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Newton eyes permanent withdrawal from ADL anti-hate program

Posted by Ralph Ranalli November 6, 2007 10:06 AM

foxman.JPG
Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman
(AP photo)

NEWTON

With the recent decison by the Anti-Defamation League's national board to take no further action on a Congressional resolution acknowledging an Armenian genocide, Newton Mayor David Cohen must decide whether to sever ties with the ADL's No Place for Hate Program permanently.

Earlier this fall, Cohen dropped the program, as a matter of "conscience" and asked ADL National Director Abraham Foxman to unequivocally acknowledge the Ottoman Empire's World War I massacre of Armenians by supporting a Congressional resolution calling it a genocide.

The ADL did not publicly acknowledge the deaths as a genocide until last summer when Foxman, under pressure from ADL members, issued a statement calling the massacre "tantamount to genocide."

Many criticized his statement as unclear and seven communities including Newton discontinued the ADL No Place for Hate program, awaiting a more concise explanation by Foxman. Foxman has said he feared international repercussions by Turkey, a key ally in US efforts against terrorism and Islamic extremism.

Jeremy Solomon, Cohen's spokesman, said the mayor will discuss the national ADL's decison at the city's next Human Rights Commission meeting. A date has not yet been scheduled, he
said.

"We're going to evaluate the actions taken in their entirety," Solomon said. "Perhaps it is not as black and white as it was when we issued the demand."

-- Megan Woolhouse

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