Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Armenian University gives award to Ahmadinejad: A double standard???

Seems that Yerevan University [Yerevan is the capital of Armenia] has given a gold medal and an honorary doctorate to Iran's Ahmadinejad.

Armenian Americans have condemned the university for this action because of Ahmadinejad's record of Holocaust denial. This is the correct stance for them to take.

An Armenian run Web site, No Place For Denial, continues to accuse the ADL of genocide denial, alleging that its statements on the subject have been ambiguous, a charge the ADL denies. The continuing momentum has led several communities in the Boston area to end their partnerships with a highly regarded anti-bigotry program sponsored by the ADL.

Here's what perplexes me. Dikran Kaligian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America's Eastern Region, and Sevag Arzoumanian, "No Place for Denial" have told the JTA that,

while they disagree with the notion of giving Ahmadinejad an award, agree that it was appropriate for Ahmadinejad to be invited to Armenia, a landlocked country that depends on good relations with its neighbors for trade and energy.

This, they seem to be saying, is a matter of realpolitik.

Why then don't they understand when Jews worry about the fate of the Turkish Jewish community or Turkey's relations with Israel? That too is realpolitik.

Seems to me there is a real double standard here. Maybe someone can explain the difference to me...


webmaster said...

Dear Pr. Lipstadt,
Did that particular Armenian University -- or the Armenian Government -- agree to help deny the Shoah? or to even diminish it? No, it did not. Similarly, Armenians do not object to Israel inviting denialist Turkish officials or to praising them for political expediency. And no American Jewish organization has ever complained about Israel doing business with denialist Turks.

Yet American Armenians are protesting Ahmadinejad in Armenia.

I would actually argue that Turkey's attitude towards the Armenian genocide is much more severe and much more sadistic than Ahmadinejad's attitude towards the Shoah.

The real problem is that, at some point years ago, Israeli decision-makers agreed to use the Armenian genocide issue as a political bargaining chip. These officials are the culprits that you and Abe Foxman should be targeting for criticism instead of the Armenians.

A good, thorough historical investigation can expose who these Israeli officials were/are. I think it is historically important to identify them and remember what they agreed to.

alik said...

First let me quote from that same JTA article: At the end of the article, the Boston area activist you mentioned said:
"How can Yerevan State University give an academic degree, however symbolic, to someone who takes the intellectually dishonest position that there needs to be further research and academic conferences to determine if the Holocaust occurred? What were they thinking? I think the YSU made a terrible error of judgment, both academically and morally."

As for the difference:
1)no one is asking Israel (the entity corresponding to Armenia in this equation) not to have good relations with Turkey.
b)Armenia and Armenian organizations in the US do not question the Holocaust or lobby against its recognition (as opposed to Israel and the ADL).

The ADL is a human rights organization (how many times do we need to say this?), not a state.

We all understand when Jews worry about the fate of the Turkish Jewish community or Israel's security. You should blame Turkey for taking these hostage, and not Armenians who struggle against the denial of their history.

hockey hound said...

Here's an article by Ann Coulter about the ADL which might be interesting for Prof. Lipstadt's readers:

The Anti-Defamation League is to Jews what the National Organization for Women is to women and the ACLU is to civil libertarians. They represent not Jews or women or civil libertarians, but the left wing of the Democratic Party.

In the paramount threat of our time, the Democratic Party is AWOL. And those are the patriotic Democrats. The rest are actively aiding the enemy.

The blood of millions of Israelis is at stake, and the ADL is flacking for a party that yearns to surrender to the terrorists.

To hide the dirty little secret of the left's burgeoning anti-Semitism, liberals act as if they live in abject terror of right-wingers. When it comes to conservatives, the Anti-Defamation League is the Pro-Defamation League.

For decades, most Jews supported the left, and the left supported Jewish causes. But the left moved on long ago. For liberals, Jews are just so "last Holocaust."

The ADL gently chided Columbia University for making the "mistake" of inviting a genocidal, Holocaust-denying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak. It tepidly criticized Ahmadinejad's speech for being "a charade of half-answers and obfuscation." That sounds like a fair description of Hillary's current stump speech.

The ADL and its ilk reserve their real venom for a beast like Dennis Prager -- a leading Jewish intellectual, author and radio talk show host. Last year, Prager made the manifestly obvious point that the first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, should take his oath of office not on a Quran, but on a Bible, in recognition of "the value system (that) underlies American civilization."

According to the ADL, Prager's column was not a trifling "mistake" on the order of allowing an American audience at one of America's premier universities to give a standing ovation to a murderous, racist lunatic. Prager was "intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American." I think I'd take "obfuscation."

The relevant organs of pious liberal society were promptly rounded up to censure Prager, including the American Jewish Committee and two members of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Rep. Henry Waxman and former New York Mayor Ed Koch -- who called Prager a "bigot." Do they have Ellison on the record acknowledging whether the Holocaust happened?

The executive committee of the Holocaust Museum called Prager's column antithetical to "tolerance and respect for all peoples regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity."

But you'll see that famed liberal "tolerance" dry up pretty fast if you render a simple statement of the beliefs of Christians.

The usual liberal coterie acts shocked and offended by Christians who actually believe Christianity is true -- unlike Democratic politicians -- to conceal the fact that the left is increasingly dominated by people conniving in the destruction of Israel.

How about having Tim Russert ask Hillary if she believes the New Testament is the perfection of the Old Testament? She claims to be a Christian. Let's get it on the table: Is she or isn't she? It doesn't get any more bare-bones than that.

Let the cat out of the bag that a 2,000-year-old religion practiced by a majority of Americans teaches that Jesus came in "fulfillment of the scriptures," and you might be better off if you had adopted the preferred approach of liberals' new friends the Muslims and simply slit the Jew's throat.

At least the ADL wouldn't object.

They're too busy conspiring with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to denounce Dennis Prager. And promoting gun control. And gay marriage. And illegal immigration. You know, all the issues that have historically kept the Jews safe.

The ADL denounces the teaching of intelligent design, the placement of the Ten Commandments on public property and Bibles in public schools. Any entity that disagrees with them on these issues will be labeled an "extremist organization."

Gosh, it's a good thing there isn't a worldwide terrorist movement dedicated to killing Jews. The ADL might have to tear themselves away from promoting faddish liberal causes.

The ADL is more concerned with what it calls the "neo-Nazis" and "anti-Semites" in the Minutemen organization than with people who behead Jews whenever they get half a chance. It's only a matter of time before the ADL gets around to global warming.

Earlier this year, the ADL issued an alarmist report, declaring that the Ku Klux Klan has experienced "a surprising and troubling resurgence" in the U.S., which I take it to mean that nationwide KKK membership is now approaching double digits. Liberal Jews seem to be blithely unaware that the singular threat to Jews at the moment is the complete annihilation of Israel. Why won't they focus on the genuine threat of Islamo-fascism and leave poor old Robert Byrd alone?

The ADL goes around collecting statements from Democrats proclaiming their general support for Israel, but it refuses to criticize Democrats who attack Joe Lieberman for supporting the war and who tolerate the likes of former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

Sure, Hillary will show up at an ADL dinner and announce that she supports Israel. And then she gets testy with Bush for talking about sanctions against Iran in too rough a tone of voice.

What does it mean for the ADL to collect those statements?

The survival of Israel is inextricably linked to the survival of the Republican Party and its evangelical base. And yet the ADL viciously attacks conservatives, implying that there is some genetic anti-Semitism among right-wingers in order to hide the fact that anti-Semites are the ADL's best friends -- the defeatists in Congress, the people who tried to drive Joe Lieberman from office, the hoodlums on college campuses who riot at any criticism of Muslim terrorists and identify Israel as an imperialist aggressor, and liberal college faculties calling for "anti-apartheid" boycotts of Israel.

The Democratic Party sleeps with anti-Semites every night, but groups like the ADL love to play-act their bravery at battling ghosts, as if it's the 1920s and they are still fighting quotas at Harvard.

Earlier this year, Rep. Virgil Goode Jr., R-Va., said "in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America."

The ADL attacked him, saying, "Bigots have always hid behind the immigration issue."

Like the noose hysteria currently sweeping New York City, liberals are always fighting the last battle because the current battle is too frightening.

Liberal Jews are on a collision course with themselves. They can't reconcile the survival of Israel with their conception of themselves as liberals. The liberal coalition has turned against them. Jews are out; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is in. The new king knows not Joseph.

By Ann Coulter

Deborah Lipstadt said...

I posted this article because it is, first of all, completely off the wall. She seems to have no idea who the ADL is and not to be aware of the fact that much of the criticism directed at it is because of the charge, whether true or not, that it is too close to this Administration.

She just likes to find enemies. What a piece of work.

hockey hound said...

"She seems to have no idea who the ADL is"

Can someone please explain then just who the ADL is? I know that Abe Foxman supported the Israeli Government's forced evictions of Jews from Gaza. That's ok because it's the ADL? Do these Jews (formerly of Gaza) not bleed when they are cut? Everyone, in my opinion, seems to forget about the plight of these Gaza Jews simply because they are Jews. Am I mistaken? Did not Abe Foxman support the forced eviction of these Jews?

So this is my problem: Who, exactly, is the ADL? I don't want to disparage someone who doesn't really deserve my disparagement. Might I consider the ADL racist because they supported the forced eviction of Jews from Gaza? Can someone please explain this to me? I hear so many differing opinions on "who is the ADL" that it's difficult for me to judge them honestly.

And why would they excoriate Dennis Prager? Are they accusing Dennis Prager of being a racist? The ADL has created their very own imbroglio: I truly think many North Americans are confused about who, really, is the ADL. I know I'm confused.

Michael Averko said...

The biggest double standards are those which don't get dissected.

I don't support the Iranian president for the comments he has made about the Holocaust and some other matters.

Understand that Iran has been (believe it or not) a relatively tolerant place for Armenians. This is because Armenia has been a historic rival of Irans's historic rivals Turkey and Azerbajan.

Now for the bigger double standard:

On a recent Leon Charney Report, an ADL representative and Charney sympathized with the view of how Israel and Jews need to be "careful" in how they approach the Armenian genocide issue. Specifically, the relatively good Israeli-Turkish ties and the legacy of Ottoman Turkey's relatively good treatment of Jews.

Make no mistake about it, Ottoman Turkey was a gross violator of human rights against others. Turkey's treatment of Jews has been similar to Iran's treatment of Armenians. It's for truly Machiavellian reasons. Ottoman Turkey sensed that the Jews were a talented and persecuted group, who would best serve Ottoman interests when treated decently (I'm half Greek-Sephardic). On the other hand, Ottoman Turkey had restive ethnic groups seeking independence. This was prior to Hitler's political ascent when many Jews weren't gung ho on establishing an independent Jewish state in Palestine.

Are you aware that there're some Jews who parrot the bogus official Turkish view that there was no Armenian genocide (never minding Hilter's referencing of it, when the "Jewish question" was presented to him).

Deborah Lipstadt said...

"Are you aware that there're some Jews who parrot the bogus official Turkish view that there was no Armenian genocide (never minding Hilter's referencing of it, when the "Jewish question" was presented to him)."

There are certainly some Jews -- and some Christians and Moslems -- who don't think what happened constitutes a genocide.

So why do you think I should "answer" for what some other Jews might think?? Your comment reeks of stereotyping of the worst order.

Michael Averko said...

"Your comment reeks of stereotyping of the worst order."


Au contraire. Note that I made it a point to say some as differentiated from all.

Deborah Lipstadt said...

"Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much."

Anyone who thinks he should get points for differentiating speaks for himself.

Michael Averko said...


I'll take that as a plus for me.

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

Little if any acknowledgement whatsover on her part of the parallel example (Armenia-Iran, Israel-Turkey) detailed in my initial post.