WASHINGTON — This week, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead author of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a hearing before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on her recent comments that characterized the Armenian Genocide as a matter of “historical debate.” Before the hearing this week, Representatives Schiff and Robert Dold (R-IL) also sent a letter to Clinton with 60 of their colleagues asking her to disavow her “historical debate” remarks, which she made at a public town hall meeting, and instead recognize the Armenian Genocide.
“In a town hall she recently held,
Secretary Clinton stated that the Armenian Genocide was a matter of ‘historical debate.’ But there is no debate about the facts of the genocide and we urge the Secretary to speak plainly about the deliberate mass murder of 1.5 million people,” said Schiff. “I can’t begin to express how much anguish has been caused in the Armenian-American community and with human rights activists by the secretary’s comments, and I hope the president will use the occasion of April 24 to set the record straight.”
“I will continue to work with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to push the United States government to recognize theArmenian Genocide and facilitate redress to the victims.”
In the letter to Clinton, Schiff and his colleagues noted that her “historically inaccurate description of the Armenian Genocide as an open question, in addition to the offense it rep- resents to Armenian Americans and other victims of genocide, provides American encouragement to the Republic of Turkey in its shameful campaign of denial.” It also notes that, as a senator, Clinton joined with then-Senator Barack Obama in writing a letter explaining to President George W. Bush that the Armenian Genocide was a “systematic and deliberate campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915… The victims of the Genocide deserve our remembrance and their rightful place in history… It is in the best interests of our nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated.”