1. False Parallels (from the Jewish Cronicle)
2. Media Reports From Bosnia: A Mixture of Outright Lies, Staged ...
Jewish Chronicle, December 4, 1992
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
* 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
* 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
* 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.
WHY IS THE MEDIA SO ANTI-SERB?
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
* 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.
HOW CAN THIS WAR BE STOPPED?
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
* 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
Harvey Kane, National Executive Director, Jewish Defence League of Canada, in
co-operation with the Serbian Unity Congress from Western Canada.