By Marianne Love
LOS ANGELES (Daily News) — A crowd of about 200 people packed the Glendale Central Library’s auditorium on Saturday, December 14, for a celebration that even a week ago might not have been predictable.
But, when the political winds blow in a certain way and world events come together, sometimes a long-fought struggle can lead to a win. And that’s what happened on Thursday, when the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians beginning from 1915 to 1923 at the hands of the Ottoman-Turks. Despite major pushback and lobbying from the modern-day Turkish government, the senators joined their counterparts in the House of Representatives (who approved an identical bill in October).
“(The resolution) was a culmination of a lot of hard work … a long struggle against the odds,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, principal co-author on the House bill.
For years Schiff has tried to bring similar legislation to the House floor, sometimes getting really close, but also being rebuffed by political forces that on this issue have prompted Democratic and Republican lawmakers and presidents to shy away from calling the history a genocide.
But observers say recent events, including Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria, where once American ally the Kurds were attacked, helped shape a new political dynamic. With that, even allies of President Trump were willing to defy him and swiftly (and surprisingly) consent to the resolution. And with these independent resolutions not vulnerable to Trump’s veto pen, incredulous advocates in Glendale were touting the maneuver.