January 25, 2012
This letter is in response to the commendable and well thought-out article written by Mark Meirowitz (“’Genocide’ in Armenia is not for Israel to decide,” Jan. 12) on the possibility of Israeli Knesset’s recognition of the alleged genocide of Armenians in Turkey in 1915.
It is fashionable to label some tragedies where civilians were massacred as genocide. If that were the case, the bombings of Dresden and Japan would also fall in the same category. The Turks should not be cherry-picked and burdened with a horrible crime without proving any intent on their part to destroy an ethnic or religious group.
Furthermore, the Germans were found to be guilty of war crimes at the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials. The Turks were never declared guilty in an international court of law. The war-crimes tribunal arranged by the British crown on the island of Malta between 1920 -1922 tried 144 Ottoman officials for war crimes against minority groups. After searching through various archives (even consulting the U.S. State Department), the British could not find the Turks guilty, and they were sent back home.
Mr. Meirowitz is also right where he states that there ought to be a commission to study the Turkish-Armenian conflict of World War I, with historians and legal experts studying the archives in Turkey, Armenia, Beirut, Washington, DC, and Boston (where most of the Armenian archives are kept).
Let us hope that common sense will prevail, and the current estrangement between Israel and Turkey will be resolved by some compromise being shown by the leaders of both countries. Both Israel and Turkey have more to lose than to gain by offending each other.