Armenian-American community, stretching across the width of the state and including parts of Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties. The seat is held by incumbent Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), who has not cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution and, in 2013, made headlines as part of a controversial Congressional trip to Azerbaijan that sparked a high profile Congressional ethics inquiry into possible illegal foreign funding of official U.S. travel.
Tom Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under the Obama Administration starting in April, 2014. During his time in this position, he spearheaded efforts to assist persecuted religious minorities targeted by ISIS in Iraq and worked on decreasing civilian casualties from US military operations in the Middle East. Prior to his tenure at the State Department, from 2001 to 2013, he served as the Washington Director for Human Rights Watch. Born in Poland, he emigrated with his mother to the United States at the age of 6, settling in New Jersey. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987 and a master of philosophy from Oxford University in 1991.
President Obama entered office having pledged repeatedly and very publicly to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Once in the White House, he broke his pledge, blocking proper remembrance of this crime by both the Executive and Legislative branches, and launching the pro-Turkey Protocols providing Ankara and his own Administration with political cover for their continued complicity in the denial of this known case of genocide.
To learn more about the Malinowski campaign visit www.malinowskifornj.com.
The Full Text of Malinowski’s Statement to the ANC of N.J.
Acknowledging historical truth is essential to preventing genocide and promoting justice and reconciliation after it happens. For this reason, I have long believed that the United States should recognize the Armenian genocide, while continuing to encourage dialogue between Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian community to reach a common understanding of the past and cooperation on the present challenges they face. As a former diplomat, I’m acutely aware of the complexities of the US-Turkish relationship, but a continued refusal to state the obvious truth has not made matters better, or encouraged progress in Turkish-Armenian relations; instead the issue remains a source of tension year after year after year. It would be better to simply say what we know to be true. And Congress can take the lead in speaking for the American people on this issue. As a member of Congress, I would support and cosponsor the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution and other similar legislation.”
As a State Department official I was also deeply involved in our efforts to press Azerbaijan—together with all countries in the region—to improve its human rights record and deal with corruption. While some members of Congress, including my opponent Leonard Lance, were taking all-expense paid junkets to Azerbaijan, I was working on behalf of our country to get anti-corruption activists there released from prison. If elected, I would support the Azerbaijan Democracy Act, and in general be a leader on human rights and conflict resolution issues in the region.