President Joe Biden’s statement is predictably riddled with errors and misleading omissions in addressing Armenian genocide allegations. Mr. Biden is an untrained amateur in the law of genocide and the circumstances of World War I deaths which were suffered by Ottoman Armenians and Ottoman Turks in the same proportion.

1. President Biden’s opening sentence wrongfully presumes “an Ottoman-era Armenian genocide.” The crime has never been proven, a fact acknowledged by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Perinçek v .Switzerland (2015). Indeed, the ECHR maintained that historical disputes over the events of 1915 will invariably divide academics and cannot be definitive, in contrast to court judgments in accordance with due process of law.

2. President Biden’s flawed presumption misleads by omitting reference to the consistent refusal of Armenia for 70 years to submit its genocide allegations to the International Court of Justice under Article IX of the Genocide Convention. Armenia’s protracted evasion of the judicial process bespeaks Armenia’s own disbelief in its genocide allegations. That conclusion is strengthened by Armenia’s refusal to open its archives to prove its case. What is it hiding?

3. President Biden’s genocide postulate misleads by omitting reference to the Genocide Convention’s definition of genocide, which excludes killings for “political” purposes. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Armenian spokesmen eagerly acknowledged that Ottoman Armenians rejected an Ottoman offer of greater autonomy in favor of joining the Triple Entente to fight as belligerents and traitors to the Ottoman Empire for the political objective of independence. In that respect, Ottoman Armenians were like adherents to the Confederate States of America who sought to secede from the Union in the Civil War with force and violence to obtain independence and were killed in their political quest. The killings by the Union Army were not genocide.

4. President Biden’s statement misleads by omitting the fact readily acknowledged by Armenia at the Paris Peace Conference that Ottoman Turks died in the same proportion as Ottoman Armenians during World War I, which contradicts the narrative of a systemic, one-sided massacre. Nazis were not killed in equal proportion as Jews in the extermination camps at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belson, Buchenwald, Dachau, or elsewhere.

5. President Biden’s statement misleads by insinuating that events relevant to the alleged Armenian genocide began on April 24, 1915 with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders by Ottoman authorities. The April 24 events were not born of spontaneous combustion. They marked the culmination of decades long Ottoman Armenian terrorism against Ottoman Turks to secede from the Empire and gain independence. On April 18-21, 1915, Ottoman Armenians, as belligerents assisting the Russian enemy, massacred 22,900 Ottoman Turks in Van. The April 24 detentions were a response to the Armenian massacre three days earlier, which indicated that wholesale treason was afoot among Ottoman Armenians. None of the detainees were killed by Ottoman authorities.

6. President Biden asserts 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians perished in a putative genocide. Contemporary estimates of the Armenian death toll are a fraction of that number. The more important point is that Armenians at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 readily maintained that Ottoman Turks died in the same proportion as Ottoman Armenians, which contradicts the Armenian genocide theory.

7. Mr. Biden preaches in favor of a future unstained by bigotry or intolerance; dedicated to human rights; and securing to all people lives of dignity and security. But the President’s sermon omits condemnation of the longstanding and continuing Armenian and Armenian terrorism or thuggery against Turkish Americans, Turkish officials, and Turkiye ignited by the unproven Armenian genocide narrative that Mr. Biden’s statement embraces. Harry Sassounian, for example, confessed that his 1982 assassination in Los Angles of Turkish counsel general Kemal Arıkan was to avenge Armenian genocide allegations. Twin Armenian terrorist organizations or their sympathizers perpetrate industrial scale terror against Turkiye, Turkish officials, or Turkish Americans for the same alleged genocide revenge motive: the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia; and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide. No Armenian American person or organization has ever disowned or repudiated the ASALA and JCAG terrorism. A substantial majority of Turkish Americans live in constant fear of revealing their Turkish identities for fear of violence, bullying, vandalism, ostracism, or intimidation by Armenian Americans uncontrollably infuriated by the Armenian genocide narrative.

Bruce Fein

Counsel, Turkish Anti-Defamation Alliance