As was expected, after the January elections in Serbia, the UN special envoy Marti Ahtissari revealed the plan on the future status of Kosovo. It seems that all sides in this struggle are responding as expected. The international community is maintaining its vague language by refraining from an implicit use of the word ‘independence,’ while practically paving the road to an independent and sovereign Kosovo. The Albanian leadership mostly accepts the plan while promising its constituency that Kosovo will eventually be independent. The Serbian leadership, on the other hand, unequivocally declares that Serbia will never give up Kosovo. Headed by Vojslav Ko?tunica, the Serbian leadership has lined up with the Serbian Radical Party, declaring that it will never recognize an independent Kosovo.
Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
Belgrade, June 2005. These are interesting days in Belgrade that was the capital of Yugoslavia until it fell apart. Today, Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and Montenegro; a city in transition that wishes to move forward towards Europe and at the same time is still struggling with its bloody past; the memory of the last 15 years, the memory of the wars, the loss, the Milosevic regime, and the war crimes committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. July 11th will mark the 10th anniversary of the mass killing of about 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) in Srebrenica. In the past weeks there were a number of events in Belgrade commemorating this event.
“It is definitely an irrelevant comparison” some people say. “Israel and Serbia? Irrelevant.” But it might be relevant now more than ever to draw comparisons between the two societies and it worth paying attention to that, especially those of us who are striving for change.
As I sit in Belgrade writing these lines, I can see pictures from the Gaza Strip on the TV screen. So much has been written in the past week after the death of the Israeli soldiers, the big demonstration in Tel Aviv, and the destruction of the houses in Rafah. In one of those articles, Zeev Shterenhal wrote about the house demolitions: “The day will come when all of us, including the justices of the High Court of Justice, will be mortified at what is now being done in our names.” (Haaretz 18/05/04) But I am already feeling ashamed – now. I have been ashamed since my eyes were opened and I began to comprehend what was going on around me.
Thousands of people have gathered last week in the enormous site of memory in Srebrenica, Bosnia. 9 years ago, about 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered there, by the Serbian forces in Bosnia. Last week, 338 of the victims were buried in a large ceremony attended by thousands of people, family and friends.