Anti Serbian hysteria among (the majority) of Israeli journalists is constant and, seems immortal. Especially in the recent wars, Israeli media supported all those involved in Holocaust against those who were the victims, and that’s one of the greatest mysteries ever.
Yet this open letter of Serbian ambassador to Israel, Mr Milutin Stanojevic is an excellent eye opener to those whose only knowledge about Serbs and especially Serbian WW II history is based upon CNN, BBC, Ruder Finn PR and quasi historic ‘books’ published in order to gain public support and justify in advance all the criminal things Serbian people were subject to, as well as Hollywood propaganda.
So here it is:
“ In Yair Auron’s opinion piece, “Serbian-Israeli relations flourish, as if the 1990s never happened” (December 22), Serbian and Jewish people, who were both victims during World War II, are being victimized again. The writer uses arbitrary and selective interpretations of the historical events in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and then finds Serbia and Israel guilty of developing normal relations. The author seems displeased with the fact that the ties between the two countries “flourish.” Should they, in his opinion, wither?
By false allegations, the author intentionally directs the text toward a conclusion that Serbia and Israel should genuinely engage in “soul searching instead of acting as if nothing happened.” It is sad to see how he arbitrarily interprets history to the extent of turning victims into culprits, and to see how he criticizes the two governments just because they wish to develop good relations.
However, Mr. Auron couldn’t overlook the role of Serbian partisans, who comprised one of the strongest resistance movements in the effort to defeat fascism in enslaved Europe, and I thank him for that. But in referring to the concentration camp Staro Sajmiste, he forgets to mention the fact that under the occupation, Serbia — one of the biggest adversaries of Nazi Germany in the Balkans — was intentionally split apart and that the camp was included within the borders of the Independent State of Croatia, near the Danube and Sava rivers in Belgrade. Today this area is the center of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
During World War ll the concentration camp Staro Sajmiste was part of the Independent State of Croatia controlled by German authorities. Unlike some of Hitler’s satellites that ruled in the spirit of Nazi ideology, Serbia was under occupation during the entire war. The concentration camp served the sole purpose of executing the citizens of Serbia — mostly Serbs, Jews and Roma, who all died together. At this very site, as announced in November 2014, Serbia is going to build a Memorial Center so that the victims are never forgotten. Is this why Serbia and Israel should engage in “soul searching?”
I do not want to go into what has happened in the territory of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, but one fact is undeniable: It was a civil war in which all sides were involved, and all suffered the consequences, above all, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tragic crimes were committed by all sides and, as a sad outcome, Serbia today is the country with a large number of refugees living within its territory. It is not true that 250,000 people were killed between 1991 and 1995, as Auron states. In the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina that started in 1992 about 105,000 people lost their lives — 42,000 of them, civilians and 63,000 soldiers.
In the meantime, Serbia has been collectively punished several times by the international community or some of its elements: by the UN sanctions, by the bombardment that caused enormous casualties and devastation, by the attempts to tear up its territory through acknowledging the unilateral independence of Kosovo. Serbian people were also punished in Kosovo and Metohija, where more than 220,000 Serbs were expelled since the end of the conflict as well as by the March 2004 pogrom [in which Kosavar Albanians killed dozens of Serbs, wounded hundreds,set fire to Serbian homes and churches and drove out thousands].
Today Serbia strives to step into the future through democratic development, resolute reforms in all fields, and by developing the best possible relations with its neighbors and with the whole international community. Serbia is also committed to joining the European Union and is already a candidate country. With such a policy, Serbia is more than interested in developing the best relations with Israel and sees the same aspiration on the Israeli side. Why then, given such sincere intentions, should two countries and two peoples feel guilty? That is the real question Yair Auron should contemplate.”
If you ask me, not only the malicious and dishonest Yair Auron. Unfortunately there are thousands of such Yair Aurons.