L.A. County presses White House to recognize Armenian Genocide

L.A. County presses White House to recognize Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors added its voice this week to those calling on the White House to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Beverly Hills Patch reports.

1.5 million Armenians were systematically murdered or marched to their deaths in the first genocide of the 20th century, perpetrated at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Around 30 countries, dozens of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings as genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended sending a letter to President Donald Trump.

"Now is the time to put our words into action," Barger told her colleagues. "We need our national leaders to call what happened between 1915 and 1923 what it is, a genocide."

She noted that Trump, like past presidents, stopped short of that designation, referring instead to "one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century" when mourning the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.

The board will also urge the county's congressional delegates to support House Resolution 220, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, which would formally recognize the Genocide.

Los Angeles County is home to more than 200,000 Armenians, the largest such community outside of Armenia.

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, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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