Massachusetts judicial nominee rejected over Genocide denial

Massachusetts judicial nominee rejected over Genocide denial

PanARMENIAN.Net - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s nominee for a Superior Court judgeship has been rejected by the Governor’s Council, which approves judicial nominees, Asbarez reported citing the Associated Press.

The eight-member council voted 4-4 Wednesday, March 6 to deny attorney Joseph Berman a place on the bench.

Patrick said he’s disappointed and that Berman is qualified.

The choice was a contentious one for some council members. The opposition was led by Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney, a Watertown Democrat.

Devaney objected to Berman’s ties to the Anti-Defamation League, which has worked directly with Turkey to defeat Congressional resolutions on the Armenian Genocide and still refuses to unambiguously acknowledge that genocide.

Berman supporters said he helped push the ADL’s national leadership to change its position and acknowledge the Armenian genocide.

Gov. Patrick called the objections to Berman “unprecedented and unfair.”

Before and during the height of Armenian Americans’ battle against the genocide denial of the ADL in 2007, National Commissioner Berman apparently never issued a public statement disagreeing with national ADL policies towards Armenians.

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The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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