More From Alder's Ledge

May 13, 2010

Too Jewish for Politics

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Bosnian War Hero Banned
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During the era of snipers in Sarajevo it was hard to believe that any man could stand up to the genocidal Serbian militias. Yet this is exactly what Jakob Finci managed to do. In fact he even managed to get around 3,000 potential victims out of the city and to safety. And to add to this, Jakob was one of the few people who managed to bring medical supplies into the city as the snipers laid siege to Sarajevo.
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Bombs and mortars could not stop Jakob. His will to survive drove him onward as he saved the lives of countless Bosnian civilians. It was this aspect that made Jakob a national hero when the war ended. It was this dedication that had earned Jakob the respect of his nation.
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So why is the hero being banned from the Bosnian House of Parliament or the House of Presidency? For being a Jew.
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During the Second World War the Jews of the Balkans were nearly killed off entirely. Jakob was lucky to have survived, despite having been born in an Italian concentration camp. And now he faces the same antisemitic views left over from the Nazi occupation.
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"Sarajevo will be a karakazan, a black cauldron, where 300,000 Muslims will die . . . Europe will be told to go ---- itself, not to come back until the job is finished." Bosnian Serb Leader at the siege of Sarajevo.
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You can note from the less than enthused views of Muslims by the Catholic Serb that their views of Jews were little better. Yet in spite of this Jakob managed to work around the attacking Serbs.
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Finally the 1995 Dayton Accord was signed and peace was supposed to be reinstated. However, the American backed plan excluded minorities from political influence (including the Jews and Roma of the region). This has led to the current fight between Jakob and his government (the Bosnian government).
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The EU has declared that the discrimination of anybody due to their religion or race is unacceptable in a modern democracy. This means that Bosnia will have to amend its constitution before it can be considered for membership in the European Union.

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