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US lawmakers change their stance regarding AG recognition

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  • US lawmakers change their stance regarding AG recognition

    Lawmakers warn Turkey of payback over Iran, Israel policies

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    June 16, 2010 2:26 p.m. EDT

    Washington (CNN) -- Supporters of Israel in the U.S. House warned Turkey on Wednesday they might support a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide that so far has failed to come up for a vote by the full chamber.

    Turkey opposes the resolution that would bring formal U.S. recognition of the 1915-1923 campaign by Turkey's Ottoman Empire against the Armenian population of eastern Anatolia region as genocide.

    The resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a single vote in March, but so far has not come up for debate by the full House. Turkey called home its U.S. ambassador to protest the House committee vote.

    However, House members who have been unwilling to support the resolution now say they might change their minds due to Turkey's pro-Iranian moves and support for the recent effort to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

    "There will be a cost if Turkey stays on its present heading of growing closer to Iran and more antagonistic to the state of Israel," Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, told a news conference. "It will bear upon my view and I believe the view of many members of Congress on the state of the relationship with Turkey."

    In particular, Pence, said, "They need to understand going forward there's going to be a cost regarding the Armenian resolution."

    Rep. Peter King, R-New York, echoed Pence in saying he was reconsidering his past opposition to taking up the Armenian genocide resolution.

    King said he and "many" other House members believe there was an Armenian genocide, but have been reluctant to support the resolution due to the strategic U.S. relationship with Turkey.

    "I think that's about to change," King said.

    Turkey provided support to the recent flotilla of six ships that was stopped by the Israeli military from bringing aid to Gaza. Nine people -- all Turkish citizens -- died when Israeli commandos boarded the ships and violence ensued.

    In response, Turkey has condemned Israel and led calls for an international investigation of the incident.

    Turkey also has stepped up relations with Iran, joining Brazil recently in brokering an agreement with Iran intended to head off new U.S. sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

    The U.S. questioned the agreement and proceeded to win U.N. Security Council approval for the additional sanctions.

    Pence and others told the news conference that such steps by Turkey must be opposed by the United States to demonstrate unwavering U.S. support for Israel.

    Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, called the actions by Turkey "disgraceful" because Turkey is a NATO ally, while Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada, said she would actively oppose Turkey's bid to become part of the European Union.

    "They don't deserve that recognition and they don't deserve to be a part of the EU until they start behaving more like European nations and a whole lot less like Iran," Berkley said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/...urkey.armenia/

  • #2
    Re: US lawmakers change their stance regarding AG recognition

    Top Dem asks Wilson Center to rescind award for Turkish foreign minister
    By Michael O'Brien - 06/16/10 01:49 PM ET

    A top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to rescind a planned award for Turkey's foreign minister.

    Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) wrote Lee Hamilton, the director of the Smithsonian-based memorial institute, to criticize a planned public service award for Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister.

    The award, Ackerman said in a letter, "is absolutely inconsistent ... with the mission of the WWC and the ideals that animated President Wilson's administration and foreign policy."

    Ackerman expressed dismay over the award given Turkey's longstanding dispute with Armenia in recognizing a historic slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians as a genocide. Ackerman also criticized Turkey's role in sponsoring a recent flotilla to deliver supplies to Israel, an attempt that led to the deaths of nine in an incident Davutoglu had likened to 9/11.

    "I strongly urge you to rescind the decision to present Foreign Minister Davutoglu with the WWC Public Service Award," Ackerman wrote.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefi...reign-minister

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: US lawmakers change their stance regarding AG recognition


      Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.
      Photo by: Haaretz


      U.S. Je_wish groups skip meet with Turkish officials

      Published 02:45 17.06.10

      Latest update 02:45 17.06.10

      ADL National Director Abraham Foxman says 'there comes a point at which it becomes useless to have a conversation.'

      By Natasha Mozgovaya

      On the fringes of the Washington meetings of Turkish official delegations, there is usually a special place for outreach with the American Je_wish community. But several Je_wish groups intend to skip the meeting Wednesday evening with members of the Turkish ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party). The America Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), B’nai Brith International and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have decided to decline the invitation to protest the deteriorating relations between Ankara and Jerusalem.

      Ties between Israel and Turkey have been in decline since Israel launched a three-week military operation in Gaza in December 2008, aimed at halting rocket fire on its southern communities. Tensions between the two formerly strong allies were exacerbated when nine people were killed during violent clashes with Israeli troops aboard a ship carrying aid to Gaza.

      “I believe in dialogue and meetings but there is a point at which it becomes useless to have a conversation,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman told Haaretz on Wednesday.

      “You can disagree with Israeli government and its policies but why should you cancel visit of Turkish teachers and scholars to Yad Vashem [Israel’s national Holocaust memorial]? I read that the prime minister of Turkey compared the Star of David to a swastika - it’s ugly and anti-Semitic, it’s what our enemies did. So ‘yesh gvul [there’s a limit].”

      Foxman said that he would be happy to resume the outreach meetings once the Turkish government restored ties with Israel.

      “Let them first reconcile with Israeli government, and them I’ll be delighted to talk to them,” he said. “But at the moment they’ve decided to use Israel as a whipping boy and provoke negative attitudes in Israel”

      The American Je_wish Committee (AJC), however, decided to attend the meeting, believing that traditional ties should not be abandoned hastily.

      “We’ve had an increasingly rough dialogue with leaders in Turkey, but we believe that we want to take an opportunity to deliver a tough message”, AJC spokeswoman Alex Weininger told Haaretz. “There is a history of relations between the U.S. and Turkey and Israel and it shouldn’t be easily discarded.”

      Turkey was also the subject of strong words from Congress on Wednesday, at a bipartisan press conference on the Hill in support of Israel’s right to defend itself.
      Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) warned Ankara that "There will be a cost” if Turkey keeps on its current course of “growing closer to Iran and more antagonistic to the State of Israel”.

      Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada) added that, “If Israel is at fault in any way, it is for falling into the trap that was set for them by Turkey. The Turks have extraordinary nerve to lecture the State of Israel, when they are occupiers of the island of Cyprus, where they systematically discriminate against the ecumenical patriarch, and they refuse to recognize Armenian genocide. And this is the country that not only funded but sanctioned the flotilla. They did not do this for humanitarian reasons. They did this to provoke an international confrontation. As far as I'm concerned, Turkey is responsible for the nine deaths aboard that ship. It is not Israel that is responsible. Israel's troops were attacked”.

      A letter currently circulating these days on the Hill in support of Israel in the wake of the flotilla raid has now provoked another letter, by the J Street organization, urging Congressmen not to rush to sign the original letter of support.

      “The blockade of Gaza was instituted to stop terrorists from smuggling weapons into Gaza to murder innocent civilians,” said the first petition. “The several dozen who attacked the Israeli soldiers were not peaceful aid workers, but extremists who sought to aid the Iran-backed terrorist Hamas regime in Gaza. The U.S. should make every effort to thwart international condemnation and focus the international community on the crimes of the Iran-backed Hamas leadership against Israel and the Palestinian people”.

      J Street has urged Congressmen not to sign the letter, saying it is counterproductive and does not deal with the issue of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

      “J Street - the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby - is not supporting sign-on letters to the President now circulating in the [House] regarding the Gaza flotilla,” wrote J-Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami.

      “As is far too often the case, these letters have been drafted primarily for domestic political consumption rather than to advance the U.S. interest in peace and security in the Middle East. With tensions in the region already high and vital American and Israeli interests at stake, J Street urges members of Congress to seek changes to the letters currently circulating before signing - or to write their own.

      “The petitions now circulating in the House and Senate, while expressing strong American support for Israel - a position we endorse - fail to address the impact of the present closure of Gaza on the civilian population, the deep American interest in resolving this conflict diplomatically, or the urgency of moving forward with diplomacy before it is too late”.

      Meanwhile, the Conference of Presidents of Major Je_wish Organizations has urged lawmakers to sign the petition. The organization’s vice-chairman Malcolm Hoenlein told Haaretz that his organization was not scheduled to take part in a meeting of Je_wish leaders with Turkish lawmakers, but added that it is “clearly not the right time for a constructive dialogue.”

      Link

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: US lawmakers change their stance regarding AG recognition

        From ANCA in form of email.

        Here's the confidential document that Turkey's using to spread its lies around Washington dated March 10, 2010

        -- Lies about how American honesty about the Armenian Genocide will prevent peace between Turkey and Armenia.

        -- Lies about why America can't risk upsetting its "indispensable" Turkish ally.

        -- Lies about how it was really the Turks who suffered at the hands of brutal Armenians.

        They're being sent around Capitol Hill by the Caspian Group, a subcontractor for xxxx Gephardt, Ankara's top lobbyist (and a world-class hypocrite).
        http://www.anca.org/assets/pdf/misc/...ntial_memo.pdf
        B0zkurt Hunter

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: US lawmakers change their stance regarding AG recognition

          Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada) added that, “If Israel is at fault in any way, it is for falling into the trap that was set for them by Turkey. The Turks have extraordinary nerve to lecture the State of Israel, when they are occupiers of the island of Cyprus, where they systematically discriminate against the ecumenical patriarch, and they refuse to recognize Armenian genocide. And this is the country that not only funded but sanctioned the flotilla. They did not do this for humanitarian reasons. They did this to provoke an international confrontation. As far as I'm concerned, Turkey is responsible for the nine deaths aboard that ship. It is not Israel that is responsible. Israel's troops were attacked”.
          Whilst this is true. Israel's interception and seizure of a Turkish ship in international waters constitutes an act of agression against NATO.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yAkDde2DPc

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