The Assyrian Policy Institute announced support for the Assyrian Genocide resolution, House Resolution 550, which was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by Congressman Josh Harder (CA-30). The resolution accurately tells the history of the Assyrian Genocide (1914-1924) and Simele Massacre (1933), and calls for formal U.S. recognition of the Assyrian Genocide. In addition, it emphasizes the need for “education and public understanding of the facts of the Assyrian Genocide, including the United States’ role in humanitarian relief effort, and the relevance of the Assyrian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.”
Introducing the legislation, Representative Harder stated, “Assyrians in the Valley make our community who we are, and it’s time we recognize their history and commemorate their past. Let’s call the murder of 300,000 innocent Assyrians what it is – a genocide. Let’s come together once and for all reject efforts to deny this Genocide and any other. And let’s do what needs to be done to push the world to do the same. Today, I’m proud to stand with the Assyrian people in my community and around the globe.” Representative Harder was joined by Representatives Anna Eshoo (CA-18), the only Assyrian-American Member of Congress, and Adam Schiff (CA-28) who co-sponsored the legislation.
It is estimated that upwards of 250,000 Assyrians perished at the hands of Ottoman Turkish authorities and allied Kurdish tribes during the Assyrian Genocide—which coincided with the more widely recognized Armenian Genocide—and a large number were forced into permanent exile. The aim of the Young Turk regime was to homogenize the Ottoman Empire by Turkifying the country and eliminating non-Turkish and non-Muslim communities. For years, Assyrians were subjected to a systematic campaign of massacre, torture, abduction, deportation, impoverishment, and cultural and ethnic destruction. The genocide took place in various phases over