America’s congress cannot reform health care but will be able to vote tomorrow on the annual Armenian Genocide resolution. I have already provided my opinion of a non-binding resolution that accomplishes nothing but “accountability,” whatever that means, for a genocide that took place nearly one hundred years ago under a government that no longer exists. There have been more recent genocides that the US has not commemorated in any way, suggesting that the whole exercise is part and parcel of the usual political hypocrisy that has made the US Congress famous. In terms of the US national interest all it does is further damage relations with a key ally.
Every year the resolution lives or dies based on a key but never openly verbalized question: what does Israel want? This year, Israel is somewhat chagrined by Turkish refusal to see last year’s Gaza carnage as a measured response, but remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak would seem to indicate that Tel Aviv still values the relationship, unleashing AIPAC to make sure that each and every congressman votes the right way. Having received its instructions, the US Congress will likely genuflect and do as it is told, allowing the resolution to languish in committee just as it did last year. All the resolution really does is make both Armenians and Turks angry and it probably doesn’t do much good for Israel either.