I hardly followed the Balkan wars and simply accepted the western condemnation of Serbia for its “genocide” against the Muslims in its province, Kosovo. That is until Felix Quigley, and his friends clued me in. This was in 2006. After a year and a half of being tutored I reversed my beliefs. The Serbs were getting the same treatment as the Israelis get. Both had to contend with a campaign of lies and demonization. Do a search for “Kosovo” on Israpundit. Ted Belman

By Michael Freund, The Jerusalem Post

Tomislav Nikolic, the president of Serbia, began an official state visit to Israel Monday, marking the first time that he has traveled to Jerusalem since his election triumph last year.

Normally, the only excitement generated by a visiting head of state is some rowdier honking of Israelis’ car horns, as drivers find themselves trapped in a series of capricious and unforgiving traffic jams. But Nikolic’s three-day stopover is far more than just another diplomatic social call. Serbia is an important friend and ally of the Jewish State and the Serbian leader’s visit underlines just how close relations have become between the two countries. Israelis and world Jewry should welcome this turn of events and seek additional ways to broaden and deepen the relationship still further.

Indeed, the parallels between Israel and Serbia could not be more striking. Both are small countries in combustible regions which the international media love to criticize. Neither Serbia nor Israel gets a fair hearing at various international forums, and each is coming under relentless pressure to accede to the demands of their foes.

Much of the world has been pressing Serbia to forgo the breakaway province of Kosovo, even though it is the cradle of Serbian civilization.

And Israel of course is constantly being pressured to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem, the heart of our ancient homeland.

But it is not only in our present predicaments that one can find such compelling similarities.

Our history and that of the Serbs are also profoundly intertwined, both in triumph and in tragedy.

In the mid-19th century, one of the founding fathers of Zionism, Rabbi Yehuda Alkalay, served as a rabbi in the Serbian town of Zemun outside Belgrade. Historians say his views were influenced greatly by the Serbian nationalism of his day, and that his writings inspired Theodor Herzl’s grandfather to embrace the Zionist cause.

In this sense, the two countries can each trace their modern-day yearnings for freedom and independence to the same period and source.

Nearly a century later in World War II, at the Jasenovac concentration camp run by Croatia’s fascist Ustashe regime, Jews and Serbs found themselves side by side as both were targeted for extermination by the Nazis and their sympathizers.

It is precisely because our historical experiences bear such a likeness to one another that Jews and Serbs share such strong bonds of friendship and understanding.

On a visit to Belgrade last week, I had the opportunity to speak to numerous Serbs, from taxi drivers to …read more
Source: Israpundit


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