Rep. Adam Schiff Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a lead sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution in Congress, released the following statement on the 100thanniversary of the Armenian Genocide:

“One hundred years ago, the Ottoman Empire attempted to annihilate an entire race in the first genocide of the last century. When it was over, 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children lay dead and many thousands of others barely survived. Despite a brutal campaign of massacres, forced death marches, lootings and rape, the Young Turks failed to destroy the Armenian people as evidenced by the vibrant diaspora and Armenian nation. 

“When this heinous acts crime was committed, an entirely new word had to be invented to describe it – genocide. The author of the term, Holocaust survivor Raphael Lemkin, specifically cited the campaign of murder against the Armenians as an example of what genocide was meant to describe.  

“The horrors of the genocide have been compounded by decades of denial by the Turkish government, which continues to fight the truth to this day.  The United States has become complicit in this denial by failing to recognize the genocide for decades – and I was deeply disappointed by President Obama’s refusal to use the word ‘genocide’ in his statement today. If not this President, who spoke so eloquently and passionately about recognition in the past, whom?  If not after one hundred years, when?

“The United States must join the world community – as it has in speaking out against other atrocities and in confronting painful chapters of our own past – in calling the Armenian Genocide a genocide. The time for silence is over.”