Last month, during Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, and the 101st commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the Wall Street Journal ran a full-page ad for a group that denies the Armenian genocide. The events that unfolded in the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1916 are widely recognized as genocide by scholars, activists, and museums alike. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum even recognizes the Armenian Genocide despite the fact that the United States government refuses to do so (due in large part to its military relationship with Turkey).
Denial of genocide is nothing new. In fact, according to Dr. Gregory Stanton’s “eight stages of genocide” denial is the eighth and final stage that always follows genocide. The fact that there are genocide deniers is not surprising, what is surprising is that the Wall Street Journal would allow for a full-page ad denying genocide to run in their paper.
At Jewish World Watch we take genocide denial very seriously. That is why we joined eleven other organizations in a letter that was sent to the Editor in Chief of the Wall Street Journal requesting a formal apology and a policy review to ensure the Wall Street Journal no longer accepts advertisements like this in the future.
The letter points out that it is the policy of the New York Times not to print any ads “that denies great human tragedies. Events such as the World Trade Center bombings, or the Holocaust, or slavery in the United States, or the Armenian Genocide or Irish Famine cannot be denied or trivialized in an advertisement.” The Wall Street Journal should take note and adopt their policies to ensure they do not print material denying genocide in the future.