President Joe Biden is being prodded to publicly recognize the bloodshed inflicted upon Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

On April 5, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial entitled “President Biden, call it the Armenian genocide,” noting that April 24 was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The editorial board said the occasion presented Biden with an opportunity “to use honest and accurate terminology” in referring to the death “of more than1 million Armenians a century ago.” Weeks earlier, 38 members of the U.S. Senate had sent Biden a letter, urging him “to officially recognize the truth of the Armenian Genocide.” In the March 19 letter, they recalled that the Senate and the House of Representatives had recognized the genocide in 2019.

"It is time for the executive branch to do so as well," the senators said. Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, posted a Tweet with a link to the letter.

Foreign policy is Biden's responsibility

The Los Angeles Times editorial recalled Congress's recognition of the genocide. "But Congress is not the White House, which determines U.S.

foreign policy," the editorial said. It went on to fault Barack Obama and Donald Trump for failing to acknowledge the campaign of extermination against the Armenians. The paper said that Biden had "positioned himself as a moderate pragmatist" and that relations with Turkey would likely be strained by any suggestion that the Ottomans had pursued genocidal policies.

Devising foreign policy could "be a multidimensional chess match," the editorial said, stressing, "But here, what's important is the truth and an honest recognition of history."

'Pattern of complicity'

In their letter to Biden, the senators noted, "Administrations of both parties have been silent on the truth of the Armenian Genocide." They urged Biden "to break this pattern of complicity." They recalled that last year, as a candidate seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, Biden had spoken of the genocidal campaign against the Armenians.

The democratic values which Biden had espoused "require us to acknowledge the truth and do what we can to prevent future genocides," the senators said.

'A precursor to the Holocaust'

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Emily Schrader welcomed reports that Biden would recognize the Ottoman's deliberate effort to wipe out their Armenian population. She said the campaign of extermination against the Armenians was "seen by historians as a precursor to the Holocaust, and its lack of recognition has often been cited as evidence for why remembering the Holocaust is crucial to prevent genocides in the future." She said it was "morally inexcusable" that many countries had resisted recognizing the genocidal slaughter of the Armenians.