The battle over the local Anti-Defamation League and its No Place for Hate program returns to the Watertown Town Council tonight.
Last month, the council sent a letter to Blue Cross executives requesting the face-to-face meeting and urging the healthcare insurance company to withdraw its support in light of the ongoing controversy between Armenian-Americans and the ADL over recognition of the Armenian genocide.
During the session, representatives from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts are expected to talk about the company's financial support for the Anti-Defamation League's No Place For Hate program.
The meeting starts at 7:15. Expecting a larger-than-normal turnout this week, the Town Council will move its meeting from Town Hall to the Watertown Middle School auditorium, 68 Waverley Avenue.
According to the town website, the agenda item is a "Resolution requesting Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA to sever ties with the Anti-Defamation League and No Place For Hate.''
The Armenian Mirror-Spectator reported that the resolution reads: "Whereas: Taxpayers pay the major share of the premiums for the many Town employees who have Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance; and, Whereas: The Council believes that taxpayer funds which are directed to Blue Cross/Blue Shield should not be spent on a program affiliated with an organization which diminishes the factuality of, and works against recognition of, a widely acknowledged genocide. Now Therefore Be It Resolved: The City known as the Town of Watertown hereby asks BC/BSMA to expeditiously sever ties with NPFH and similar ADL programs; and that the Council shall send to BC/BSMA chif executives and members of the Board of Directors a letter with this Resolution, that asks for such severance and requests a prompt and positive response; and the council shall take due notice, make public, and discuss BSBCMA’s response.”
-- Christina Pazzanese