Haaretz: Jews who befriended Turkey and became Genocide deniers

Haaretz: Jews who befriended Turkey and became Genocide deniers

PanARMENIAN.Net - Historian Marc David Baer has unveiled an article about how prominent Jews, from Turkish chief rabbis to Israel's presidents to U.S. lay leaders, have propped up Turkey’s Armenian Genocide denial.

In the piece published in Haaretz, Baer says the Jewish state should be the first to recognize genocide wherever it occurs.

However, he adds, most surprising is that Turkish and Israeli Genocide denial has been facilitated by Turkish Jews.

"Despite their own long, sorry record of suffering discrimination and occasional violence in the Turkish Republic, for decades Turkish Jewish leaders have been among Turkey’s most reliable agents of Genocide denial," says the historian.

"The acid test for proving themselves useful allies is to agitate against Genocide recognition in Israel, Europe, and the United States."

According to the article, after arriving in Turkey more than 500 years ago, Jews have gone to great lengths to please and laud all Turks as tolerant hosts of their Jewish "guests." And just as the the first massacres of Armenians was happening in late 19th century, Jews began to publicize the Turks as humanitarian protectors, the historian says.

"To advocate a fantasy of five hundred years of harmony, the most influential Jewish leaders within Turkey opposed recognition of the Armenian Genocide. They were joined by supporters in Israel (including presidents Shimon Peres and Moshe Katzav, as well as the Foreign Ministry, and the Union of Turkish Immigrants in Israel) and almost every major American Jewish organisation," Baer says.

However, several major Jewish-American organizations, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, have recently recognized the Genocide.

"One thing is certain: Armenians and Jews, two groups whose similar history makes them natural allies, will improve their relationship which was harmed by decades of denial done in part by some of the latter’s co-religionists," the article concludes.

April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals were rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Genocide, which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.

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