December 21, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell

ARMENIAN CAUCUS LEADERS PRESS HOUSE COLLEAGUES TO ADOPT ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTION

WASHINGTON, DC – Key leaders of the Armenian Caucus, led by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ed Royce (R-CA), circulated a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter urging support for the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The ANCA is working closely with several hundred Congressional offices and the House leadership in seeking an immediate vote on this human rights measure. The full text of the Armenian Caucus letter is provided below.

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Support Passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to urge your support of H.Res.252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, a bipartisan resolution with over 140 cosponsors.

This human rights legislation simply honors the victims of the Armenian Genocide, during which 1,500,000 men, women, and children were murdered by the Ottoman Empire primarily because of their Christian faith, and it properly pays tribute to the unprecedented American humanitarian response to this crime.

The National Archives is filled with thousands of pages documenting the premeditated extermination of the Armenian people. Our own Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, recalled in his memoirs that the Turks “never had the slightest idea of reestablishing the Armenians in a new country” knowing that “the great majority of those would… either die of thirst and starvation, or be murdered by the wild Mohammedan desert tribes.”

The U.S. has long been a global leader in promoting human rights around the world. On the issue of the Armenian Genocide, however, we lag behind. The French, Swiss, Swedish, Germans, and even the Russian governments recognize the Armenian Genocide. As a global leader in human rights, it is imperative for the U.S. to stand on principle and recognize the annihilation of the Armenians as “genocide.” Above all else, this resolution seeks to apply the lessons of this horrific experience to our government’s ongoing efforts to prevent future atrocities.

In adopting this measure, the U.S. House will be acting in accord with our long and proud tradition of condemning and commemorating genocides, including, of course, House resolutions on the Holocaust, and also the Ukraine, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur genocides. In each of these cases, Congress did not legislate history, but reaffirmed our nation’s moral stand against all genocides.

History is a continuum. Yesterday impacts today, which impacts tomorrow. It’s much harder to get tomorrow right if we get yesterday wrong. The world’s strength to oppose killing today is made greater by accountability, for actions present, but also past. It’s weakened by denial of accountability of past acts. Not recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as such, weakens us.

We urge you to support passage of H.Res.252.

FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress

EDWARD ROYCE
Member of Congress

ADAM SCHIFF
Member of Congress

JACKIE SPEIER
Member of Congress

BRAD SHERMAN
Member of Congress