Andrew Tarsy has been head of the ADL’s New England operations for two years and was civil rights counsel for the previous five. He told The Boston Globe he was fired after a telephone conversation with Abraham Foxman, the national director, in which he said the ADL’s refusal to call the Turkish massacre of Armenians 90 years ago a genocide is “morally indefensible.”
In a letter explaining the ADL position, Foxman and Chairman Glen Lewy said the organization recognizes that Turkey killed 1.5 million Armenians. But they suggested the group does not want to anger Turkey, one of the few Muslim countries that recognize Israel.
Some local ADL leaders told the Globe the firing could reduce support for the organization. Steve Grossman, a former regional board member living in the Boston suburb of Newton, called the firing “a vindictive, intolerant, and destructive act.”