Turkish Jews lobby against Armenian resolution

A delegation of Turkish Jews lobbied against a resolution under consideration in the U.S. Congress that would recognize the 1915 massacres of Armenians as genocide. The three-person delegation, headed by Silvyo Ovadya, the president of the Turkish Jewish community, attended this week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference and met with Jewish leaders as well as members of Congress.

Turkish diplomats have been unsuccessful in mustering broad community support against the non-binding resolution proposed by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is Jewish and has a large Armenian constituency. A number of Holocaust scholars have labeled the massacres, carried out by Ottoman-era Turks, as a genocide and have called it a precursor to the Holocaust. Ovadya said such considerations were best left to historians, but claimed that politically the resolution would harm relations between the United States and its closest Muslim ally.