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Commentary :: Human Rights
The ADL tries to sneak back into Newton
10 May 2016
The following letter was submitted twice to the
editor of the Newton (Massachusetts) Tab newspaper, which has not published it. The Armenian Mirror-Spectator (Watertown, MA) subsequently published it.
Plenty of Room.jpg
The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
April 30, 2016

The recent incidents of anti-Jewish graffiti in Newton are deplorable. But for Mayor Warren and School Superintendent Fleishman to invite in the Anti-Defamation League's so-called "Peer Leadership
Program" to purportedly educate students about bias is equally deplorable.

In September 2007, the Newton Human Rights Commission and Mayor David Cohen cut ties with the ADL's "No Place for Hate" program due to the national ADL's colluding directly with Turkey to defeat an Armenian Genocide resolution in the US Congress. Similarly for over a dozen other cities and the Massachusetts Municipal Association. They all understood that the ADL thereby lacked the moral authority to teach about human rights.

For proof directly from Jewish and Israeli media, see "Press Kit: Lobbying against Recognition" at

The national ADL, playing word games, still hasn't formally and unambiguously acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. And it still opposes US recognition of that genocide.

Newton students attending ADL programs are no doubt unaware of its collusion with Turkey, a well-known human rights violator.

Suppose an Armenian American organization worked with Holocaust deniers against Holocaust acknowledgment. The mayor and superintendent would never invite it to Newton.

Former N.E. ADL Executive Director Andrew Tarsy acknowledges that the ADL "maintains an awkward state of semi-silence" regarding the Armenian Genocide. "Its vast education and intergroup relations programs continue to exclude the Armenian experience" (Jewish Journal, March 17).

Newton School Superintendent David Fleishman condemns "cultural insensitivity" (Newton Tab, "Eliminating hate in our schools", March 23). Yet he himself appears insensitive to the national ADL's pitiless, unapologetic assault upon Armenians.

Jews in Newton and around the world have long rightfully condemned the ADL for repressing Armenian Genocide recognition. Newton's Human Rights Commission, however, seems to have conveniently forgotten its and Mayor Cohen's 2007 decision.

Moreover, as many fine organizations have anti-bias programs, there's no need for Newton to invite the ADL. A perfect alternative: Brookline-based Facing History and Ourselves, which also teaches about the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide.

David Boyajian
Belmont, MA

This work is in the public domain
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