web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Armenians’

Suffolk University Defends Honoring Foxman as Commencement Speaker

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Suffolk University has rejected protests from some student groups and has affirmed its selection of Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman as the law school’s commencement speaker.

Foxman, who will step down from his position in July 2015, also will receive an honorary degree at the May 17 graduation ceremony of the private university located in downtown Boston.

More than 800 people signed an online petition criticizing Foxman for his opposition of U.S. congressional recognition of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians on the eve of World War I as genocide. The petition, initiated by the law school’s chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, states that comments by Foxman on the genocide may make families of students of Armenian descent feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

The petition also cites Foxman’s published comments about racial profiling of Muslims for purposes of national security, and his opposition of the construction of a Muslim Community Center near the site of the former World Trade Center.

In 2007, after coming under fire for not acknowledging the Armenian massacre as genocide, the national ADL organization changed its position, though some in the Armenian community said its language was ambiguous and did not go far enough.

Foxman later wrote, “ADL has never denied the tragic and painful events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians, and we have referred to those massacres and atrocities as genocide.”

Nonetheless, the issue continues to dog the outspoken leader and cause controversy for the ADL, especially in the Boston area, home to a large Armenian community.

In a statement issued to the Boston Globe, Suffolk University President James McCarthy’s administration praised Foxman for contributions to the organization for nearly 50 years. The statement said the administration has examined the concerns raised by students but that “Foxman’s body of work is well deserving of recognition. . . It is our hope that Mr. Foxman’s personal story as a Holocaust survivor and attorney who has dedicated his life to public service will inspire our graduates as they embark on their professional careers.”

Suffolk has nearly 9,000 full- and part-time students, with 1,500 law students.

Matthew Smith, a member of the school’s Jewish Law Students Association, told JTA he is disappointed “that a small group” has “attempted to create a controversy” over the commencement speaker,” and that he is proud that the university is standing by Foxman.

In an email, Smith, a third-year graduating law student wrote that many members of the Jewish community are alarmed by some of the rhetoric attacking Foxman. “Some supporters of the petition have attacked Foxman for his support of Israel and … inappropriately referenced Foxman’s Jewish heritage,” he wrote. He added: “It is difficult to listen to a student inaccurately label a Holocaust survivor and civil rights leader as a “racist.”

Sammy Nabulsi, president of the Student Bar Association at Suffolk acknowledged that Foxman has done good work in fighting discrimination. But he told the Boston Globe that Foxman’s selection is stirring division among the graduating class.

Nabulsi, who is Muslim-American, told the Globe he is speaking out on behalf of the student body as a whole. “My concern is there’s a very dangerous conversation happening among the graduating class,” he said. He suggested that Foxman would make a more appropriate guest speaker on campus and not a recipient of an honorary degree.

Jews are Number One Target of Hate Speech in Turkey

Monday, March 4th, 2013

A Turkish foundation created in memory of a slain Armenian and human rights activist and journalist, Hrant Dink, revealed in its bi-annual report on discrimination in Turkish publications, that Jews and Armenians are the top targets of hate speech in Turkey, with Jews edging out the Armenians as the number one target of hate.

Hrant Dink, an Armenian who sought to promote Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and who fought against many kinds of discrimination in his native Turkey, was murdered by three gun shots to the back of the head on January 19, 2007.  Dink had been charged several times by the Turkish government with violating Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code which makes it a crime to “denigrate Turkishness.”  One of the primary targets of this criminal law is the public mention or promotion of the Turkish massacres of Armenians or Kurds as historical facts.

In Dink’s memory, the International Hrant Dink Foundation was created to promote equal opportunities and encourage cultural diversity and  cultural relations among all the peoples of Turkey, Armenia and Europe, to support the democratization of Turkey and to allow the recognition of past nationalism and racism that has afflicted Turkey, and work to improve the present so that the past is not repeated.

One of the projects of the Dink Foundation is a Media and Hate Speech Watch, in which periodic reviews are made of all the nationwide news publications in Turkey, in order to determine whether and if so which groups are the targets of hate speech.

In the period between September and December, 2012, Jews were the most frequent targets of hate speech in Turkey, followed closely by Armenians, after that Christians were targeted and then there was a big drop-off to the fourth place Greeks living in Turkey.  Westerners in general and then Greeks make up the bulk of the remaining victims of Turkish hate speech, according to the Dink Foundation report.

HateSpeechGraph.jpg

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jews-are-number-one-target-of-hate-speech-in-turkey/2013/03/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: