Armenian Genocide Archive Project takes Great Leap Forward with Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation

March 14, 2012

USC Gala to Salute Shoah Foundation Institute for Archive Project
The Armenian Weekly | March 14, 2012

The Power of Celebrity and Armenian Genocide Awareness

March 13, 2012

‘Khloe and Lamar’ Raise Public Awareness of Armenian Genocide
March 13, 2012 | The Armenian Weekly

Thanks to the ‘Khloe and Lamar’ program aired on the E! Network last Sunday (March 11, 2012), ‘Armenian Genocide’ was the tenth most-searched term on Google. The Armenian Weekly reports 2.1 million people watched the episode. Coincidentally, unaware of the episode, I checked my site statistics for that day and could not figure out why there was such a spike in the number of visits to my blog.

Thank you Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, and E! Network producers for bringing awareness oo the Armenian Genocide history and the issue of  Turkey’s ongoing Armenian Genocide denial to your viewers. Thanks also to the Genocide Education Project (GenEd) and the Armenian Youth Federation for your roles fighting against Armenian Genocide denial.

France’s Constitutional Court rules Armenian Genocide denial law violates freedom of speech

February 28, 2012

The Washington Post reports, “France’s Constitutional Council has ruled that a law concerning the mass killings of Armenians a century ago violates the country’s constitution.” An Armenian Weekly article states that President Sarkozy will reintroduce the bill with changes. There is a fear that the ruling could endanger France’s law which criminalizes Holocaust denial.

Free Speech and Armenian Genocide Denial

January 31, 2012

A new development has occurred in France concerning the signing into law of a bill passed by both houses of France’s parliament. The spotlight has shifted to the question of free speech rather than the crime of genocide. 

At the moment, the most vocal defender of free speech in France appears to be the Turkish Government. This is because Turkey does not want France’s president to sign the “Armenian Genocide Denial bill” into law. One fact which seems to have been lost in the muddied waters of this spectacle is that France already has a Holocaust Denial law on its books.

France legally recognizes the Armenian Genocide (tens of thousands of Armenian survivors sought refuge in France in the aftermath of the mass deportation of all Armenians from Turkey) and the Holocaust. As the New York Times correctly points out, “the bill criminalizes the denial of officially recognized genocides…The bill does not make specific reference to the estimated 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered under the Ottoman Turks, but France recognizes only those deaths and the Holocaust as genocides and already specifically bans Holocaust denial.

The same Turkish Government who is now France’s newest proponent of free speech in France, does not champion free speech in Turkey. Within Turkey’s borders, the Turkish Government censors the press and the Internet, and criminally prosecutes those who “insult Turkishness” with their words, this includes openly commenting about the Armenian Genocide. While the facts about Turkey’s human and civil rights abuses are well known, Turkey’s aggressive multi-decade, multi-national, multi-million dollar lobbying efforts aimed at blocking Armenian Genocide recognition are less frequently in the headlines.

Do we have free speech when an outside government dictates what we can and cannot say under the guise of foreign diplomacy? Questions raised about free speech are fair and essential. However, we must not limit this discussion to the passing of a law in France. Michael Bobelian’s book, Children of Armenia, which is painstakingly documented, illuminates the dark side of genocide denial and illustrates how it is possible to forget (or never learn) about seismic events in modern history.

If criminalizing genocide denial is not the answer, how do we combat hate speech and state-sponsored genocide denial?

Here are a few articles about today’s news from France:

France’s Armenian Genocide Law Put On Hold
Armenian Weekly | January 31, 2012

Top French court asked to weigh in on bill making it a crime to deny Armenian genocide
Washington Post | January 31, 2012

France Turkey row: Genocide bill faces court hurdle
BBC News | January 31, 2012


Screenings of Aghet: A Genocide in the US – December 2010

December 8, 2010

Eric Friedler’s ‘Aghet: A Genocide‘ is brilliant. Last night, I was one of the fortunate few able to see the film at Columbia University.  The documentary is being screened at select universities in the northeastern and mid-western United States (e.g. Harvard, University of Michigan).

Please share this post with everyone you know who may live in NJ, Boston, Philadelphia, Dearborn, and Skokie (IL). Each screening is just one night through December 12, 2010. (Click this link to the Armenian Weekly for the Aghet screening schedule).

WikiLeaks revelations about the Armenian Genocide

November 30, 2010

For hourly updates on released WikiLeaks documents, “Like” the Armenian Weekly’s Facebook group.

Do you know Armenians saved by Japan during or after the Armenian Genocide?

September 30, 2010

Be sure to read Vicken Babkenian’s article in the Armenian Weekly and the comments accompanying the article:

Japan and the Armenian Genocide: A Forgotten International Humanitarian Relief Episode
Armenian Weekly | September 29,2010

See also:

  • My comment on the Armenian Weekly article here
  • March 15 2010 blog post about Mrs. Apcar

[If you have any information about Armenian Genocide survivors aided by Japan or Mrs. Diana Agabeg Apcar, the Republic of Armenia Consul to Japan in 1920, please let us know.]

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