TAT's in-depth analysis of Mr. Balakian's
"everything but the kitchen sink" testimony to the Armenian
"Genocide" continues from:
Part I &
|Part III: Ch. 17, "The Ambassador at the
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
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.
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."
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
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
(I think the Jews had more in
common with the Turks, both being misunderstood and often hated by the rest of the
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,
In 1915, The New York Times printed
CRITICISES MR. MORGENTHAU
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.
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.
Ambassador Henry Morgenthau