The Armenian Genocide Today
First Things - Web Exclusives
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The non-binding resolution declares that it is United States policy “to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance” and “to reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide.” The resolution passed by a bipartisan vote of 405-11. Supporters anticipated another lopsided vote in the Senate, where Senators Cruz and Menendez had introduced a similar resolution.
But now it seems the Senate resolution is dead. After meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdoğan in Washington last week, Senator Lindsey Graham abruptly voted to block consideration of the measure. The Senate, Graham said, should not “sugarcoat history or attempt to rewrite it.” He added, “I do hope Turkey and Armenia can come together and deal with this problem,” and said that his concerns were about “the future,” not “the past.” Graham joins Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who also objected to the Genocide resolution on grounds of historical accuracy: The resolution, she implied, did not reflect an “academic consensus.”