JUST IN: House Passes Resolution to Officially Recognize Armenian Genocide
The House on Tuesday passed a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide in a 405-11 vote.
California Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff who is the Vice Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus introduced the resolution.
“Many American politicians, diplomats and institutions have rightly recognized these atrocities as a genocide, including America’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time, Henry Morgenthau, and Ronald Reagan,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said on the floor ahead of the vote.
“Only by shining a light on the darkest parts of our history can we learn not to repeat them and properly acknowledging what occurred is a necessary step in achieving some measure of justice for the victims,” he added.
Shortly after the House passed this resolution, lawmakers passed a bill to put additional sanctions on Turkey.
The Hill reported:
The bill emphasizes the position of the House that U.S. policy will “(1) commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance; (2) reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and (3) encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the United States role in the humanitarian relief effort, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.”
“Genocides, whenever and wherever they occur, cannot be ignored, whether they took place in the 20th century by the Ottoman Turks or mid-20th century by the Third Reich and in Darfur,” Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), a co-chair of the Armenian Caucus who helped lead the efforts on the measure, said on the House floor.
Bilirakis said it is time Congress address the injustices committed by the Ottoman Empire, saying he believes Turkey’s “current actions against our Kurdish allies is extremely concerning and we cannot stand by and let egregious human rights violations happen.”
“Today we end a century of international silence that will not be another period of indifference or international ignorance to the lives lost to systematic murder,” he said.
In 301 A.D., Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion after Christianity was introduced to Armenia a couple hundred years earlier in the first century — for this reason, Armenia was eventually targeted by the Ottoman Empire.
The most recent genocide of the Armenians began on April 24th, 1915, and 1.5 million Christian Armenians were slaughtered by the Muslim Ottoman Turks.
Turkey denies the Genocide to this day.
Assyrians and Greeks were also murdered, bringing the the total Genocide to 3.5 million Christians.
April 24th, 1915 is known as ‘Red Sunday.’ Hundreds of male Armenian leaders were arrested, deported and or killed by the Ottoman Turks in what marked the beginning of the Armenian genocide. Over 1.5 million Christian Armenians were brutally murdered and or sent on a death march into the Syrian desert.
At this time, 29 countries officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
In the other chamber, Senator Ted Cruz called on fellow Senators to pass a resolution he introduced to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
I call on my Senate colleagues to expeditiously consider and pass a resolution I introduced with @SenatorMenendez to officially recognize the #ArmenianGenocide & reject all forms of its denial. https://t.co/NMmIYaNRFy
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 28, 2019
Disclosure: The author of this article is a first generation American of Armenian descent.