“Reconciliation”: Deadly Misconception

By Vart Adjemian, Fort Lauderdale FL, 7 April 2015

A recent incident at the Armenian Cultural Association of America (ACAA) "Hye Getron" in South Florida reminded me of "The Case of Self-Reconcilation" Keghart.com editorial (Feb. 20, 2015).

The South Florida Armenian Relief Society (ARS) chapter was holding a dinner event on the occasion of Lent. The newly-arrived pastor delivered a speech about the significance of Lent and the Armenian religious and cultural traditions leading to Easter Sunday. It was an appropriate theme. However, he digressed from the topic and began talking about the Genocide and made statements about reconciliation, forgiveness and about making peace with the Turks. Attendants vehemently–and rightly so–objected to his remarks and observations.

By Vart Adjemian, Fort Lauderdale FL, 7 April 2015

A recent incident at the Armenian Cultural Association of America (ACAA) "Hye Getron" in South Florida reminded me of "The Case of Self-Reconcilation" Keghart.com editorial (Feb. 20, 2015).

The South Florida Armenian Relief Society (ARS) chapter was holding a dinner event on the occasion of Lent. The newly-arrived pastor delivered a speech about the significance of Lent and the Armenian religious and cultural traditions leading to Easter Sunday. It was an appropriate theme. However, he digressed from the topic and began talking about the Genocide and made statements about reconciliation, forgiveness and about making peace with the Turks. Attendants vehemently–and rightly so–objected to his remarks and observations.

I have no idea whether the pastor was expressing his opinions and convictions or if he was influenced by the "Reconciliation-Industrial Complex"–a term coined by the Keghart editorial.

A number of recently formed organizations in Armenia, in other countries of the Caucasus and in Turkey are very active and vocal on this issue. To name a few: the Civilitas Foundation; the Caucasus Institute of Yerevan; the Eurasia partnership Foundation; and the Regional Studies Centre. They have a common purpose and motive under the broad umbrella of "conflict resolution in the Caucasus region".

What is alarming about these organizations are the following factors which should be scrutinized and viewed with skepticism:

 – They are formed and run by high-profile, highly-educated people. Some of them have held positions

in the government of Armenia and come from respected academic circles.

–  Some members of their boards or honorary boards (non- Armenian ones) are openly Genocide deniers and are pro-Turkey, pro-Azerbaijan or are affiliated with organizations that lobby and work against the recognition of the Genocide.

– Their funding comes mainly from Western sources (U.S., U.K, Germany and Turkey).

– The main thrust of these organizations is to hold dialogues with Turkey and Azerbaijan, to reconcile,

make peace, walk away from Armenian rights and demands of Genocide recognition and reparations,

accompanied by a minimalist request for an acknowledgment and/or an apology.

On the eve of the Genocide Centennial, with the Pope's declaration, other favorable events and developments, plus mostly positive world-wide media coverage, these organizations are not acting in the interest of our cause and purpose. They are self-serving and have hidden agendas. What is scary is that they have begun to influence the psyche of impressionable Armenians.

There can be no Turkish-Armenian reconciliation without recognition of the Genocide and appropriate reparations. We need unity of purpose and not misconceptions and unacceptable, unrealistic ideas. We cannot and should not give up our rights.

5 comments
  1. Right to the point

    Very good article by Vart Adjemian. Right to the point.
    Vahaken Bedrossian

     

  2. Vart Adjemian = Varti Bess

    Right on, Vart Adjemian, for noticing what is transpiring.

    Who is coaching this pastor? Did the ARS know about and approve of the content of his speech beforehand? Are our organizations on the so-called reconciliation train without our consent? 

  3. Answer to Yergurbakutyun

    To answer your questions:
    No, the ARS did not know nor approve the content of his speech. Because it was the  Holy week, the new pastor was invited as a courtesy, and he was asked to talk about lent, its meaning and the Armenian traditions. It definitely is not the fault of the ARS that the pastor diverted from the intent and purpose of the evening.
    Certain members in the audience immediately reacted and objected to his remarks.
    I personally do not believe that our organizations are on the same train, but these newly formed organizations are having an influence on certain gullible Armenians.
    We need to be alert and vigilant .
    Vart Adjemian

  4. “Reconciliation”?

    Vart Adjemian is right … the main thrust of the organizations he names is … walk away from Armenian rights and demands of Genocide recognition and reparations. The organizations and individuals referred to in Vart's article could and would "serve humanity better" if they use their capabilities in driving Turkey's intellectuals and governmental authorities towards recognition of the crime against humanity and reparation. Armenians have no right in front of humanity to reconcile without Justice.      

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