Difference between revisions of "Martha Coakley criticized for accepting Anti-Defamation League award"
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'''Milford Daily News
'''Milford Daily News
Latest revision as of 03:40, 10 November 2019
Martha Coakley criticized for accepting Anti-Defamation League award
Published January 15, 2010
Milford Daily News
By Chris Helms Posted Jan 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM Updated Jan 15, 2010 at 3:16 PM
In the fall of 2007, when Watertown was the epicenter of a movement to call attention to the Anti-Defamation League’s failure to call the Armenian Genocide a genocide, Attorney General Martha Coakley accepted an award from the ADL.
At least one Armenia-American wants Coakley, the Democratic nominee in Tuesday’s special election for the U.S. Senate, to give back the award.
“She accepted this award from the ADL in the middle of the campaign against the genocide denials of the ADL,” said David Boyajian of Belmont. “It was major news at the time in the Boston papers and the international press, so she had to have known about it. She went ahead despite all this and accepted. She should not have done that when there was such a cloud hanging over the head of the ADL.”
A spokesman for the Coakley campaign said she supports a Congressional resolution making it official U.S. policy to refer to the mass deaths of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The spokesman referred questions regarding the award to the attorney general’s press office.
Coakley accepted the honor in October 2007, two months after Watertown cut ties with the ADL anti-bias program “No Place for Hate.” At issue was the ADL, a well-known civil rights group and strong opponent of Holocaust denial, failing to acknowledge that the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks during World War I was genocide.
Watertown’s action sparked more than a dozen other communities to leave “No Place for Hate.” In time, even the program’s co-sponsor, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, divorced itself from the ADL program in protest.
It was during this furor that Coakley accepted the “Woman of Valor” award from the ADL. In a press release issued at the time, Coakley said “I am proud to be recognized by an organization that does so much to better the community and to protect the rights of its citizens.”
That makes Boyajian angry. He wrote a letter to Coakley which he says she did not answer.
“I’m sure she knew the ADL was applying a double-standard,” he said.
Boyajian said Coakley should not only return the award but also ask the national office of the ADL to forthrightly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Boyajian said she should also support the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution that each year is filed in Congress.
Polls show that Coakley goes into the weekend in a dead heat with Republican Scott Brown. Boyajian said he didn’t know if Armenian Genocide politics would influence Armenian-American voters.
“I know that Armenians are concerned right now, but whether it has an impact on the race, I don’t know.”
Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose death opened the seat, was well known as a friend of Armenians and strong backer of Armenian Genocide recognition by the U.S. government.
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