Stumbling blocks: Geopolitics, the Armenian Genocide, and the American Jewish community

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dc.contributor.advisor Sarna, Jonathan Harris, Jason 2008-09-15T15:54:00Z 2008-09-15T15:54:00Z 2008
dc.description This thesis examines the history of the American Jewish community's engagement with the issue of recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
dc.description.abstract In 2007 the standout political issue for the American Jewish community was whether or not to support a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide of 1915. How did global political complexities intrude on such a seemingly simple matter? What is the past history between the Armenian people and the American Jewish community? And what are the wider implications of this controversy? This paper considers the above questions across three sections. The first delves into Armenian history, noting in particular where the Armenian story abuts the Jewish one. This section also surveys the 1890s Hamidian massacres and American Jewry’s role in what became America’s first international humanitarian relief effort. The second part examines the Armenian Genocide, from the rise of the Young Turks to the aftermath of World War One, which resulted in the creation of the modern Republic of Turkey and the absorption of Armenia into the Soviet Union. Certain Jewish heroes emerge, such as Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Raphael Lemkin, and Rabbi Stephen Wise, who, among others, endeavored to report on the Genocide and raise American consciousness about the fate of the Armenians. This paper also looks at comparisons between the Holocaust the Genocide and the efforts of modern-day Turkey to deny the Genocide and thwart recognition efforts. The third section considers the contemporary politics that make Genocide-recognition so difficult. Concerns about American and Israeli national security, the fate of Turkey’s Jewish community, and the desire to preserve Holocaust “uniqueness” intrude upon what many in our community consider to be a purely moral question. Ultimately, this paper leaves it to the reader to consider the dilemma between acting “righteous” and “practical.”
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Jason Harris 2008
dc.subject Jewish and Armenian Genocide
dc.subject United States Congress and Armenian Genocide
dc.subject Israel and Armenian Genocide
dc.subject Henry Morgenthau and Armenian Genocide
dc.subject Rabbi Stephen Wise and Armenian Genocide
dc.subject Jewish community and geopolitics
dc.subject Jews and Armenian Genocide
dc.subject Armenian Genocide
dc.subject Jews and Armenia
dc.subject Jewish community and United States Congress
dc.subject Jewish community and Armenian Genocide
dc.title Stumbling blocks: Geopolitics, the Armenian Genocide, and the American Jewish community
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program & Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies MA Masters Professional Leadership Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.description.esploro yes

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