BEIRUT: For the first time in history, The US Senate unanimously passed S.Res.150 on Thursday to recognize the Armenian Genocide, a move the Lebanese-Armenian community dubbed “a huge progress for the unresolved Armenian case.”
“I was thrilled to hear the amazing news,” Mariana Bekarian, Lebanese-Armenian, told Annahar. “Although it is not a complete recognition, but it is still part of a shared dream all Armenians have in pursuit of the imminent justice for our people.”
“I congratulate my fellow Armenian nation. We promise to survive, persevere, and thrive,” Bekarian said.
The House’s passage of an identical resolution in October was indeed an effective step forward for the Armenian Genocide cause for it paved the way for the Senate’s recognition of the systematic killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, despite objections from the Trump administration and Turkey.
Eileen Kradjian labelled the US Senate’s recognition “a victory in the right direction, with some more steps to go.”
In the words of Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of ANCA, “The Senate today joined the House in rejecting Ankara’s gag-rule against honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide - overriding the largest, longest foreign veto over the US Congress in American history.”
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has been emphatically supporting the passage of this crucial declaration, prompted by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Hamparian added, “It’s time for the Executive Branch to join Congress in ending any and all American complicity in Ankara’s lies. Together, the President and Congress should put in place a sustained and pro-active policy that rejects Turkey’s lies, challenges Ankara’s obstruction of justice, and works with Armenian and Turkish stakeholders toward the international reparations and other remedies required of this crime.”
The announcement of the Senate’s acceptance of the passage gave the Armenian nation and diaspora great gratification.
To understand the opinions of the local Lebanese-Armenian community on the passage of the US resolution that greatly benefits Armenia’s most important cause, Annahar interviewed several of its members.
Nazareth Patchanian, founder of the active "Armenians in Lebanon" group on social media, expressed his gratitude for "one of the greatest news any Armenian could receive."
"The world is finally realizing the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide," Patchanian said. "When the systematic murder of more than a million human beings goes unrecognized, it means that anyone could get away with similar acts of horror."
Hermik Nazarian Krikorian told Annahar the story of how during the genocide, the Turks had killed her father’s family and abducted her aunt.
“My father used to always say that the educated Armenians will bring justice to the tragic, yet unsettled cause of the Armenian genocide,” Krikorian said, adding “now, we need more unity and we ask for the Lord’s guidance to lead our nation in the right direction.”
“My ancestors are from Tadem, Kharput,” Bob Shemeligian said. “My great paternal grandfather was beaten to death by Ottoman Turks in his home. One of my great aunts was burnt alive; the other was chopped to pieces on a roadside. Practically, all my relatives were tortured and murdered in the hands of the Turks, and yesterday was a good day for their honor, but it was just the beginning.”
Another Lebanese-Armenian, Taline Kanledjian, told Annahar “After 104 years of denial, may justice prevail with further actions with the entire world recognizing the Armenian Genocide.”
Among the many tasks that the ratification of this resolution requires of the US are for the United States to officially commemorate the Armenian Genocide, reject efforts to associate the US Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide, and spread awareness and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide.
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