Commentary No : 2015 / 6
2 min read




On January 12, 2015, Andrea Mitchell hosted France’s Ambassador to the United States Gerard Araud at “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC to discuss the intelligence risks facing France following attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. As a response to a question about the compatibility of the French law that outlaws the “denial of the Armenian genocide” with the French tradition of free speech, Ambassador Araud said:


Actually, on the Armenian genocide, there is no law about the denial of the Armenian genocide. There is only one law about the denial of the Holocaust because it's not an opinion. The Holocaust took place. So, you know, you don't express an opinion when you say that the Holocaust didn’t take place, it's a fact…


Ambassador Araud’s reply stirred up some sections of the Armenian diaspora in the USA and France under the influence of the Armenian Revolutionary Organization-Dashnaksutyun (ARF-Dashnaksutyun; one of the orchestrators of the terrorist attacks on the Turkish diplomats between 1975 and 1985) and its lobbying organization Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Following the coercion of the ANCA, according to the ANCA press release issued on January 15, 2015, Ambassador Araud affirmed France’s official recognition of the events of the 1915 as genocide and “his personal conviction” about the issue. Ambassador Araud stated his declarations were “misinterpreted as giving legitimacy to the denial of the Armenian Genocide”. In his remarkably apologetic message, Ambassador Araud declared his conviction of the reality of the Armenian genocide. As if begging for sympathy, Ambassador Araud stated that he was raised in Marseilles that hosts a vibrant Armenian community and he had a lot of Armenian friends.


It is not possible to approve Ambassador Araud’s twist and apologetic tone in the aforementioned press release. Yet, it is possible is to understand that his twist was conditioned by the concerns of the weight of the Armenian lobbying groups. This demonstrates the unwarranted influence of the Armenian lobby in certain countries that it is capable of subduing politicians and office holders. Yet, a fairer world is possible only with intellectuals, politicians and office holders with courage and determination to stand undue pressures. 


As regards to the French legislation on ‘Armenian genocide’, we would like to recall Edmund Burke who stated “bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny” and Montesquieu, the countryman of Ambassador Araud, who said “there is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice”.


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