Friday, May 04, 2007

"Kosovo—A Cautionary Tale"

By Ruth King

From "Outpost"
April 2007—Issue #199,
PUBLISHED BY AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL

It looks increasingly probable that Kosovo will gain its independence from Serbia, an outcome that should be of serious concern to Israel and its supporters. Ariel Sharon, to his credit, heard the alarm bells during the American bombing of Serbia in 1999, when he warned American Jewish leaders: "If Israel supports the type of action that's going on in Kosovo, it risks becoming the next victim. Brutal intervention must not be legitimized as a way to try to impose a solution in regional conflicts." And, it is no coincidence, as journalist Julia Gorin reminds us, that during the bombing of Serbia on behalf of Moslem Albanians in 1999 Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, commander of the allied Saudi troops during the first Gulf War, called on the US to do the same against Israel on behalf of Palestinians.

The fate of Jews and Serbs, which has intersected in the past, is doing so again. The jihadist effort to expunge Jews from Palestine mirrors the Moslem goal of incorporating Kosovo into a “greater Moslem Albania” while expelling Christian Serbs.

When Serbia became independent of Byzantine rule in the 12th century, its economic, cultural, social and religious institutions were among the most advanced in Europe. Serbia functioned as a bridge between Greco-Byzantine civilization and the developing Western Renaissance. The center of the Serbian Orthodox Church was in Kosovo where churches, monasteries and monastic communities were established. A form of census in 1330, the “Decani Charter,” detailed the list of chartered villages and households, of which only two percent were Albanian.

The Ottomans invaded Serbia in 1389 and consolidated their rule in 1459, propelling major parts of the Balkan peninsula and adjacent southeast Europe into a Koran-dictated Dark Ages. While a significant proportion of Serbian and Croatian nobility converted to Islam to escape the harsh conditions imposed on non-Moslems, most Serbian peasants clung to their Christian faith. Historian G. Richard Jansen reports: “Serbs and Jews became dhimmis subject to the dhimma or protection offered to Christians and Jews in newly Islamized lands in exchange for their lives.

Similarly Bat Ye’or, in Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide writes: “For the Orthodox Serbs… this same period [the centuries of Moslem rule] is considered one of massacre, pillage, slavery, deportation, and the exile of Christian populations. In their eyes it was a regime which found its justification in the usurpation of their land and denial of their rights....In their wars of emancipation-and, later, of liberation—the Orthodox Serbs found that their bitterest adversaries were their Muslim compatriots attached to their religious privileges and their domination over the humiliated Christians.”

In spite of forced migrations and oppression, like their Jewish counterparts, and unlike other Balkan nations, Serbs maintained their cultural and religious ties to their faith and shrines in Kosovo which, reinforcing the parallel, they called their Jerusalem. It was the Serbs who first mounted, in 1804 and 1813, insurgencies which spread through the region, culminating in the 1912 Balkan War which essentially eliminated the Ottomans from the Balkans.....(excerpt, read the Rest at Outpost-- pdf file)

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