June 30, 2021
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 71
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 13, 2020
Senator JOSEPH A. LAGANA, District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Senator VIN GOPAL, District 11 (Monmouth)
Senators Schepisi and Scutari
Recognizes Armenian Genocide and condemns attacks against civilians in Republic of Artsakh.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 30, 2021, with amendments.
A Concurrent Resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning attacks against civilians in the Republic of Artsakh.
Whereas, On April 24, 1915, Ottoman Empire authorities arrested, and later executed, more than 200 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals in the capital of Constantinople, now known as Istanbul; and
Whereas, This atrocity marked the escalation of systemic persecution and violence against the Armenian people by the government of the Ottoman Empire that continued through 1923; and
Whereas, During this period, Armenians were subject to deportation, expropriation, abduction, torture, massacre, and starvation, planned and orchestrated by the government of the Ottoman Empire; and
Whereas, In all, approximately 1.5 million Armenians had perished and hundreds of thousands more had become homeless, stateless refugees at the hands of the Ottoman Empire; and
Whereas, These horrific events constitute what is widely recognized today by numerous scholars, governments, and international organizations as the Armenian Genocide; and
Whereas, In 2019, the United States Congress expressed that it is the policy of the United States to recognize the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance; and
Whereas, On April 24, 2021, recognized as “Armenian Genocide Memorial Day” in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, President Biden officially declared that the United States considers the events “genocide” in a statement; and
Whereas, Notwithstanding the historical evidence to the contrary and international recognition, some, including the government of the Republic of Turkey, deny that the Armenian Genocide ever happened; and
Whereas, Turkey has continued its campaign of aggression against the Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh, a democracy and integral part of the Armenian homeland for thousands of years; and
Whereas, The Republic of Artsakh, having legally declared its independence from Azerbaijan and resisted years of aggression, consistently holds parliamentary and presidential elections that have been rated as free and fair by international observers; and
Whereas, Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey, illegally targeted civilian homes and infrastructure, cultural sites, and religious sites; and
Whereas, Azerbaijan has already destroyed and continues to destroy Armenian churches and cultural sites in the territories they have illegally occupied since the end of the hostilities in 2020; and
Whereas, Turkey has continued its military support to Azerbaijan in its full-scale attack against Artsakh, including from September 27 to November 9, 2020 in an attempt to remove the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh from its homeland; and
Whereas, The danger of denying these events was manifested when Adolf Hitler ordered his military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 1939 by saying “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” setting the stage for the Holocaust; and
Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper to remember, with the Armenian communities throughout New Jersey, the United States, and the world, and with Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, these tragic events to help ensure and to condemn any actors that attempt such atrocities again; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):
1. The New Jersey Legislature recognizes the Armenian Genocide and acknowledges the criminal mistreatment of Armenians by the government of the Ottoman Empire as an issue of international and historic significance.
2. The New Jersey Legislature condemns attacks by Azerbaijan against the civilians in the Artsakh Republic, recognizes the Republic of Artsakh’s right to self-determination and independence, and respectfully urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to do the same.
3. The New Jersey Legislature expresses that it is the policy of New Jersey to:
(1) commemorate the Armenian Genocide and acknowledge the crimes against Armenians by the government of the Ottoman Empire as an issue of international and historic significance;
(2) reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the State of New Jersey with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and
(3) encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the role of the United States in humanitarian relief efforts, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity from the 2020 war on the Republic of Artsakh.
4. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of the State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the General Assembly to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State, the Governor of the State of New Jersey, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, and each member of Congress elected from this State.