1. False Parallels (from the Jewish Cronicle)
2. Media Reports From Bosnia: A Mixture of Outright Lies, Staged ...

London, England

Jewish Chronicle, December 4, 1992

False Parallels

By Sir Alfred Sherman

Mrs. Brenda Katten's abuse of her chairmanship to harangue her guest of honour has already been disowned by some in the community. But her lapse of logic in confusing the present plight of Bosnian Muslims with that of European Jewry under Hitler is far more dangerous. the more so because she is not alone in the error.

It does us no good to claim a locus standi in every conflict be equating it with the Holocaust. or when third parties in their own interests take the name of our martyrs in vain. Bosnia is not occupied Europe; the Muslims are not the Jews; the Serbs did not begin the civil war, but are predictable responding to a real threat.

Some years ago, I, among others, warned that, whatever the logic of establishing Yugoslavia in the first place, any attempt at hurried dismemberment, particularly along Tito's internal demarcation lines, would lead to armed conflict, self-intensifying bloodshed and floods of refugees.

Bosnia and Croatia are former administrative provinces of Yugoslavia, with large, compact indigenous Serbian minorities. These achieved recognition as a national group only after centuries of struggle. Since 1990, the independent Croatian leadership --with its extreme chauvinist and clericalist colouring -- and the Bosnian Muslim leadership -- seeking, in its Islamic fundamentalist programme, to put the clock back to Ottoman days -- have threatened to turn the Serbs back into persecuted minorities.

Immediately on declaring independence, the Croatian government, ruling a one-party state under a former Communist general, Franjo Tudjman -- whom Lord Carrington, among others, described as an evil man -- began persecuting Serbs in the former Marches (military frontier).

In Bosnia, Alija Izatbegovic -- a one-time secularist who had reverted to strict Islam and preached the Koranic state -- entered into an alliance with the Croatians -- who account for 25 per cent of Bosnia's population -- according to which they could have autonomy in certain areas 
in return for support against the Serbs.

The Serbs cannot forget that, in living memory, the "Independent Croatian State," set up by Hitler in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, massacred close on half of the Serbian population -- which was then the largest of the three communities in Bosnia -- and as many Jews as it could  lay hands on, with the connivance of the Roman Catholic Church.

It was helped by Muslims, who were encouraged by their religious leadership, which then hosted Haj Amin el-Husseini, ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, and which now supports Izatbegovic.

If there is any parallel with the Holocaust, it is the martyrdom of the Serbs in Croatia-Bosnia, who account for a third of the Serbian nation.

Both the Croatian and Muslim leaderships enjoy support and encouragement from Germany ... which is using them as stepping stones in its Drang nach Osten (drive to the East) in the Balkans and Central Europe -- and from Muslims governments, particularly militant ones like those of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Lord Carrington, former chairman of the EC peace initiative, has outspokenly denounced Germany for deliberately precipitating these inter-ethnic conflicts when they might have been avoided.

He has criticized the other eleven EC members for "supinely" going along with Germany in the name of a common European foreign policy, against their own better judgement.

Germany now enjoys American support --partly in pursuit of President Bush's will-o'-the-wisp of a "new world order," and partly under pressures from oil-rich Arab states.

John Major has gone along, in spite of Foreign Office and Defense Department misgivings, because, as his apologists put it, he owes Chancellor Kohl favours for smoothing his path at Maastricht, and some add, wishes to show that, unlike Lady Thatcher, he can "get on with Helmut."

Though Serbian refugees from Croatia and Bosnia now outnumber Croatian and Muslim refugees combined, the British media virtually ignore them. It reminds one of the late 1930's, when most of the British press demonised the Czechs at Downing Streets behest, denouncing them as a threat to European peace and for ill-treating their peaceful German Sudetenland minority; "Herr" Hitler, by contrast was held up as a reasonable man.

True, the vast majority of Muslim refugees are innocent people, suffering for the acts of their leaders, whom many did not even choose. The same can be said of hapless Palestinian refugees, and more recently of Palestinians expelled from Kuwait and its neighbors, and equally of millions of German civilians, women, children and old people, who suffered during the closing stages and aftermath of the Second World War.

It its almost invariably the innocent who suffer in war. But that does not equate them with  victims of the Holocaust, any more than being a Jew automatically qualifies one to pronounce on Yugoslavia.

This needs to meet the Serbs' legitimate claim to self-rule with religious and cultural freedoms, otherwise they will go on fighting even if the whole world is mobilised against them.

This solution would in no way prejudice the religious rights which Muslims have enjoyed in Yugoslavia since its foundation.

This will not be achieved so long as European Community foreign policy is made in Bonn, whose agenda entails the reversal not only of Versailles, but also of the post-1945 settlement.

This should be the focus of our concern.

Sir Alfred Sherman is a journalist and author, who has published a number of
essays and articles on Yugoslavia over a period of 40 years.

Media Reports From Bosnia: A Mixture of Outright Lies,
Staged Events and Untold Stories

"There can be no peace or coexistence between Islamic faith and non-Islamic faith and institutions... The Islamic movement must and can take power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough, not only to destroy the non-Islamic power, but to build up a new Islamic one...: --Current Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic from his book Muslim Declaration

"Genocide is a natural phenomenon, in harmony with the societal and mythologically divine nature. Genocide is not only permitted, it is also recommended, even commanded by the word of the Almighty, whenever it is useful for the survival or the  restoration of the kingdom of the chosen nation, or for the preservation and spreading of its one and only correct faith." --Current Croatian President Franjo Tudjman from his Wastelands of Historical Reality.

The Globe and Mail, Saturday, October 17, 1992

"A lie that is repeated frequently becomes the truth", said the Nazi propaganda expert  Josef Goebbels. Many people believe that our democratic society would never allow Goebbels style propaganda. Yet the media reports from former Yugoslavia prove just the opposite. Here are five examples of media lies which gained credibility through frequent repetition.

* The two most prosperous, most western republics (Slovenia and Croatia) have declared independence to avoid further domination by Serbia. The media failed to explain how the alleged Serbian domination resulted in more prosperity for Croatia and Slovenia. In the period from 1947 to 1981, the economic growth of Slovenia, relative to the Yugoslav average, was over 190% and of Croatia over  125%, while the average growth of Serbia was close to Yugoslav average at 99% (see A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples by Fred Singleton, page 270). The alleged Serbian domination was justified by the fact that 70% of the officers of the Yugoslav army were Serbs. Yet among the top ranking military generals 67% were not Serbs. All  leading politicians in post-war Yugoslavia including Josef Broz Tito were non-Serbs. They controlled the communist party, the army  and the police and carried out the policies which were detrimental to Serbs in and outside Serbia.

* The Croats and Slovenes have a democratic government, while the Serbs have an oppressive communist government. Not true. The western media continues to portray the Croatian president Franjo Tudjman as a democrat in spite of his racist constitution, citizenship and tax laws, historical revisions and media abuse. The leader of the Bosnian Muslims advocated the creation of a pure Islamic state in Bosnia in his book Muslim Declaration. He also agreed with the Iranian vice-premier during his last visit to Sarajevo that British poet Salman Rushdie deserves a death sentence for writing his book Satanic Verses. The Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic is  portrayed as a brutal dictator. Yet he was freely elected and he allows an independent media. The non-Serb residents of Serbia and Montenegro are not subjected to signing an oath of loyalty, unfair property tax laws, evictions, refusal of citizenship and other unfair government measures that are widely practised in "democratic" Croatia. Establishment of current civil limitations in the Kosovo region within Serbia is a response to Albanian nationalists who staged armed uprisings in 1968 and 1981 demanding secession, and who are preparing to do the same in 1992. They are encouraged by Croatians and Bosnian Muslims, as well as by Turkey and other Muslim countries.

* The Serbs in Bosnia are opposed to Bosnian independence. Not true. The Serbs respect the right of Croats and Muslims to have their own independent states. All they want is the same right for themselves. French historian Edmond Paris wrote in his book Genocide in Satellite Croatia that "The greatest Genocide in World War II in proportion to a nation's population took place, not in Nazi Germany, but in the Nazi-created independent state of Croatia. There, in the years 1941-1945, some  750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Gypsies ---men, women and children --  perished in a gigantic Holocaust". An additional million people, mostly Serbs, perished  in other parts of Yugoslavia in World War II. Given the still vivid memories of the  Genocide  committed by their Croatian and Muslim neighbours, and the intolerant policies endorsed by the current Croatian and Muslim leaders, the Serbs have every reason to fear for their safety in independent Croatia and Bosnia.

* The conflict in Bosnia was caused by the outside intervention from the government   in Belgrade which wants to create a Greater Serbia. This line is  still prevalent in the  media in spite of the UN Secretary General's report of May 30 which states that the Yugoslav army is not in Bosnia and that the government in Belgrade is not in command of the Bosnian Serbs. The same report confirms that there are 35,000   regular Croatian army troops operating in  Bosnia. Why are there no sanctions   against Croatia?

* The Serbs are aggressors in Bosnia since they occupy two-thirds of Bosnia. The Serbs are indigenous people of Bosnia. According to a 1981 census, there  were 32% Serbs, 8% Yugoslavs (who are mainly Serbian converts to a new ethnic  group  promoted by Tito), 39% Muslims (who are mainly Serbs and some Croats that  converted to Islam during 400 years of Turkish occupation, and were also promoted  as an ethnic group by Tito in the 1970's), and 18% Croats. As  farmers, Serbs and  Yugoslavs own close to 60% of the land, which is what they  claim, so the "land grab"   charges by the media are totally unfounded. The  Muslims want to control all of  Bosnia without any compromise. Since they cannot win the war, they continue to   murder civilians and UN troops in front of  the cameras and blame Serbs in the hope that the UN will eventually intervene  on their behalf. A recent UN classified report  reviewed in the London weekly Independent on August 22,1992 --but never reprinted  anywhere in North America -- confirmed that the infamous 'breadline massacre' and the attack on the  orphan's funeral were staged by Muslims as a public relations ploy  to winsupport from the world.


Because powerful financial backing from the Vatican, Germany and the Islamic world   allows Croatians and Muslims to influence the western media and  politicians in their  favour. The Vatican and Iran were the first countries to  call for military intervention in Bosnia.

* Powerful Washington public relations firms were hired by the Croatian and Muslim side, including Rudder Finn and Hill & Knowlton. The latter is  responsible for the   phoney story about the Iraq's soldiers killing incubator babies in Kuwait. That influenced US politicians to pressure the UN to go to  war against Iraq. The staged bombing of Dubrovnik on May 30 and the alleged  death camps reports also coincided with important UN Security Council decisions to impose one-sided sanctions against Serbia and authorize the use of force in Bosnia. These stories have likely been circulated by the PR firms.

* Canadian media are biased. For unknown reasons, the CBC's Journal producer Mark   Starowitz and his anchor Bill Cameron have never interviewed anybody since the   beginning of the Yugoslav crisis who could provide a Serbian point of view. No reporter has yet explained to the Canadian public that foreign journalist can end up in Croatian jails for up to five years if they do not submit their reports to the Croatian government for approval. The Independent Federation of  Journalists stated that one out of four journalists killed worldwide while on  duty in 1991 were killed in Croatia and that particular targets were those who did not report in favour of Croatia. The  situation is stable now since Croatia is filled with 'good' reporters who blame the Serbs for everything, like the CBC's Pierre Vicary. Some of the journalists are genuine hate mongers. Many published 'facts' do not undergo even the most basic scrutiny. For example, in his recent editorial Serbian Atrocities published in the Calgary Sun, columnist Eric Margolis claims that there are 2.3-million Muslim refugees from Bosnia. An obvious lie, since there have never existed more than 1.9 million Bosnian Muslims.


It's easy. Just recognize that:

* Western support for the unilateral secession of the former Yugoslav republics without allowing any changes to their borders is the root cause of  the conflict in Yugoslavia. Unilateral secession is an act of aggression which  no country would tolerate within its own borders. Western powers have first violated the Helsinki Accord when they recognized Croatia and Slovenia, and then invokes it to declare that the borders of the new states were inviolable. The Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia had no other option but military struggle in an effort to establish control over territories where they are the majority. With the death of Tito's Yugoslavia in 1992, the internal borders which he arbitrarily created are also dead and new borders must be negotiated.

* The recognition of Bosnia and Croatia was a mistake. These two countries should have been forced to first reach a territorial settlement with the local  Serb population. The right of more than 2.5 million Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia to self-determination is not inferior to 1.9 million Muslims, 1.8 Slovenes, 1.3 million Macedonians and 4 million Croats.

* The Muslims do not want to negotiate., Since they live largely in the cities and they own only about 25% of the land, their dream to control all of Bosnia would perish at   the negotiating table. They must be forced to negotiate. This was also stated by Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie. UN troops must be pulled out of Bosnia, or recognition as a sovereign stat must be withdrawn until new borders are negotiated.

If... it were not for complacent and biased media and politicians, the U.S. and Canada could have stood up to Germany, the Vatican and the Islamic countries in their zealous effort to spread their influence in the Balkans, and  this civil war could have been avoided. All that is needed is fair international arbitration with equal treatment for all sides.

Harvey Kane, National Executive Director, Jewish Defence League of Canada, in
co-operation with the Serbian Unity Congress from Western Canada.