It seems to be the big thing in the news – a demand to recognize the Armenian genocide. Personally, I think the request, the need, is obscene and wrong. Here are the facts, pure and simple. On April 24, 1915, the Turks rounded up, arrested and deported approximately 270 Armenian intellectuals and leaders of the community. Most were murdered.
In the years that followed, the Turks used death marches, barbaric and systematic instances of rape, and a network of 25 concentration camps, to murder anywhere from 800,000 to 1.5 million men, women, and children. Some estimates say the numbers are even higher. There is enough eyewitness accounts and proof beyond question that these massacres took place. International and leading genocide scholars have studied and corroborated countless stories. There was a systematic genocide of the Armenian people perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).
Why is there a need to recognize the Armenian genocide? Do we have to recognize the sun and the moon? That grass grows green? Is some great international meeting required to confirm what we all know to have happened?
In the early 1980s, I was a student at Columbia University (actually Barnard College but I am so ashamed of my alma mater that I prefer to mention them). One morning, as I was having breakfast in the dining room of my dorm when I read an article in the New York Times. (Yes, I was still reading the New York Times back then.)
The article announced that Israel has schedule a conference on Genocide, including a session on the Armenian Genocide as one of the topics. The Turks demanded that the Israelis remove that sessions and included this ominous warning. Should the conference go ahead as planned. “We cannot guarantee the lives nor the livelihoods of the Jewish community in Turkey.”
The article went on to state that Israel had refused to remove the topic but also would not endanger lives and so had canceled the entire conference. I sat there. Stunned. I looked around and everyone was talking and eating. I got up from the table and walked outside, into the bright sunshine. How could the sun shine? I remember thinking. How was it possible that thousands of lives were just threatened and nothing would be done?
There was no outcry from the rest of the world. But there was an Armenian genocide. I am not Armenian, though I havc had close friends that are. It is wrong to need the world to recognize who you are, what others have done to you.
Israel is constantly attempting to get the world to recognize Jerusalem as our capital. It’s a ridiculous and insane attempt to have the world proclaim the obvious. More than three thousand years of history prove this. The very earth puts out the evidence regularly as people dig to build something, bury something, pave something.
Requiring Others to Recognize the Obvious is Absurd
Jerusalem is our capital. It has been for over 3,000 years. We don’t need the world to recognize this. It simply is.
Israel is the Jewish state, proclaimed – re-established 70 years ago on the same site of our nation over 2,000 years ago. All that we are, all that we have been proves this land is ours. The country we established was created by Jews and we are the overwhelming majority in this land. The language we speak is the ancient one of our forefathers. We don’t need the world to recognize this. It simply is.
One hundred years ago, the Turks committed genocide. They murdered over one million Armenians, barbarically raped countless women. They rampaged and destroyed whole communities. We don’t need the world to recognize the Armenian genocide. It happened.