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New Armenian Genocide resolution locks in official recognition in U.S.

New Armenian Genocide resolution locks in official recognition in U.S.

PanARMENIAN.Net - On the eve of the Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance, Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) were joined by over 70 of their U.S. House colleagues in introducing a new Armenian Genocide Resolution aimed at establishing, as a matter of U.S. policy, 1) the rejection of Armenian Genocide denial, 2) ongoing official U.S. government recognition and remembrance of this crime, and 3) the importance of education about the Armenian Genocide in preventing modern-day atrocities, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“All who oppose genocide welcome today’s launch of legislation locking-in U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and – once and for all – locking-out Turkish denials of this crime,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “This bipartisan measure – spearheaded by Representatives Adam Schiff and Gus Bilirakis – also permanently locks down – as official U.S. policy – that future generations should be educated about the facts of this crime, America’s noble relief efforts for its victims, and – most urgently – the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.”

Rep. Schiff highlighted the genocide prevention role of the legislation. "Over 100 years ago, the Ottoman Empire undertook a brutal campaign of murder, rape, and displacement against the Armenian people that took the lives of 1.5 million men, women, and children in the first genocide of the 20th century," said Rep. Schiff. "Genocide is not a relic of the past, but an ever present threat. Its denial is not only a continuing injury to the survivors, but makes its repetition against another people more likely. It is therefore all the more pressing that the Congress recognize the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide and make clear that we will never be an accomplice to denial."

Republican lead sponsor Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), explained, “Genocide must not be denied. It must be acknowledged for what it is—a scourge on humanity. Official recognition of the Armenian Genocide would represent a courageous new chapter in American foreign policy. With the bold leadership of the current Administration, it is time for the United States to take a stand against Turkish genocide denial.”

Joining Representatives Schiff and Bilirakis as original cosponsors of the measure are Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY), Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ethics Committee Chair Ted Deutch (D-FL), Natural Resources Committee Chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Mark Takano (D-CA), Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), House Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Republican Devin Nunes (R-CA), Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairs Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Gil Cisneros (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Lou Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), TJ Cox (D-CA), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), John Garamendi (D-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Josh Harder (D-CA), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Peter King (R-NY), Steve King (R-IA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Andy Levin (D-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Grace Meng (D-NY), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Edwin Perlmutter (D-CO), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ross Spano (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

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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