web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: The Banality Of Denial: Israel And The Armenian Genocide

Title: The Banality Of Denial: Israel And The Armenian Genocide
Author: Yair Auron, Senior Lecturer at The Open University of Israel
Publisher: Transaction Publishers at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

 

We have an ugly name for people who commit the ugly crime of declaring that The Holocaust never happened – they are called ‘deniers,’ and have been successfully prosecuted both here and abroad. But ‘our’ genocide was not history’s only crime against humanity, and even in our time we have witnessed several other crimes of mass murder, including Rwanda and Biafra, from which the blood of the victims cry out from their graves.


No less a personage than the then American diplomat, and Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, kept a diary and eventually wrote a book describing what he observed as a genocide of Armenians then residing in the border area with Russia by ‘The Young Turks’ of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Under the guise of ‘relocation’ at least three-quarters of a million to as many as one-and-a-half million Armenians – including Armenian members of the Turkish armed forces, were either systematically starved to death or driven in forced marches or simply killed in situ.


Prior to the armistice that settled the boundaries of World War I, the Armenian nation had been promised statehood, but the Turkish regime decided that this ‘Third column’ that may have become faithful to their Russian sponsors were a danger to the new nation-state and decisions were made to ‘deal with them.’ In the ensuing years, conflicting opinions even in Turkey resulted in some 1,400 military courts martial, with punishments meted out to the perpetrators – but then ‘mysteriously’ – most of the official records vanished.


Yair Auron’s book doesn’t itself delve into the actual facts or issues of the Armenian genocide, but deals with the posturing of historians, both in and outside of Israel, of not wishing to deal with the issue or to even deny that there ever was a genocide. He discusses the uncomfortable position of the government of Israel, which has been pressured by the government of Turkey – Israel’s major trading partner among Muslim countries – to not officially bring up the subject of the Armenian genocide.


He bemoans the influence – and interference – of Israel’s foreign ministry on the Israeli Academy, and delves into the delicate governmental -pandering to the Turks during times when they were the only Muslim nation – with a substantial Jewish community – to maintain friendly relations with the State of Israel. He also bemoans that there is still no current curriculum for the study of the Armenian genocide in Israel’s school systems; that textbooks (including one written by him) on the subject have not been promulgated nor published; that educational television programs produced by Yad Vashem and for an American production have still not been aired in Israel; that Yad Vashem has – unlike New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and Washington, D.C.’s United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – still not provided recognition that the Armenian genocide ‘may’ have happened (although they have provided recognition to the nazi genocide of Europe’s Roma (‘gypsies’).


Each time governmental action is called for, in recognition and for educational efforts in Israel, the foreign ministry, and coincidentally, also the Prime Minister’s office, are pressured by Israel’s Turkish allies into quashing the effort. The Turkish position is that such ‘discussion’ is more properly in the academic sector among historians and the like. But – each time the subject comes up the Turks evenly ‘trounce’ the sometime perpetrators of truth. This happened when The First International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide was held in Tel Aviv in 1982. Among over one hundred fifty lectures only six included mention of the Armenian genocide, and through Turkish and Israeli governmental pressures these were neatly excised before the event was even held.


Elie Wiesel, who was President of the conference, resigned over the pressure, and Prof. Arthur Hertzberg, who offered his services as Keynote speaker in Wiesel’s stead, also withdrew over the issues after enormous pressure. The resulting colloquium was thus emasculated and muzzled by the Turks who, to this day, deny the event of the Armenian genocide and still hide relevant documents in their governmental archives from all but the friendliest researchers who have been completely ‘vetted’ in advance.


Truth, especially so many years after an event, is always elusive, and there may be more than one ‘correct’ version. It has already taken more than half a century for many truths to arrive about the German Nazi experience, with new revelations arising almost weekly, such as that as many as ten-percent of Hitler’s soldiers may have been ‘Mischlinge’ (half or quarter Jews), and even that it was a German officer who rescued The Lubavitcher Rebbe from the Warsaw Ghetto. Post-war Germany, much as post-Apartheid South Africa, has owned up to the nation’s crimes and in each case delivered up the most serious perpetrators either as international criminals or at least for hearings.


Turkey, on the other hand, continues to deny all, and modern moralists and humanists wish to assist the efforts of the international Armenian community to resolve the issues to their satisfaction to help heal their communal memory of affliction.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: The Banality Of Denial: Israel And The Armenian Genocide”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House, Oct. 1, 2014.
Netanyahu, Obama Meeting at White House
Latest Sections Stories
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

Mindy-092614-Choc-Roll

I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.

Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.

I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.

She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

More Articles from Aharon Ben Anshel
book-alex's-wake

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

book-The-Last-Commission

Green was an American volunteer in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, but something happened In Israel that has haunted him ever since.

Witnessed by Theodore Herzl, who was a journalist for a Viennese newspaper covering the trial, the cause célèbre became the spark that eventually caused the rise of the State of Israel in modern times.

These eleven nursing home residents and their accompanying staff from the Connecticut nursing home could represent any of us or our own loved ones…

There are three kinds of travelers: there are tourists, there are businesspeople, and then there are historians like Ben G. Frank.

The last kind doesn’t simply go from here to there. They try to relive history and find the real meaning behind what they experience.

Behind “the news” there’s almost always a story that isn’t being reported, and certain kinds of phenomenon occur almost simultaneously all over the world in almost every era.

Whether this is a memoir or autobiography or whether this book was written as an article of regional diplomacy, King Abdullah does come across in this book as a quite sincere person making a valiant effort at regional diplomacy, who is trying to quell terrorism in the Mideast and raise the social and economic levels of his countrymen.

As any psychologist can tell you – no two people who see an event come away with the very same experience. Criminologists and detectives who question people who may have witnessed a crime experience the fact that several different people will report various versions of the event.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-the-banality-of-denial-israel-and-the-armenian-genocide/2004/12/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: