Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Peter Balakian's "The Burning Tigris"  
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Major Players
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 TAT's in-depth analysis of Mr. Balakian's "everything but the kitchen sink" testimony to the Armenian "Genocide" continues from:

Part I & Part II


Part III: Ch. 17, "The Ambassador at the Crossroads"


Chapter 7 provides the background of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, the American most "profoundly associated with the Armenian Genocide." The author details Morgenthau's friendship with Rabbi Stephen Wise, a "committed Zionist," which led to Morgenthau's "network of personal relationships in the American Jewish community that would become important for him." The importance of a Jew heading the Turkish mission became significant for this network (a Republican businessman, Solomon Hirsch, had already become a minister to Turkey), as "the Ottoman Empire included a large Jewish population, including those in Palestine." 

Peter Balakian also informs us that as a child Morgenthau "developed a strong sense of discipline that was anchored by faith. His father had espoused radical Reform Judaism" since his days in Germany. 

Ambassador Morgenthau

Ambassador Morgenthau

After bonding with Governor Woodrow Wilson in 1911, once the latter had been invited to a celebration in a synagogue, Morgenthau pledged his "unreserved moral and financial support"; the lawyer and businessman sensed Wilson would be Morgenthau's ticket into the world of politics. Few gave more to Wilson's financial campaign than Morgenthau. 

Morgenthau felt slighted with Wilson's offer of ambassadorship to the Ottoman Empire, as that seemed to be the only diplomatic post assigned to Jews. He reconsidered the offer after meeting with Wise, the latter having recently visited the Holy Land. 

Wise concluded Palestine was "completely a suzerainty of the Turkish empire," and explained that he had suffered "anti-Semitic indignities at the hands of the Turkish authorities." (“Mostly Morgenthau,“ Henry Morgenthau III) 

"The rabbi made it clear to Morgenthau that a Jew in the Turkish post would be crucial in helping to oversee the well-being of the Jews of Palestine and could help foster a Zionist future." 

Woodrow Wilson

President Wilson 

Balakian explains that Morgenthau reconsiders the position because he was "deeply concerned about Turkish anti-Semitism." Once again, the immoral author never loses an opportunity to deliver a low blow, and to express what poor excuses for humanity the Turks are. What were the Jews doing there in Palestine, if the Turks were anti-Semitic? The Jewish community grew in the empire after every Christian nation had turned away the Jews expelled from Spain... only the Ottoman Empire (aside from the city of Amsterdam, to my knowledge) accepted the Jews in what was, until the time of the Inquisitions, "Judaism's darkest hour." That is the way historian Cecil Roth put it: “Jewish people must always recall the Ottoman Empire with gratitude who, at one of Judaism’s darkest hours, flung open its door widely and kept them open."  

We have learned, then, that another of Morgenthau’s reasons for orchestrating his campaign of racist defamation against the Turks was to pave the way for the creation of Israel. How ironic; it was the Ottomans who allowed the Jews to come into Palestine in such large numbers, and the Ottomans dealt with the Semitic communities even-handedly. Palestinians were very frustrated when the Turkish authorities would defend the rights of the Jews. When the Jews found ways around restrictive rules to accumulate land, it would be the Turks who would evict Arabs, stubbornly refusing to leave lands that, by right of tradition, belonged to them. 

“(The Turks) offered the Jews the first Zionist colonization in Palestine” — Ernest Jackh, The Rising Crescent, (N.Y., 1944) p. 37



 Was there anti-Semitism in the Ottoman Empire? Where in the world wasn’t there anti-Semitism? However, how did this nation, historically recognized even by enemies to be amazingly tolerant, stack up against its counterparts? The last Grand Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire, Haim Nahum, said in 1924:   

“It is actually an understatement that there was no anti-Semitism in Turkey. In fact, there was a pro-Semitism. Ottoman governments treated their Jewish subjects with a special consideration and compassion as one of their own, as one of the most loyal and devoted subjects of the empire:”  

The author insincerely hastens to add "Morgenthau wasn't a Zionist." Under the influences of his religious father and the Zionists Morgenthau deeply hobnobbed with, how could Morgenthau not have been affected by the principles of Zionism? 

Early in his ambassadorship, Balakian reports Morgenthau was concerned about the American missionary activities (does that mean the safety of the missionaries and/or their activities, since the Turks were so evil? I guess it couldn't mean the trouble stirred up by the bigotry of the missionaries), but mostly he was concerned about the Armenians... since they "appeared to have many parallels with the Jewish presence, among the opposing nations of Eastern Europe." (i.e., both were powerless alien minorities, and both were accused of traitorous collaboration by the governments that ruled them.) 

(I think the Jews had more in common with the Turks, both being misunderstood and often hated by the rest of the world.) 

While Balakian pays lip service to Morgenthau's concern about "Ottoman policies of anti-Semitism in Palestine" as well, why would Morgenthau have allowed himself to care more for the Armenians than for the Jews? Since the Jews had a sizeable presence in the empire, and since Morgenthau concluded there was such anti-Semitism.... wouldn't the Zionist have had reason to be much more concerned over his own, rather than another, alien minority?

In 1915, The New York Times printed this story:




London Times Correspondent Says He Wasted Energy on Zionists


Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
LONDON, Friday, Oct. 8,--The Times published a long account from a correspondent, of the American massacres in which he says:

"Attempts of the American Ambassador to procure some alleviation of the lot of the Armenians have thus far proved unsuccessful. Mr. Morgenthau, in the opinion of good observers, has wasted too much diplomatic energy on behalf of the Zionists of Palestine, who were in no danger of massacre, to have any force to spare.


Ambassador Henry Morgenthau

From the Momjian Collection: Henry

"Morgenthau witnessed the Ottoman declaration of war (in November 1914) that was issued simultaneously with a declaration of jihad..." On November 2, Russia declared war on the Ottomans, and Britain and France followed up with their own declarations of war on November 5; does Balakian have his facts straight? (Perhaps there was a “counter” declaration of war, which would be redundant when a nation is already at war… regardless, by failing to mention who declared war first, Balakian presents the picture that the “barbaric” Turks were the aggressors.) Secondly, didn't Morgenthau report in his ghostwritten "Story" that the "jihad" was the Germans' idea? The "jihad" was largely ineffectual, because Muslims recognized the illegitimacy of exempting the Germans; also, the Muslim Arabs surely were not driven by their religious zeal when they revolted against the Turks. Yet Balakian repeats Morgenthau's phony testimony regarding the ambassador's fear that the jihad had "started passions" that would "fuel the extermination program against the Armenians." 

By the spring of 1915, Morgenthau would receive reports about what was happening to "the Armenians from his consular staff in the interior of Turkey. Those reports would soon be heard around the world..." And how. Never mind that almost all of these reports were based on the hearsay of missionaries and the Armenians, and that the press hungered for printing such sensationalistic stories corroborating the terribleness of the Turks... hardly ever checking and verifying whether such accounts were true.





Chapters 18-22





Ambassador Henry Morgenthau 


"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
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