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May 13, 2016 Off

ADL on the Armenian Genocide

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

As the still fairly new CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), I’ve been on the job less than one year. I’m fre­quently asked about our cur­rent posi­tion on his­tor­i­cal League deci­sions. One of those cru­cial ques­tions is where ADL stands with regards to recog­ni­tion of the Armen­ian Genocide.

My fam­ily was directly impacted by the Holo­caust. Given that pro­foundly per­sonal expe­ri­ence, I appre­ci­ate the pain of those who suf­fered losses even gen­er­a­tions ago and the need to remem­ber. I am reminded daily that we must edu­cate and take action against hate in our own time, as we vow “never again.”

There­fore, only a few weeks after the 101st com­mem­o­ra­tion of the tragedy, and on the occa­sion of Yom HaShoah, the remem­brance of the Holo­caust, I am using this oppor­tu­nity to make our posi­tion clear.

ADL is a 103-year-old orga­ni­za­tion and very proud of both its his­tory and its mis­sion to not only lead the charge com­bat­ting anti-Semitism, but to also fight against all forms of big­otry. We rec­og­nize and uphold a con­nec­tion between our lead­er­ship role to stand up for the Jew­ish com­mu­nity and stand up for other minor­ity and mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties at the same time.

Our mis­sion reflects the words of the Jew­ish Sage Hil­lel from 2,000 years ago:  “If I am not for myself, who will be? And, if I am only for myself what am I?”

That con­nec­tion is both moral and prac­ti­cal: It is the right thing to do.

When we teach about the Holo­caust, we speak about the 2,000-year his­tory of anti-Semitism that made the Shoah possible.

We have a sim­i­lar respon­si­bil­ity to talk more broadly and recall that in our own life­time the world did not stand up against the hor­rors hap­pen­ing in Cam­bo­dia, Bosnia and Rwanda. Too often, the response to geno­cide has been global silence.

So, let me be crys­tal clear: the first geno­cide of the 20th cen­tury is no dif­fer­ent. What hap­pened in the Ottoman Empire to the Arme­ni­ans begin­ning in 1915 was geno­cide. The geno­cide began with the rul­ing gov­ern­ment arrest­ing and exe­cut­ing sev­eral hun­dred Armen­ian intel­lec­tu­als. After that, Armen­ian fam­i­lies were removed from their homes and sent on death marches. The Armen­ian peo­ple were sub­jected to depor­ta­tion, expro­pri­a­tion, abduc­tion, tor­ture, mas­sacre and starvation.

What hap­pened to the Armen­ian peo­ple was unequiv­o­cally genocide.

We believe that remem­ber­ing and edu­cat­ing about any geno­cide – Armen­ian, the Holo­caust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and oth­ers is a nec­es­sary tool to pre­vent future tragedies.

Our expe­ri­ence regard­ing the Holo­caust is rel­e­vant. When the first pic­tures of Auschwitz appeared at the end of World War II, there was wide­spread shame in the West­ern world at the real­iza­tion that anti-Semitism was deeply embed­ded across cul­tures and coun­tries and could pro­duce such hor­ror.  That col­lec­tive shame helped to inhibit man­i­fes­ta­tions of anti-Semitism for decades.  Now, as time moves on, as that sense of shame evis­cer­ates, it is no acci­dent that anti-Semitism has reemerged with full force. In other words, we must edu­cate each gen­er­a­tion about the tragedies of the past.

That is why I am speak­ing out today and why we would sup­port U.S. recog­ni­tion of the Armen­ian Geno­cide. Silence is not an option.

In many ways, we have made great strides in this coun­try fight­ing big­otry.  Con­sider the great gains of the civil rights move­ment; the diminu­tion of anti-Semitism that lim­ited Jew­ish life in Amer­ica; the ascen­dance of the Latino com­mu­nity; the rev­o­lu­tion in atti­tudes and laws impact­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity.  There have been set­backs and there is still tremen­dous work to be done, as exem­pli­fied by the stereo­types regard­ing Lati­nos and immi­grants as well as anti-Muslim rhetoric that has char­ac­ter­ized this unusual pres­i­den­tial campaign.

Col­lec­tively, this back­ground makes it imper­a­tive for groups who, sadly, share a his­tory of oppres­sion to stand together. When indi­vid­u­als or groups deny the Armen­ian geno­cide, as recently took place with a bill­board in Boston, ADL will speak out and denounce that denial. In that spirit, I am opti­mistic about greater coop­er­a­tion going for­ward to end all forms of hate and bigotry.

Related resource for educators:

The Strug­gle to Pre­vent Geno­cide: Geno­cide and the Global Response

May 13, 2016 1

Hezbollah Launches New Mobile App

UPDATE 5/14/16 — Apple has removed the app from iTunes.

Last month, al-Manar, Hezbollah’s media arm, which is listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist Entity” by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, launched Trust News, a new iPhone app. Avail­able through the Apple online store iTunes, the app streams al-Manar’s live tele­vi­sion broad­casts and newsand pro­vides access to al-Manar’s social media platforms.It also pro­vides the lat­est speeches of Hezbollah’s leader Has­san

Unlike pre­vi­ous apps launched by the ter­ror­ist entity, the new app’s page on iTunes did not include any ref­er­ence to al-Manar or Hezbol­lah, in an appar­ent attempt to cir­cum­vent Apple’s App Store Review Guide­lines, which require apps to “com­ply with all legal require­ments in any loca­tion where they are made avail­able to users.”

Al-Manar’s web­site posted a link which directs its vis­i­tors to the iTunes store to down­load the mobile app.

ADL has alerted Apple about this new app.

ADL pre­vi­ously informed sev­eral US-based tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies about apps launched by the ter­ror­ist entity and they were removed sub­se­quently. For more information:


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May 11, 2016 0

Biking—and Walking—to Fight Hate

Ed Blumenthal

Ed Blu­men­thal

Ed Blu­men­thal is fight­ing anti-Semitism and hate with every­thing he’s got—including his legs.

His late father, Ernie Blu­men­thal, escaped from Nazi Vienna in 1938, but luck­ily found a home in Philadel­phia. His grand­fa­ther barely escaped some time later.

To honor the mem­ory of his father, who died recently from pan­cre­atic can­cer, and to raise aware­ness of that ill­ness and of anti-Semitism and hate, Ed rode his bike from Pitts­burgh to Philadel­phia, a three-day, 374-mile trip. All monies pledged through “The Jour­ney for Ernie,” as Ed calls it, will sup­port the Anti-Defamation League’s 2016 Walk Against Hate in Philadel­phia on Sun­day, May 15.

Ed and his fam­ily are pas­sion­ate about the Anti-Defamation League. He serves on the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee and Board of ADL’s East­ern Penn­syl­va­nia, South­ern New Jer­sey and Delaware Regional Office. His daugh­ter, Carly, has been an ADL Peer Trainer in a No Place for Hate School® for three years, and his son, Kyle, is also an ADL Peer Trainer.

ADL’s Walk Against Hate is an annual event that attracts thou­sands and brings the city of Philadel­phia together. This year it will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m at the Marine Parade Grounds at the Philadel­phia Navy Yard, and will fea­ture per­for­mances by a vari­ety of enter­tain­ment acts, a diver­sity expo, an expres­sion area for kids and a head­line per­for­mance by hip-hop artist and tele­vi­sion star, Yazz the Greatest.

You can sup­port Ed’s jour­ney and encour­age diver­sity and inclu­sion by vis­it­ing Hope to see you this Sunday!

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