Media Does Not Want You to See

NYC_2011-17

24 May 2011

A Keghart.com reader has filed the following report:

"A small group of unaffiliated Armenian activists, not associated with any organization, attended the April 24 Commemoration on May 1st, in New York City’s Times Square. The event was, as it has been for many years, sponsored by the Knights of Vartan (KOV) and several other Armenian-American organizations. We were threatened and accosted by the organizers and prevented from holding several of our signs and banners. However, we and members of the attending crowd managed to hold them up, despite the efforts of the event organizers. As for the signs that we were permitted to hold, these were allowed only on condition that they be situated far in the back of the crowd.

24 May 2011

A Keghart.com reader has filed the following report:

"A small group of unaffiliated Armenian activists, not associated with any organization, attended the April 24 Commemoration on May 1st, in New York City’s Times Square. The event was, as it has been for many years, sponsored by the Knights of Vartan (KOV) and several other Armenian-American organizations. We were threatened and accosted by the organizers and prevented from holding several of our signs and banners. However, we and members of the attending crowd managed to hold them up, despite the efforts of the event organizers. As for the signs that we were permitted to hold, these were allowed only on condition that they be situated far in the back of the crowd.

“As far as we know, no such restrictions have ever been placed on sign holders at that event in prior years. We must also point out that, for unexplained reasons, no Armenian-American media that covered the event showed photos of, or reported, our banners or signs. We leave it to them to explain this gross omission to their readers. Are our media afraid of strong Armenian messages?

“We also brought signs that criticized specific Jewish-American groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. We are sure that many Armenians are aware that such groups (but certainly not all Jewish groups) have long denied or diminished the Genocide of Armenians and have worked, and continue to work, with Turkey to defeat Armenian Genocide resolutions in the U.S. Congress. We were not permitted to hold signs referring to these anti-Armenian groups. This can only be construed deliberate censorship of the truth.

“It seems that some Armenian-American organizations and their media are engaged in a gag policy, similar to Turkey’s infamous Article 301, and actively promote US State Department TARC-like articles and news reports. Furthermore, it seems most of the editors of the Armenian-American media think "freedom of the press" means "freedom to keep people in the dark."

“Sincerely,

“A freelance Armenian American activist."

Some of the signs that were not permitted to hold:

Armenian Genocide Deniers:
Anti-Defamation League,
American Jewish Committee,
Jewish Institute Nat. Sec. Affairs
AIPAC

Hands-off Armenian Genocide Resolutions in the US Congress

Israel: There is still time to regain your moral compass.
Honor the Armenian Genocide

“Anti”-Defamation League proxy of the Genocidal Turkish Government
Abe Foxman: How do you like them Turks now?

Jewish-American Organization
Anti-Defamation League
Stop the Hate Crime!
Quit the Genocide Denial
Stop lobbying the US Congress Against Armenia and Armenians

Some of the signs that were held, but had no photos taken:

International Association of Genocide Scholars
“To deny the Armenian Genocide is like Holocaust denial”

Raphael Lemkin coined the term Genocide to describe
the Turkish annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians.

Click on an image below to start the slide show:

19 comments
  1. Times Square commemoration

    As difficult as it is to swallow, we need the support of the local Jewish community and politicians to stage this demonstration. There has been a great deal of pressure, applied behind the scenes, to deny the Knights of Vartan the permit to have the event. We are certain that the source of the pressure is no different than that in the U.S. Congress. As it is, we are the only non-profit remaining that stages a public event in Times Square without having to pay a fee to compensate NYC for police, sanitation, etc. We are fortunate to be grandfathered into this arrangement. We have to make some sacrifices to avoid being denied the permit. 

  2. On the Media….

    My personal opinion about  the problems that you had was due to "political correctness" of some segments of Armenian society. There were several signs that condemned  Jewish and Israeli organizations.

    This is a BIG..BIG…BIG…NO NO of our times. Some Armenians do not want to be branded as "Anti-Semite" as it is a known fact that  no matter what you say against Jews and Israel, you will be branded, banished  as Anti-Semite, and the full weight of Jewish influence will fall upon you. Under these circumstances nobody but nobody can critisize the "chosen" people

    The truth is always hidden for fear of  being branded as "anti" anything…

  3. Fear of Jewish Retaliation

    So, we Armenians can’t criticize a few, specific Jewish groups, which is what the signs were trying to do, because some Jews behind the scene will then yank the KOV’s license?  

    What KOV seems to be saying is that it is better to remain silent about those Jewish groups such as the ADL, AJC, and AIPAC because Jews are so vindictive (allegedly) and lacking in understanding of Armenians that KOV’s license will be yanked. How does KOV know that a few signs directed only against some Jewish groups will anger Jews in general?  Is this based on fact or paranoia? Is KOV a fearful group or are they the sons of Vartan? Which is it?

    What is KOV doing to stop this alleged Jewish stranglehold on our community?  Nothing?

    What is so wonderful about this Times Square April 24 event that KOV must remain silent? And what is so wonderful about the participation of Jews in this event if they are really so vindictive (allegedly) that they would then turn around and yank the license? 

    What is so great about having the false support of Jews (if that is what it is – I don’t know), if it comes at the price of being muzzled?

    Are Armenians, KOV, and some other Armenian groups so scared of Jews that they must engage in self-censorship and pretend that certain people are friends who are not friends?  

    Many Jews support us. Does that mean that we can never criticize any Jewish group? What is KOV’s official position?

  4. Speaking truth to power

    It is beyond lamentable that the term "speaking truth to power" has, in our case, come to apply to the resistance movement towards the despotic regimes not only in Turkey, but in present-day Armenia, and sadly, among our very own advocacy organizations! When the leaders of these advocacy organizations complain about lack of support, lack of unity or constituent apathy, they fail to perform the self-analysis necessary to realize that they just may be preaching to a "silenced majority" who do NOT support their outmoded, ineffective, corrupt, appeasing and/or self-serving agendas.  

  5. Knights of Vartan and Times Square Genocide Commemoration

    As the Grand Commander of the Knights of Vartan and as one of the leaders of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square, I believe I can speak with some authority.  The simple fact of the matter is that we are there to memorialize the tragic death of 1.5 million Armenians organized and carried out by the Young Turk dictators of the Ottoman Empire and to demand that the current Turkish government, the successor government of the Ottoman state, acknowledged the guilt of its predecessors and offers restitution to the progeny of the victims.

    We do not engage in sideshows attacking the American president, the state of Israel, or the Jewish people. That is not the purpose of our commemoration.

    Unfortunately, many Armenians have given up attacking the Turkish state and now blame others who are only peripheral actors and make no ultimate determination that has meaning for Armenians. That is an unfortunate characteristic of weak people, to ignore the perpetrator and to blame the bystanders.

    If Israel, the United States, and all other governments which have heretofore not recognized the Armenian genocide expressly do so, it would not make much of a difference. It is only when Turkey acknowledges the Armenian genocide that we have succeeded.

    Why pick fights with bystanders and waste resources which can be better spent fighting the enemy.

    Dennis R. Papazian, PhD                                                                    
    Grand Commander, Knights of Vartan

     

     

     

    1. I concur with Dennis Papazian

      I concur with Dr. Dennis Papazian.
       
      It so happened that I visited LA and eagerly looked to watch Armenian programs as we lack that on the East Coast. However, I was taken back when the Armenian program I started to watch started with its customary prelude, I was told, displaying the Statue of Liberty’s mouth wrapped with a Turkish flag. The implied message is obvious.
       
      I wondered, to what end that display serves? Would we have dared, I thought, to cover the symbol of Lebanon, the Cedar with a Turkish flag and aired it on Lebanese TV week after week on an Armenian program in Lebanon? I am sure not. The same goes to the national symbols of the other Middle Eastern countries where we have sizable Armenian communities. The same may be true with Russia as well. Is the display in LA a courageous act and a constructive example to the upcoming Armenian Americans to pursue our cause we want them to inherit? I think not.
       
      Recently I read a rhetorical piece from Harut Sassounian tilted Sarkozy Joins Obama in Deceit: Neither Should Be Reelected in 2012”.
       
      Stating the obvious, the voters elect the President of the United States. Is Sassounian advocating that the Armenian Americans cast their votes to the challenging presidential candidate in the upcoming election? Is he advocating the Armenian Americans ignore their civic duties and not cast their votes and hope that the other voters would not reelect President Obama? It was not clear to me how was Harut Sassounian advocating that Armenian Americans would see President Obama not reelected. Obviously he was suggesting that the Armenian Americans ignore the myriads of issues that face the country and hence them, and consequently cast their votes based on a single issue, that of recognition of the Genocide, in spite of the fact we have ample experience with the Presidents who preceded President Obama.
       
      We ended the first decade of the 21st century and in spite of the many positive developments, at times I think the more things change with the way we in the Armenian Diaspora pursue our cause, the more things remain the same, wrapped in rhetoric. 
  6. Jews, Israel and Genocide

    I am a Korean Vet.  I was born and brought up in this country.  During World War II, my family contributed:

    1 Uncle. US Army European theater.
    1 Cousin, Medical Corps, Casino…killed at 20.
    1 Cousin, Infantry, the above’s brother, 19, almost cut in half by  machine gun bullets from a German tank at Normandy.
    1 Cousin, Engineer, Shot up at Casino.
    1 Cousin, Pacific Theatre, suffered from jungle rot his whole life.
    1 Cousin, US Marines
    1 Cousin, Navy, Pacific theater.
    1 Brother,  Air Force, 18 years old, didn’t get overseas.

    In 1915, my grandfather was brutally murdered, decapitated and his body dragged through the streets of Kharpert as an influential Armenian.  He has no grave.  My father never saw his childhood home again.  I’ll stop here…there’s not enough room to tell it all.

    I was a normal kid. Went to school, was a cub scout, a boy scout, a young member of DeMolay, High School football…a real American…went on to further my education and became an Armenian Priest…the only veteran in our church.

    AND HERE IT IS!  THESE PEOPLE WHO ALLEGEDLY SUFFERED A SIMILAR TRAGEDY MAKE ME KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT AND FORGET THE GRIEF OF MY PARENTS THAT I WITNESSED THROUGHOUT MY LIFE.  I GUESS YOU’D CALL THAT A SECOND GENOCIDE…OR A CONTINUANCE.  

     

    1. Please Stop

      You are either extremely misled or intentionally dishonest individual.You are describing exactly what your people did to Turkish and Azerbaijani people during those times. In fact, it was a reason your ancestors were deported out of this country (that's right, deported). Please, just stop spreading these lies…have you no shame?

      1. Educate yourself

        Aydin Soydan, obviously you have not read any 'real' historical document and have been brainwashed by the Turkish fabricated lies.

        The Genocide of the Armenians is a proven fact and documented in many historical archives in the world (non-Armenian as well), unfortunately it really happened.

        Please spend some time to read international and proven historical documents about the Armenian Genocide and surely you will understand the truth about the horrible crimes that your ancestors committed not only to Armenians, but also to other nations (Greeks, Assyrians, Pontic, Syriac and more).  Turks continue to do so at this moment by illegally blockading Armenia and destroying its old cultural heritage, even the graves in Western Armenia, as if they want to erase all facts about their crimes.
  7. What Does KOV Stand For?

    Grand Commander Papazian says that if the US recognizes the Genocide, that does not mean Turkey will as well. That is beside the point. We want America to take the right stand on the Genocide of Armenians because we are Americans. We are doing it only to pressure Turkey. Lots of genocides are recognized formally by the US. Is Papazian against those, too?

    As far as I know, the KOV strongly supports US genocide recognition and always has. What Papazian seems to be saying is that as Grand Commander the organization no longer cares about genocide recognition because, in Papazian’s opinion, this will not lead to Turkey’s recognition of the genocide.

    I wonder if KOV members themselves understand the negative light that Papazian is putting them in. He is contradicting the long-held stance of the KOV, and is even contradicting the elected officials who spoke on the Times Square platform and who spoke out for genocide recognition, reparations, and more. 

    As far as attacking Jews goes, as I look at the signs that were banned from the Times Square demonstration, they were not anti-Jewish at all. They criticized only the top Jewish organizations such as AIPAC and others which viciously decided to act against Armenians and in favor of Turkey. Papazian apparently thinks that these organizations should not be criticized by Armenians. He equates Jews, in general,  (who actually support us) with a few Jewish groups and thus tries to impugn those Armenians who criticize those groups. Let get this straight: is Papazian saying that Armenians can’t ever criticize a Jewish person or Jewish group who sides with genocide deniers?

    Papazian is an academician and a bright man. One is surprised that he would try to twist things around in such a way that he would never allow one of his students to do. What Papazian says makes no sense at all. 

    It also looks as if the KOV shoved all the signs, even ones that made no mention of Jewish groups, to the back so people could not see them. Is KOV afraid of taking a firm stance? What are the men in KOV made of and does Papazian speak in their name? Does KOV realize what Vartan Mamigonian stood for? 

    Can someone please clarify what the KOV stands for and does not stand for in terms of the Genocide of Armenians, or is Papazian remaking KOV policy all on his own?

  8. The media does not want

    The media does not want to show these things because they want to save you guys from embarrassing yourselves and making yourselves look like a bunch of desperate clowns. You guys beg, beg and squeal for lands. But we know you want to wipe Turkey off the map and extort money from all of the Turkish economy.

    You try to make utter exaggerations saying the treatment of Ottoman Armenians up to the 1915-1923 period was nothing like any other. False. In fact, Muslim Ottoman Rulers even treated Armenians better than Jews and Muslims referring to Armenians as the "honorable nation." You also like to fabricate the fact that you were the poor angels who constantly suffered and Turkish + Azeri + and in some cases, Georgian, were bloodthirsty demons. If you guys are "victims" why do you go saying around "Oh we are going to burn all of Baku’s oil fields" and "oh Azeris should be glad that we didn’t march in Baku". Also, why do you claim when ASALA was around, you were only targeting politicians, but you were also killing families, as well as travel agencies too.

    Why is it that you guys have to be fearful of the historical commission? Is it because you guys try to hide the fact that you guys were equally as guilty for misdeeds and started the Turkish-Armenian conflict as well. Because you know you guys started to ethnically cleanse Muslims to create a "Greater Armenia" but utterly failed to create this so-called "Greater Armenia."

    If you love your nation so much, why don’t you guys move there and why is it that people move out of Armenia all the time? Hah, what passion.  What is up with the poster that says "Turkey should not stand". That just proves how you guys don’t want peace but war. Btw, if you want those "lands" why are you guys too scared to spill your blood to get those lands. What is that "organize, not agonize" poster about, is it implying that you’re scared to send your troops in Anatolia and know that Turkish soldiers will defeat Armenian troops. That is probably the case.

    Oh yeah, I am not being a hater btw, you guys (Armenian supremacists), are the haters. What is up with getting Greek Americans to make the racist movie Midnight Express? Yep, that is right. Also, you claim that Good, Decent Armenians are against fighting for "Armenian Rights." The rights for land, money, and reparations are infringing on the rights of Anatolian Moslems, who protected themselves from extinction from Armenian and Greek invading troops.

    It is either you guys live peacefully with your neighbors as is, accept the borders of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, or try to have wet dreams of wiping all your neighbors off the map. What is it that with you guys saying you are not out to get us, when the AYF put a clip of (Armenian Hitler Youth Movement) attacking a Turkish Independence day dinner festival. Don’t justify terror attacks against people who want to have dinners, because you know you are out to get Turkish people.

    Even all the Taner Akcams, Orhan Pamuks, Ragip Zarakolus won’t be enough, because you will always be full of hate and anger, which means a race that is full of hate and anger is regressive. Don’t pull the "ohhh we suffered like no other race ever did in human civilization card" because there was equal Turkish and Armenian suffering in 1915. Don’t say the historical commission is "like asking for a historical commission about the Jewish issue or Cambodian issue or Indian issue" because Jews had no intention to divide Germany or Cambodians had no intention to wipe Vietnam off the planet, as well as how Native Americans had no intention to kill all Whites.

    Come on guys, if you are sure about the genocide, then work on the historical commission. It has nothing to do with sacrificing Turkish or Armenian rights, but just double checking whether you are right or wrong. It won’t dishonor Armenian dead, because there was also Turkish dead as well. So don’t think this is a hate message either. This is just a message double-checking the facts, that is all. Don’t even try to refuse to post this, or else this will prove how you guys fear freedom of speech and facts.

    You guys will try to bring up the "Article 301" saying we are intolerant to free speech and criticism, (btw 99% of Turkish people want Article 301), but at the same time, you desperately cry to other countries to jail people who debunk the "one-sided" genocide allegation. Why do you guys want others who debunk myths, because your campaign to wipe Turkey off the map as well as the disgusting campaign to vilify Turkish people (worse than Hitler vilified Jews) will fail. We know it, just stop hating, stop vilifying Turkish people, stop trying to control other governments as pawns so you can drag them in your wars to wipe Turkey off the map, stop asking for money and land, stop brainwashing your kids with hate and racism.

    If you threaten the national sovereignity of a nation’s borders (Turkey) with one-sided allegations, as well as vilifying Turkish people, even the Taner Akcam and Orhan Pamuk types, don’t expect Turkish people to be quiet. We will tell you to open your archives, don’t be frightened for the historical commission, stop getting your AYF’s (Hitler Youth Movements) to terrorize Turkish Americans all over the USA, stop making Midnight Express movies, stop threatening other lobbies to make laws to jail people who expose the "genocide myth".

    It is not racist to expose the genocide myth, and it is not inflaming racism against a group of people. It is just explaining facts about a one sided allegation that is a plot to extract land from Turkey and wipe Turkey off the map, as well as a plot for Armenians to get the world to be racist against everything Turkish. So please guys, don’t hide your archive either and don’t bring up the "Armenian issue is like the Shoah" because Jews didn’t want to steal land from Germany and you beg Jews to recognize your "genocide fairytale" and compare your "suffering" to the Holocaust, but the Jews don’t care about you guys, because you blame the Jews for your so-called "genocide" as well as how you guys go around on Storm front saying Hitler wanted to attack Turkey and Hitler supported your cause, while you at the same time fabricate the infamous Hitler quote.

    1. Turkish American

      Proud Turkish-American,

      I don’t know whether you are proud for being Turkish, American, both or just proud for being who you are.

      I believe you are sincere, but your ignorance, inability to think logically, undisciplined emotionalism, and your illiteracy must be an embarrassment to the official Turkish propaganda machine. If you are the best Ankara’s indoctrination can produce, woe to the fabricated, bloody-minded, and genocidal state of Turkiye. No wonder Ankara has hired a gang of American and British mercenary "historians" to tell its lies to the world.

      1. Not from Ankara

        I am not from Ankara. I was born and raised in the US, hence I am a second generation Turkish-American.
        1) You want to divide Turkey and wipe it off the map.
        2) You want to extort money from the Turkish economy.
        3) You want to vilify everything Turkish in the most disgusting ways (so disgustingly, even Hitler, Bin Laden and The Devil himself would be disgusted).
        4) You want to kill everything Turkish, whether if it is Ergun Kirlikovali, Alparslan Turkes and even Taner Akcam, Ragip Zarakolu, and Orhan Pamuk.
        5) You are incredibly hungry for Turkish blood. You are hungrier for Turkish blood then some wolf who kill his prey.
        Note: I am not emotional and ignorant. You are labelling me as ignorant because I am presenting one thing: FACTS!
        Keep up the hating, it will help Turkey and Turkish people become STRONGER! We love haters and we love more of them! That is why you are yapping, squealing and begging. At the same time, when the noise and hate grows, it will help us become STRONGER AND STRONGER! Keep up the good work on the hate.

        1. To the Proud Turk

          The commentary you posted is revealing and may be educational. I am an Armenian American.
           
          Your comment may be educational in the sense that you may be able to suggest to us how we, as Armenians, should pursue the recognition of the Armenian Genocide that your forbearers’ generation committed and not come across as hating the present-day Turks, such as you. You are absolutely right in stating that hate blinds the hater more so the person who is the object of his or her hate. I do not hate Turks, but want Turks to come to grips with the reality that orphaned both my maternal and paternal grandparents, who, at one time, were law-abiding, hard- working subjects of the Ottoman Empire, living on their ancestral lands.
           

          Naturally, I cannot speak on behalf of all Armenians and you possibly cannot be speaking on behalf of all Turks as well. If you believe that the Armenian Genocide is a figment of our–Armenian–imagination, then there could not be any meaningful discussion with you. However, if you believe in the reality or even the possibility that the Genocide was indeed committed, then this may be a forum for meaningful exchanges. 

        2. Pity

          To: PT.(Proud Turk)

          There you go again, making nonsensical and false statements. Vahe from the United States gave you good and kindly advice, but I doubt that you will follow his helpful suggestions.

          To reply categorically to your most recent outburst…

          You don’t have to live in Ankara, or even in Turkey, to know the "Turkiye" government party line. This observation, one would think, is obvious to any logical person. So right off the bat, you started your letter on a false footing, P.T.

          1. You allege that Armenians want to divide Turkey and destroy it. That you can penetrate the brains of nine million Armenians and read their intentions is impressive, but pray tell, how will the three-million citizens of Armenia rule over seventy-five million people of Turkey?

          2. You allege that Armenians want to extort money from Turkey. Since all of Eastern Turkey and Cilicia are part of Armenia, I don’t know how Turkey would find the trillions to pay us–not that we want your money. What we want is what is ours: the return of our lands. Surely you can understand those four words. Some Armenians and non-Armenians would make a good case that you owe Armenians countless billions because you killed 1.5 million Armenians and drove hundreds of thousands into exiles. In addition, they would say that since the "modern" Turkish Republic, established by that vicious dictator Mustapha Kemal, was largely funded by the property (land, business, houses, personal possessions such as jewellery) stolen from the Armenian victims of your government, Turkey owes Armenians big time.

          3. Your third comment is so illogical that I will not bother addressing it, although I am impressed that you can time travel, in addition to reading the minds of dead people like Hitler, Osama Ben Laden. Your sentence also implies that you have been to Hell and know what Satan is thinking. Perhaps you are truly a descendant of other demonic Turkish figures such as Alp Aslan, Doughril, and the rest of the Turanic savages who destroyed the Middle East, including Armenia.

          4. Sorry, I don’t know the identity of Ergun Kirlikovali or A. Turkes. However, I consder Taner Akcam, Ragip Zarakolu and Orhan Pamuk righteous Turks. If every Turk was like this honorable trio, Armenians would have no problem with Turkey.

          5. "You are incredibly hungry for Turkish blood," you say. Please control yourself. If you carry on like that, someday you might find yourself in a straightjacket. I advised in my earlier email that you need to check your emotions, otherwise people will not reply to your inane and frenzied verbal effusions.

          Re your pseudonym–Proud Turk, P.T. (Pity?), I wonder if you can help me re a question I have. Why Proud Turk? I have noticed other Turks frequently use the same adjective. Why are you so self-conscious? Why are you over-compensating? What are you ashamed of that you keep harping on being proud? Of course, the answer is no secret: after a millennia of spreading destruction, depredation, dictatorship, and genocide, you know you have no reason to be proud. It’s exactly for that reason that ersatz Turk–Kemal–came up with the laughable motto: "Happy is the person who calls himself a Turk…" or some such nonesense.

          Hayorti

    2. Dear Proud 2nd Generation
      Dear Proud 2nd Generation (Turk)

      You sound like your are educated, which means you should know for how many generations you’ve been a (Turk). Please let us know because I know that Vahe or Hayorti are Armenians, at least for hundreds of generations. Are you one of Ataturk’s grand kids or descended from someone in Turkmenistan? Your answer will be appreciated. If you don’t want to acknowledge the truth publicly, I’ll be glad to give you my address and phone number.

  9. Amot

     Amot, ‘asbedner.’ Voch meg degh mnatsadz e vor Hayere irentz iraganoutiune haydararen, manavant odar mamoulin mech. Yev hima gsek vor menk al mer joghovourtin bedk e soud khosink?

  10. Turkey is Guilty

    Turkey is guilty of committing the Genocide of Armenians. I demand my HOMELAND. Viva United Armenia

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