“Jewish lobby” denies Armenian genocide

Here’s a textbook case in how the reigning anti-Semitic propaganda system works, with the paradoxical complicity of certain powerful (and deluded) Jews. This propaganda system is all the more effective for being nearly universally unrecognized.

Turkey is one of the United States’ most strategic allies, a NATO member bordering both Iraq and the ex-Soviet Union. It was instrumental in policing and encircling both the Soviets and Saddam, and today protects two key pipelines which deliver the oil resources of the post-Soviet Caspian Basin and post-Saddam Iraq to global markets under Washington-led development initiatves: the Baku-Ceyhan and Kirkuk-Ceyhan lines, both terminating at the Turkish port of Ceyhan and crossing hundreds of miles of Turkish territory. This very territory is where the Turks are today repressing the cultural rights and national aspirations of the Kurds and other ethnic minorities, and where they carried out the genocide of over 1 million Armenians in the First World War.

Over the past ten years, Turkey has (with Washington’s encouragement) formed a political/military partnership with another strategic U.S. ally in the region: Israel. Tel Aviv gets to drive a wedge in the Islamic world and play the Turks off against the Arabs and Iran. Ankara gets all that flashy new high-tech Israeli military technology. And Washington gets an alliance of two reliable client states in the most strategic and unstable part of the planet.

And Turkey’s ethnic minorities get sold down the river by everyone. An incredibly depressing April 21 AFP report picked up by Lebanon’s Daily Star notes that despite the lobbying efforts of the 5,000 Armenians who inhabit Israel and the West Bank, Israel refuses to officially recognize the Armenian genocide. Worse still, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC, the putatively powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington) has repeatedly petitioned the U.S. Congress not to pass a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Predictably, this allows Jerusalem Armenian leader George Hintlian to blame the “Jewish lobby” (by which he presumably means AIPAC) for Washington’s continuing denial of the genocide against his people:

“The worst consequence of the alliance between Israel and Turkey is the fact that the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Jewish lobby openly intervened on two occasions in 1999 and 2001 to prevent Congress from recognizing the Armenian genocide,” says Hintlian.

Again confusing the nation of Israel with the Jewish people, he follows up with an all-too-obvious point:

“It’s difficult to understand the official Israeli position on the Armenian genocide, coming from a country that was a victim of its own genocide in the same century,” he says.

Does Hintlian really think the “Jewish lobby” had either the power or the necessity to “prevent” Congress from passing the genocide resolution? Or has it occurred to him that Washington has strategic priorities of its own where this question is concerned?

So once again, the “Jewish lobby” offers itself up to take the hit for the moral betrayals required by the dictates of empire, in return for the dubious privilege of a U.S.-subsidized client state on stolen land. Unfortunately, it is Jews all over the world who have to pay for this cynical deal–even if appallingly few of them seem to realize it.

Of course, a backlash is also building within Turkey itself, with bizarre conspiracy theories proliferating about Zionist plots to annex Kurdistan (see WW4 REPORT #s 97, 81), and Mein Kampf a new best-seller. As elsewhere in the Islamic world, fundamentalist reactionaries are exploiting the populist backlash against a U.S. client regime, and they are doubly served by Ankara’s partnership with the “Zionist Entity.”

So shame on them all: Shame on Ankara for refusing to own up to crimes now nearly a century old. Shame on both Tel Aviv and Washington for playing along with this revisionism. Shame on AIPAC for betraying the Armenians and historical truth. And shame on Hintlian for blaming the “Jewish lobby” for a sleazy accomodation that really belongs to the White House and Congress.

To their credit, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) in their “presidential report card” last year, calls out President Bush for breaking his campaign pledge to officially recognize the Armenian genocide, without allowing him to shill the blame off onto the “intervention” of the “Jewish lobby.”

See our last post on the ongoing controversy over the Armenian genocide.

  1. Who suppressed Armenian genocide archive?

    By an odd coincidence, Holocaust Remembrance Day (as reckoned in the Hebrew calendar) and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day both fall on April 24 this year. One wonders if there were any joint commemorations. But, as we note above, Jews and Armenians have paradoxically been pitted against each other by geopolitics.

    On April 22, the New York Times ran a story, "'Sherlock Holmes of Armenian Genocide' Uncovers Lost Evidence," noting that Turkish historian Taner Akcam has found a "smoking gun"—a 1915 coded telegram from Ottoman officials to field commanders explicitly requesting information on the mass killing of Armenians. The document was part of an archive of evidence smuggled out of Turkey after World War I, initially to England, and by the 1930s making its way to Jerusalem. There, the archive "has mostly been inaccessible to scholars, for reasons that are not entirely clear." Akcam actually found a photo of the telegram "in New York, held by the nephew of a Armenian monk, now dead, who was a survivor of the genocide."

    We would like to know who is maintaining the Jeruslame archive, and why it has been closed to scholars all these years.