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Why the Armenian Genocide Matters Today

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April 24th was the annual commemoration date of the Armenian Genocide. It marked the systematic annihilation of approximately 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

What was the same this year, as in the past, was Turkey’s denial of the facts and any historical responsibility for the tragedy.

What was different this year was the American position.

Previously, Washington had jumped through linguistic hoops to avoid the word “genocide,” while still seeking to pay homage to the victims. But it didn’t exactly work. Something fundamental was missing. That something was honesty, which was, in the end, sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

After all, it was thought, Turkey was a significant regional player, strategically located, NATO member, and volcanically sensitive on this issue. It drew the line at use of the word genocide and threatened those who crossed it. In the end, Washington always yielded.

Even Barack Obama, who had made a special point, as presidential candidate, of saying that, if elected, he would reverse longstanding American policy, blinked when he sat in the Oval Office.

Thus, what President Biden did was nothing less than groundbreaking and to his everlasting credit, though, it should be noted, he never once — very consciously, one assumes — mentioned Turkey in his otherwise powerful statement.

Strikingly, I received a........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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