ADL reverses course; Tarsy rehired
Apparently, I wasn't the only person upset by the genocide denial the ADL's head, Abe Foxman. As of last week, he had conceded that what happened to the Armenians starting in 1915 "[was] tantamount to genocide." (whew! reminding readers that Henry Morgenthau, coincidentally Jewish and then US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, coined the term to describe what he saw happening to the Armenians in the crumbling Ottoman Empire)
Foxman has also rehired local ADL leader Andy Tarsy.
This is all potentially good news. If the lesson has been learned, I expect the ADL to lobby hard in support of the bill currently in Congress acknowledging the Armenian genocide. I also expect to see examples in the ADL's "No time to hate" course to reflect what happened in Armenia, and would expect Foxman's statements to continue to reflect acknowledgement of the Armenian genocide. It isn't enough to make a statement—now that we have reason to disbelieve the ADL's relevance, or its right to speak for us as a Jewish organization, we need proof that it is going to follow through.
It is almost Rosh Hashanah. In the spirit of that holiday, I presume that Foxman is sincere, and that from this time forth the national office of the ADL will exemplify the bridge-building ability of Boston's own, late, Leonard Zakim (the guy they named the beautiful new bridge after—the one that started to buckle when Foxman began equivocating), Tarsy's predecessor as Regional ADL director here. Tarsy is living up to Lenny's reputation. Now let's see the national organization catch up and hope that Tarsy's rehiring is the positive sign we are hoping for.