WASHINGTON, DC – Since both chambers of the U.S. House of Congress have already recognized the Genocide of 1915-1923 on the Syriacs, Armenians, and Pontic-Greeks, Democratic Senator for New Jersey Robert Menendez has been actively working to have President Joe Biden come through on earlier statements and to recognize the Genocide now that he is in office. If President Biden would officially recognize the atrocities of 1915-1923, he would be the first president to do so.
Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, has now collected the bipartisan signatures of 38 more senators signing a letter to Biden in which they strongly urge POTUS to “officially recognize the truth of the Armenian Genocide. In the past you have recognized the Armenian Genocide as genocide, including in your Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement during the 2020 campaign. We call on you to do so again as President to make clear that the U.S. government recognizes this terrible truth.”
Although late overdue, the President’s recognition would be a major and important step towards formal worldwide acceptance of past atrocities. If he recognizes the genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Syriacs (Arameans-Assyrians-Chaldeans), POTUS would send a clear political and moral message to Turkey to come to terms with its past and present.
In December 2019, after the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives passed House Res. 296 on 29 October in a 405-11 vote, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted Res. 150 giving “recognition and remembrance” to the Armenian genocide. The non-binding resolution was submitted by Senators Bob Menendez and Ted Cruz (R). Senate Resolution 150 recognizes and condemns the Genocide of 1915 on the Christian Syriac, Armenian, and Pontus-Greek peoples. It was planned by the Ottoman-Turkish rulers and perpetrated by Ottoman Turks and Kurds.
“Whereas the United States has a proud history of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians,” states Senate Resolution 150.
The Genocide between 1915-1923 perpetrated by Ottoman-Turkish rule – in collaboration with local Kurdish tribes in what is now Turkey – against Syriacs, Pontic-Greeks, and Armenians resulted in the massacre millions of innocent souls. Hundreds of thousands had to endure hardships under (death) marches south to the Syrian desert and tens of thousands of women and orphaned children were taken and Islamized, Turkified and Kurdified.
The Genocide of 1915, which Syriacs call Sayfo, caused the social, cultural, and economic destruction of Armenians, Syriacs and Pontic-Greeks in current day Turkey. Recognition by President Biden would come at a time when indigenous peoples as the Syriacs (Arameans-Assyrians-Chaldeans), Armenians and other vulnerable groups face violence, displacement, and decimation in Iraq and in Syria after the Turkish invasion into North & East Syria and Turkish support for the Syrian National Army, a collection of militias, including several espousing Islamist ideologies.
The following Senators signed the letter to President Biden: Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).