Letter: Bullies defied over massacre

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The Independent Online
Sir: An important article by Robert Fisk was published by you on 2 June, entitled "US academics join rush to deny Turkish massacre of Armenians".

The shameful record of Turkish denials of the Armenian genocide must be exposed for the bullying, censorship and falsifying of history that are involved. However, I am pleased to correct one statement by the author with respect to the pressures by the Israeli government in 1982 to force cancellation of the first International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide.

I was the organiser of the conference. The Israeli government did indeed fail the Armenians by putting pressure on us to cancel the conference in response to Turkish government threats, but the conference did take place, indeed very successfully, as a milestone event of standing up to government pressures in academic matters.

I would also note that although Elie Wiesel did pull out as conference president because he could not bring himself to oppose an Israeli government request, Mr Wiesel stood firmly with us in refusal to cancel the Armenian lecturers' participation in the conference, which had been the main demand of the Israeli government.


Executive Director

Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide


Bank on it

Sir: Mervyn Benford (letter, 9 July) complains of bank delays in crediting cheques paid into his account. The banks' answer will be that they need that time to make sure that the cheque paid in is genuine.

However, consider this. My personal and business accounts are with Barclays but at different branches. When I pay a personal cheque into my business account, Barclays debits my account the very same day but refuses to credit my business account until four days later. This is what Barclays euphemistically calls the "clearing cycle", licensed, so they claim, by the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.


London SE3