Sunday, 26 August 2007

Armenian campaign aided by new forces: it is no longer just an Armenian issue

Recognition of genocide grows

Although White House does seem to cling to its "there were massacres, but no G-word, please" policy on the issue, as Boston Globe reports today, there are important changes in mind and growing trend in the US involving wide range of political and social circles to demand formal acknowledgement of Armenian Genocide of 1915.

I highly recommend reading the full article which details background and current developments, including recent Jewish controversy on the issue which sparked world-wide headlines.

"For decades, it was almost strictly an Armenian issue. No matter how hard they lobbied politicians to recognize the genocide of their people more than 90 years ago, Armenian-Americans often failed. When it mattered most, they lacked the political clout and friends to make a difference.

But the recent uproar in Watertown, home to roughly 8,000 Armenian-Americans, shows that the dynamics of the debate have changed. It is no longer just Armenian-Americans pushing for formal recognition of the genocide of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks during World War I, but also Jews and politicians of many backgrounds.

Observers cite decades of lobbying and a raft of recent scholarly work on the subject as reasons for the change. But the shift is also indicative of a growing antigenocide constituency in the United States. Stirred up by recent massacres in Rwanda, the Balkans, and Darfur, Americans may be more concerned about genocide today than ever before, said Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. "

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