No change in ADL position regarding Armenian issue

January 19, 2010, Tuesday/ 16:15:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
A major Jewish-American group that raised concerns last week about rising anti-Semitism in Turkey has made it clear that there has been no change in its stance regarding Armenian allegations of genocide.

“We continue to be concerned about a new environment in Turkey which permits and even encourages extreme expressions regarding Jews and Israel,” Abraham H. Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated in a letter sent to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last Wednesday.

In remarks published in Israeli daily Jerusalem Post over the weekend, Jess Hordes, director of the ADL’s Washington office, also said the ADL’s position on the issue of the killing of Anatolian Armenians during World War I has not changed.

“We continue to believe that there was a genocide, but there’s no useful purpose in the [US] House [of Representatives] or the [US] Senate passing a resolution on it at this time. It’s a principled post that the better way of addressing this issue is for the Armenians and the Turks to move forward with this through the historical commission,” Hordes said, in an apparent reference to Armenia and Turkey’s ongoing efforts for normalization of their relations.

Foxman reversed in 2007 the organization’s long-held policy and decided to call the killings of Armenians genocide. But he insists that two resolutions pending in the US Congress endorsing the genocide claims would not help resolve the dispute between Turks and Armenians.

Meanwhile, Hordes praised the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s decision to post Deputy Undersecretary Namık Tan to Washington as the country’s new ambassador. Before being posted to the headquarters in August, Tan served as Turkey’s ambassador in Tel Aviv.

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