Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Israel Charny's Efforts in Stifling Academic Debate  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems




Israel Charny (whose name is apparently misspelled in the following article) is a loyal pro-Armenian. When the pro-Armenians began to lose their edge after the "genocide" matter was being seriously looked into in the 1970s and 1980s (in response to the wave of Armenian terrorism), and the lies of the genocide argument began to surface, something had to be done.

One form of terrorism that doesn't involve the spillage of blood is the pro-Armenians' time-honored tactic of the smear campaign. As Erich Feigl wrote in "The Myth of Terror," sometimes "Rufmord" is worse than real murder. Referring to The Forty Days of Musa Dagh author Franz Werfel, Feigl wrote:

"He committed murder — in German there is the word 'Rufmord,' which means the murder of one´s reputation — by defaming the name of the Turkish nation, the killing of one's reputation. Sometimes 'Rufmord' is worse than real murder. It leads easily to further crimes, in our case against Turkey and Turks."

Israel Charny, a man with no visible moral brakes, decided to do something against the scholars who gave his agenda serious trouble. When the "69 Historians" ad appeared in newspapers like "The New York Times," Charny went after them. Many who were operating out of honor and truth had no trouble responding to what turned out to be his slimeball tactics.

Charny's objective: to discredit them.

The way Charny went about his campaign of "Rufmord": to make it seem like the reason why these scholars took their stand was financial gain.

No scholar can afford his or her precious reputation to be stained.

Effective result: The real scholars have been scared away from this debate. No new ones have been entering the arena, scared to death of these immoral tactics.

The pro-Armenians are back to having their near-unilateral open field once again.

Here is a man, Israel Charny, who has no academic background in history or other field that legitimizes his self-created expertise on genocide scholarship (his background is in the field of psychology)... and he had the audacity to lower himself to such calumnious action.

I happen to know several professors, and getting grants from a range of sources is part of being a professor, to get on with research. No professor I know has sold his or her soul because of a grant. I'm not saying it isn't possible, but the process doesn't work that way.

There is not one academician in the list below who thought, Hey! If I can get some money from the "Turkish government," I'd be willing to lie through my teeth and misrepresent history.

Furthermore, from what I understand, the Institute of Turkish Studies (one of Charny's two examples of "the Turkish government")  is not exclusively financed by the Turkish government. There are many American companies that provide "grants" to keep this Institute up and running. (No doubt evil companies, to a lost soul like Israel Charny.)

This kind of tactic is nothing short of deplorable. If Israel Charny were a real scholar, he would work on disputing what opponent academicians are saying with legitimate facts. Since he cannot do that, he must go after their character.



  "A Follow-up of the Sixty-nine Scholars who Signed an Advertisement Questioning the Armenian Genocide"

By Israel W. Charney and Daphna Fromer

How are we to understand the mind of a rational person who denies the historical authenticity of a major historical tragedy such as the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide? On December 2, 1985, 69 scholars signed an advertisement which appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Washington Times which questioned insidiously the evidence of the Armenian genocide. Instead of denying the occurrence of the genocide outright, the scholars proceeded self-righteously in the name of values of historical and scientific truth to call on the Turkish and other governments to open all the archives so that the facts -- presumably unknown even in their essence as to whether or not there was a state-authorized and executed genocide of the Armenians -- will be ascertained.

Since its publication, the advertisement has been repeatedly used as proof that "many scholars do not believe there was a genocide of the Armenian people by the Turks," and it appears as a key document in repeated Turkish lobby statements to members of the U.S. Congress.

In an effort to understand more fully the attitudes of the scholars who signed the advertisement, the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem undertook a follow-up study of the signators. In an accompanying statement of "Acknowledgment of Bias," the Institute conveyed to the scholars that our studies of the subject have previously convinced us of the authenticity of the Armenian genocide, moreover that we have had our own direct experience with the Turkish government efforts to suppress the record in connection with the landmark International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide in Tel Aviv in 1982.

The questionnaire inquired into the respondents' knowledge of and opinion about the events that took place at the time of the Armenian genocide, their knowledge of and opinions towards any attempts to suppress and revise the historical record by either the Turks or the Armenians, their knowledge of the uses to which the advertisement has been put and about signators' current attitudes about the advertisement and their participation in it.

A total of 62 mailings are presumed to have reached their destination -- we failed to find an address for one signators and six other packages were returned as undeliverable. Of these 62, 4 returned empty questionnaires as statements of their refusal to participate, 10 wrote letters -- an number of them detailed and expository -- explaining their refusal to answer the questionnaire and also their attitudes about the subject of the Armenian genocide, while 7 returned completed questionnaires. Altogether, the total of 21 active responses represents a surprisingly high figure of 34% responses (compared to an average expectation of 10% responses to mail questionnaires in the social sciences). As the emotional intensity of the responses show, indications are that not only the questionnaire itself aroused tension but the subject of the advertisement is, as it should be, a focus of no little tension for many signators.

Some of the information revealed by those who did respond sheds light on the creation of this very clever propaganda technique, an in our judgment provides sufficient evidence on which to discredit the advertisement: Like in an earlier report by the Armenian Assembly of America of its follow-up correspondence with the 69 signators, several respondents indicated that

a) they had no doubt about the essential truth of the Armenian genocide;

b) they are fully aware of the Turkish government's intention to falsify the record through censorship, suppression and revision of the facts;

c) and as to the advertisement itself, that they had not been aware that the Turks would use their call to open the archives to "prove" that there was no Armenian genocide, nor did they know that there would be repeated use of their statement beyond a single advertisement.

It should be noted that at the same time, all the respondents who commented on the matter were adamant that they received to reward or promise of reward for their participation in the advertisement, and a good number of them were insulted and irate at what they felt were implication of such questions by us.

What stands out in the responses of these 17 scholars is that many of them go to great pains to explain that their intentions are innocent and good, they are only interested in being responsible academicians, indeed that they want to bring an end to inter-ethnic tensions and help people forget and forgive old-time events that should not be allowed to get in the way of present-day peaceful relationships between peoples. We call this presentation style of "innocence and self-righteousness" and include it in the list of mechanisms of language and propaganda which are the ones we found were being used to disguise and justify the full meaning of the denials.

The following are the patterns of "thinking defense-mechanisms" which we identified "allow" the scholars to engage in the denial of the genocide:


And here Charny goes into his mumbo-jumbo with fancy sounding names such as "Indirection, Definitionalism, and Maddening." (You can read the rest at this web site.) For example, here we're told, "These are responses which avoid the issue by failing to reply or by going off on tangents about trivial details that avoid the essential issue of whether genocide took place." Isn't that ironic. The essential issue of whether genocide took place is the whole point, and it is the pro-Armenians who expect us to wallow in the smokescreen details to throw our minds off these essential truths. Truths such as: the Armenians wouldn't have been subjected to the relocation policy had they not betrayed their nation, just like the Ottoman Jews. Truths such as, there is no evidence linking the federal government to the alleged crime... and this is why the dishonest genocide advocates must point to hearsay, opinions, and fabrications.


About the authors:

Israel Charney is Executive Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem. He is author of How Can We Commit the Unthinkable? (1982); editor, with Shamai Davidson, of The Book of the International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide (1983); editor of Toward the Understanding and Prevention of Genocide (1984); and editor of Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review.

Daphna Fromer is a Fellow of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide.

More Information on those that have signed the advertising.

*The large majority of those that signed the advertisement received grants from institutions founded by the Turkish government.

ITS, stands for the Turkish Studies Institute, in Washington D.C., honorary chairman, the Turkish Ambassador to the U.S.. The Institute's purpose is to counter Armenian activity at the "academic level" and as a pro-Turkey lobbying group.

Holdwater: As of this writing, on July 2005, the ITS web site has nothing on the Armenians. Perhaps they have become jittery with these below-the-belt intimidation tactics.

On their publications page, they even have a work by the pro-Armenian Fatma Muge Gocek. (ADDENDUM, Apr. 06: In Gocek's "Curriculum Vitae" (resume) for May 2005, we learn she received grants from both institutions Charny presented as an equivalent for "Turkey," one from ITS [1990-91] and three from ARIT [1984-85, 1990-91 and 1996-97]. By Charny's logic, Gocek must be an "agent of the Turkish government.")

Seems to me the Institute's purpose was to counter the awful racism and prejudice by forces represented by Israel Charny, and to open up Turkish Studies departments in the USA, concentrating on real history. Of course, these insidious Turk-hating forces have done a number on these efforts, as well.

On their "About ITS" page, they say, with good reason: "In keeping with its charter and tax-exempt status, the Institute does not seek to influence legislation." That would not make the ITS [which stands for "Institute for Turkish Studies," not "Turkish Studies Institute"... not that the facts matter to one such as Israel Charny]  a "lobbying group."

In the chart below, we are told renowned scholar Avigdor Levy received several grants from the ITS. On the ITS' "Publications" page, we learn Dr. Levy edited a volume entitled, "The Jews of the Ottoman Empire." Is Charny expecting us to believe Dr. Levy conducted this work with the idea of appeasing the Turkish government?

Maybe Israel Charny operates this way, because an Internet search indicates how actively he is associated with Armenian interests. But then again, what does Israel Charny know about being a genuine scholar?

ARIT, stands for the American Research Institute in Turkey.

The number in ( ) stands for the number of monetary grants by either ITS, or ARIT to the "scholar", and the items between [ ] indicate the total number of grants to the rest of the College or University the "scholars" are affiliated with.

Holdwater: I didn't know anything about ARIT, and just looked at their web site. Their beginnings: "In 1964, a group of scholars representing American and Canadian universities established the American Research Institute in Turkey."

Is that supposed to be "Turkey"? Note Charny characterized this as an institution "founded by the Turkish government," above.

Are academic organizations located in the United States to be presumed agents of the American government?

But note how Charny worded the third column below: "GRANTS FROM TURKEY."

Is it possible that Israel Charny is the antonym of the word, HONOR?

  • Abu El Haj, Rifaat Cal. St. Univ, Long Beach ITS(1)
  • Atis, Sara Univ. of Wisc @ Madison ITS(1), [ITS(8)]
  • Barbir, Karl K. Siena Coll. (NY) Arab-Ottoman Studies
  • Basgoz,Ilhan Indiana Univ. ITS(3), ARIT(2), [ITS(8)]
  • Bates, Daniel Hunter Coll., Univ of NY [ITS(1)]
  • Bates, Ulku Hunter Coll., Univ of NY ARIT(1), [ITS(1)]
  • Bayerle, Gustav Indiana Univ. ARIT(1), [ITS(8)]
  • Bodrogligetti, Andras UCLA ITS(1), [ITS(4)]
  • Burrill, Kathleen Columbia University ITS(8), ARIT(1), [ITS(9)]
  • Childs, Timothy SAIS, John Hopkins Univ. 19th-20th century Ottoman history
  • Daulet, Shafiga Univ. of Conn. [ITS(4)]
  • Davison, Roderic Geo. Wash. Univ. ARIT(1)
  • Denny, Walter Univ. of Mass. ARIT(1)
  • Duben, Alan Anthropoliogist
  • Ervin, Ellen N.Y. Univ. ITS(1), [ITS(6)]
  • Farah, Caesar Univ. of Minn. ITS(1)
  • Findley, Carter Ohio State. Univ. ITS(2), ARIT(1), [ITS(3)]
  • Finefrock, Michael Coll. of Charleston 20th century Turkish history
  • Fisher, Alan Mich. State Univ. ARIT(1), [ITS(1)]
  • Fleischer, Cornell Wash. Univ, Misssouri 16th-17th century Ottoman history
  • Golden, Peter Rutgers Univ.
  • Goodrich, Tom Indiana Univ of Penn. 16th century Ottoman history
  • Gould, Andres Historian
  • Griswald, Willaim Colo. State Univ. ARIT(1)
  • Halasi-Kun, Tibor Columbia Univ. ITS(3), [ITS(10)]
  • Hickman, William UCAL, Berkeley ARIT(1), [ITS(3)]
  • Hurewitz, J.C. Columbia Univ (ret) ITS(10)
  • Hymes, John Glenville State Col., W. Va. 19th-20th Century Ottoman history
  • Inalcik, Halil Univ. of Chicago ITS(1), [ARIT(9)]
  • Jaeckel, Ralph UCLA [ITS(4)]
  • Jennings, Ronald Univ. of Illinois ARIT(1), [ITS(3)]
  • Kelly, James Univ. of Utah ITS(2), ARIT(1), [ITS(5)]
  • Key, Kerim Southeastern Univ. 19th-20th Century Ottoman history
  • Kunt, Metin Ottoman history
  • Latimer, Frederick Univ. of Utah (ret.) Ottoman history
  • Levy, Avigdor Brandies Univ. ARIT(1), [ITS(7)]
  • Lewis, Bernard Princeton Univ. [ITS(3)]
  • Lowry, Heath Inst. of Turkish Studies ARIT(2)
  • McCarthy, Justin Univ of Louisville ITS(1), ARIT(1)
  • Mandaville, Jon Portland State Univ. ARIT(1), [ITS(2)]
  • Meeker, Michael UCAL San Diego Turkish studies
  • Murphy, Rhodes Columbia Univ. ITS(1), ARIT(1), [[ITS(10)]
  • Naff, Thomas Univ. of Penn. [ITS(9)]
  • Oberling, Pierre Hunter Coll., Univ of NY ITS(1), [ITS(1)]
  • Ochsenwald, William Va. Polytech Inst. ARIT(1)
  • Olson, Robert Univ. of Kentucky 18th-20th century Turkish history
  • Peachy, William Ohio State University ARIT(2)
  • Quataert, Sonald Univ of Huston ITS(2), ARIT(1), [ITS(2)]
  • Reed, Howard Univ. of Conn. ITS(1), [ITS(5)]
  • Rustow, Dankart City Univ of NY ITS(1)
  • Shaw, Ezel Kural Cal. State Univ, Nothridge 19th century Ottoman history
  • Shaw, Stanford UCLA ITS(1), ARIT(2), [ITS(4)]
  • Smith, Elaine Foreign Service (ret.) Modern Turkey
  • Smith, Grace UCAL, Berkeley ITS(1), ARIT(1), [ITS(3)]
  • Smith, John Masson UCAL, Berkeley ARIT(1), [ITS(3)]
  • Soucek, Svat ARIT(1)
  • Staab, Robert Univ. of Utah [ITS(5)]
  • Starr, June SUNY Stoneybrook Anthropologist
  • Stewart-Robinson, James Univ. of Mich. [ITS(3)]
  • Stoddard, Phllip Middle East Institute, (Dir.) ITS(3)
  • Tachau, Frank Univ. of Illinois ITS(1), ARIT(2), [ITS(3)]
  • Tamkoc, Metin Texas Tech [ITS(1)]
  • Thomas, David RI College ARIT(2)
  • Yenzke, M.L. Dickinson College ARIT(1)
  • Walker, Warren Texas Tech [ITS(1)]
  • Webster, Walter Rutgers Univ. 1930's Turkish History
  • Woods, John Univ. of Chicago [ITS(9)]
  • Zilfi, Madeline Univ of Maryland ARIT(2)

Note: This table information’s are taken from, The Middle East Studies Association Bulletins, Directory of American scholars and the Ottoman Studies Directory. These information’s provided are pass dated and not updated for many years.


Published by the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide

Double Issue 25/26,

Special Issue on the 75th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide




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