October 2010

I recently blogged about the reception that the formerly Muslim Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica got from some Turkish politicians at a film festival in Turkey earlier this month, causing him to withdraw from the festival. A day or two later, a festival participant named Majkl Neuensvander was mistaken for Kusturica and beaten up. (Emir Kusturica lookalike assaulted and hospitalized in Turkey — link is in Serbian.)

While we’re back on the topic of Turkey, meanwhile, I have a chance to follow up on my recent postings on the Ottoman Empire reestablishing itself over the Balkans. There was a very good short piece last week by Balkans analyst Ioannis Michaletos, titled “Turkey’s Reach in Kosovo,” whose clincher paragraph is the final one:

The long-term strategy of Turkey is to gradually “adopt” Kosovo under its sphere of influence, along with the rest of the Albanian populated areas in the Western Balkans. If one adds the already existing strong attachments of the Bosnian Muslims with Turkey and the increased influence of Turkey into the Muslim minorities of Bulgaria, Greece, FYROM and Serbia, then a wider image appears, whereby the “Islamization” process in the Balkans is gradually being promoted by a combination of business activities, political initiatives and last but not least, considerable intelligence operations that are in tune with [an] “Islamic-Balkan” vision as it is being presently formed in Ankara and in Istanbul.

The preceding 12 paragraphs of the piece are also worth cross-posting, so here they are:

The Turkish foreign policy over the last few years has witnessed a dramatic shift, that promotes its “Ottoman legacy” and especially in the Balkan region, where it already influences a considerable segment of the Muslim population. Moreover its increased cooperation with Syria and Iran, further highlights Turkish moves since there is always the likehood of an eventual clash between Turkish ambitions and the rest of the regional political actors that will most certainly have an impact on the Balkan political scene.

Turkey in Kosovo specifically forms a “soft power policy” aiming at promoting the Albanian ambitions, so as to have a strong base in a strategic point in the region. That obviously means, that any clash between Turkey and NATO for instance over the close relationships of Ankara with Teheran, will reflect in the Balkan affairs with possible upturns, even the probability of a conflict in an area full of ethnic animosities and vicious competition between various state interests.

An outline of the main Turkish initiatives and strong-points in Kosovo is presented below, by bearing in mind that developments in a distant field (Middle East) could have a direct consequence in the domestic Kosovo affairs within the short-term period.

An influential factor in Kosovo apart from the Albanian majority & the Serbian minority is Turkey through the 40,000 strong Turkish community. The first Turkish settlers arrived in Kosovo Metojia after the legendary battle of Kosovo in 1389, and soon became the ruling class of the Province. Its presence nowadays is not more than 1.5% of the population; nevertheless Ankara found a way of entering the Kosovo quagmire and demands a role through the use of the Turkish populous there.

In fact the Turkish side refers to Kosovo as a land of minorities and not only of the Serbian one. Various well-informed forces monitor an increased attention by Turkey and a pressure towards USA to accept a wider role for Turkey in Kosovo. Even though the other minorities – Excluding Serbs- are more numerically: Roma (40,000), Bosniaks (30,000), Gorani (50,000); they don’t have the backing of a large state, as Turkey and steadily a third player is emerging in the Kosovo scene.

The Turkish minority mainly live in Prizren (15-29%) and Mitrovice (14%). The village of Mamuša north of Prizren was the only settlement in Kosovo with a Turkish majority, according to the last legal census of 1981. It had 2752 people, with Turks making up around three-quarters of that number.

There are three Turkish political parties in Kosovo:

Turkish Public Front- under the leadership of Sezai Saipi

Turkish Democratic Union- under the leadership of Erhan Köroğlu, centered in Pristina

Kosovo Turkish Democratic Party (KTDP) – under the leadership of Mahir Yağcılar, centered in Prizren (the only registered Turkish party of Kosovo)

There are also two cultural and artistic Turkish associations in Kosovo: Right Way (Doğru Yol) and Truth (Gerçek). The purpose of these two associations is to keep the Turkish culture alive in Kosovo.

Kosovo Turks have their own schools in every educative level. In Prizren, Mamusha, Pristina, Gnjilane, Djakovica and Vucitrin, there are 3 kindergartens, 11 primary schools, 6 colleges and the Pristina University where approximately 2,500 Turkish students attend lectures. A substantial number of them eventually study in Turkey at a graduate level along with Muslim-Albanian students via scholarships by the Turkish educational system.

Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize the self-proclaimed independence of Pristina and there are 4 Members of Parliament of Turkish origin in the local government. Also, in the Priznen town a TV station named Yeni Donem was created in 2006 by Turkish developmental aid, whilst other networks such as: Radio Priznen, TV BESA and TV Pro have special programs in the Turkish language.

Further, Turkish newspapers in Kosovo include: Our Voice (Sesimiz), the official newspaper of KTDP, Your Environment (Cevren) since 1973, Avalanche (Cig), Bird (Kus) since 1974, Pearl (Inci).

The Turkish state has in various periods supported the organizations Al Muhajiroun-Kosovo Support Council, as well smaller scale NGO’s in the educational sector. In the political front individuals such as: Ergun Zoga, Celalettin Olmezcan, Enver Tali, Deniz Baykal, Tuna Koc, have assisted the creation of high-level bonds between the political and business forces of Pristina and Istanbul. In the latter which is the most important city in Turkey and in the Balkans, the majority of the Kosovo-Albanians residents in Turkey are based and there are numerous organizations which receive strong assistance by the Turkish state. It is from Istanbul where the bulk of Turkish investment and hand-outs is being transferred to Kosovo and in other Balkan regions such as Bosnia, Bulgaria, Albania and FYROM.

One of the main Turkish establishments in Kosovo with substantial influence is the Turkish business union (TIKA) that was greatly enchased in both material and political base by the Metin Kilic, andAgmagan Demirer, who since 2003 have formed an extensive network of Kosovo Albanians who act as the soft power outreach of Turkey in the region. […]

To close, this is from a related 2001 analysis of the Macedonia conflict by historian Carl Savich, which I re-read this week but is no longer linkable:

In July, 1997, the Albanian mayor of Gostivar raised an Albanian and Turkish flag over the town. These unconstitutional provocations signaled a desire to create a Greater Albania and a return to the Ottoman Turkish Empire status quo, when Albanians converted to Islam and thereby gained privileged positions that allowed them to take over the lands of the subhuman rayah and kaurin and to dominate and control the Orthodox Slavic populations, the Christian cattle. When the police intervened to remove them, rioting resulted in Gostivar and Tetovo which left three people dead…

Vienna woman locked away by husband for months

A 22-year-old Viennese locked away his wife for more than seven months, it has emerged.

Mario Hejl, a spokesman for police in the capital, confirmed a report by daily Heute today (Thurs). Hejl explained: “Vienna police deliberately decided not to make the case public since it was considered unsuitable.”

The spokesman said the suspect had been arrested on Monday but refused to provide any further details.

Heute claimed that the Kosovo-born man had kept his wife, 22, locked in a room of their flat in Favoriten district since 1 February. The newspaper also reported that the woman had been physically abused by her husband throughout that period. […]

Note the sentence “Vienna police deliberately decided not to make the case public since it was considered unsuitable.”

Given that all crimes are, by definition, “unsuitable,” what makes this particular crime more so? Could it be because the culprit was a Kosovo Albanian?

I’ve been loosely following developments concerning Angelina Jolie’s Bosnian flick, a directorial debut for which she significantly has chosen the safe concept of Serb-vilification. This past week saw some very high-profile updates to the story.

Bosnia’s culture minister revoked the rights for Jolie to shoot in the country “after objections from an association of female victims of the Bosnian war. The untitled film project reportedly tells the story of a Serbian man and Bosnian woman who fall in love in the middle of the 1992-1995 war,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

AFP reported:

“They no longer have the authorisation to shoot in Bosnia. They will have it if they send us the scenario with a story which will be different from what we have been told by people who read it,” [Gavrilo] Grahovac told the radio…[R]evoking the filming license was a way to “express our disapproval for the shooting of a movie which does not tell the truth and hurts a large number of victims”.

Last week, Grahovac reversed his decision after he saw the script, which apparently complied with the order that it be “different from what we have been told” so far. Indeed, it seems he found it most acceptable. Let’s see if we can figure out what made it so acceptable.

To reassure the Bosnian-Muslim public, the following tidbit was released:

A Serbian soldier, the hero [protagonist] of Angelina’s story, at the end of the film kills his big love — a young Muslim girl — who he previously rescues from captivity.

Serb to play villain in Angelina’s flick

…According to the claims from a crew member based in Hungary, the screenplay is deemed to shock cinema-goers.

“It is true the story is about Bosnian girl who falls in love with her rapist. The plot involves the male character’s urge – fuelled by love – to put her away somewhere safe and she follows him. He then places her in a remote place far away from other prisoners, whom she had previously been with. He brings her food and other necessities,” says the unnamed source.

Next on in the film’s storyline, the girl falls in love with her Samaritan, which is followed by a twist to the plot.

“Facing a fierce bombing raid both of them take shelter in a nearby church, with a great number of Serbian soldiers dying. That is when he suspects it was she who disclosed the location to the aggressors and hatred grows into the most dominant emotion. Eventually he kills the girl and surrenders to foreign soldiers – the peace-keeping forces – and admits to being a war criminal. […]

Well that certainly simplifies things. All you have to do is reveal that the “good” Serb is a villain like “the rest”…Problem solved.

(Note: Gavrilo Grahovac is probably not a Muslim himself — perhaps Croatian or of “mixed Yugoslav” background — but he has Muslim masters to serve in the government, and naturally the Croats and Muslims are both interested in maintaining the official truth about the lone villain of the Bosnian war: the Serb.)

There is still some question over whether the romance starts with the Serb raping the girl or not. The leaked information above seems to suggest that they do meet through the traditional Serb-raping-Muslim notion, but last week Jolie denied this (perhaps she recently amended the script for the ministry’s benefit):

Angelina Jolie refutes ‘nasty rumor’ about her Bosnia film

…”It’s very simple,” she says during a break in shooting Friday. “There was a nasty rumor that it was about a relationship that started with a rape and torture — and it’s not.”

More than 100,000 died in the 1992 war that exploded between ethnic groups in the former Yugoslavia after the collapse of Communism. Serbian soldiers raped tens of thousands of Bosnian-Muslim women ™*, leading to war-crimes trials, and wounds that remain painful today.

“It’s a relationship that starts in the scene we’re shooting today — in a club, before the war. The main characters begin with lovely, happy, beautiful singing and dancing. It’s a normal relationship in that way, how it begins.”

The idyllic prelude shatters. “The film is about the experience that a lot of different people, on all different sides, have as war takes its toll,” Jolie says. “A couple that maybe would have lived a certain life, had the war not begun, end up having a very different story because of the war.”

Jolie doesn’t blame war survivors for being concerned. “Everything is to be expected when you do films about heavy subject matters that have to do with something so sensitive and so recent,” she says. “It’s absolutely to be handled as delicately as possible.”

As delicately as possible indeed. There certainly won’t be any Muslim bomb threats on movie theaters over this one. For a long time, Serb-demonization has kept us safer than we otherwise might be.

Saying pretty much this exact thing last week was a Bosnian-Muslim actor in the movie, according to an LA Times blogger named Zoran Cirjakovic, who agreed:

…The controversy over the film has yet to fade from the headlines in Bosnia. But local newspapers this week published some accounts of the script that seemed likely to lessen the outrage of Bosnian Muslims.

On Monday Dnevni Avaz, the largest Bosnian daily, ran an article under the headline: “We disclose: The rapist kills the [Bosnian Muslim] woman at the end of Angelina’s film and admits that he is war criminal.”

The article quoted an unnamed source “who had the opportunity to read the whole script” and who “stressed that Jolie portrayed the army that carried out aggression on Bosnia in an exceptionally authentic way.”

The paper also said that Fedja Stukan, a Bosnian actor who is in the film, confirmed “that according to the script, the Serb man kills the Bosniak women at the end.” (Bosniak refers to Bosnian Muslims.) It quoted him as saying “I don’t know what the problem is if a Serb kills a Bosniak. That is what everybody wants to see.”

While that may sound odd, in the complex environment of postwar Bosnia, that is actually what Bosnian Muslims want to see…Bosnian Muslims see the conflict as a war of Serbian aggression; Serbs view it as a civil war. If Serbs are portrayed as aggressors or war criminals in the film, Bosnian Muslims will likely see it as in harmony with their view of the conflict.

So there you have it. Though I must amend the writer’s comment that it’s what they want to see in “postwar” Bosnia — to the fact that it was also what they wanted to see (and the reality they created) in during-war Bosnia. After all, the Bosnian-Muslim government had its snipers shooting into civilian populations, firing on their own people (as well as on Serb civilians), and blaming it on the Serbs so as to win an international intervention. It’s also why they orchestrated the so-calledgenocide” in Srebrenica.

And here we thought Grahovac disapproved “the shooting of a movie which does not tell the truth and hurts a large number of victims.” Go figure.

Nor was that Grahovac’s only lie in all this. According to The Hollywood Reporter story cited earlier, he “said the permit has been rejected, because no screenplay had been attached to the application, as required by law.” But here is what the LA Times blog had high up:

Edin Sarkic of Scout Film, who’s serving as executive producer and location manager for the Bosnian part…said that Jolie’s film was being subjected to intense scrutiny and that it was highly unusual to be asked to submit a full script for review. “At no other place in the world they would ask for the script. One is required to give a synopsis, not a script,” he said. “The script is a work in progress. One can change it during the filming, one can change it during the editing. By the premiere, a script can be changed 13,000 times. But they wanted the script and we gave them the script.”

So at least Hollywood productions are now more openly Muslim-compliant.

* If you’re among the masses still under the Islamo-Western-produced impression that there were tens of thousands of specifically Muslim women raped by specifically Serbs, please educate yourself via the preceding links.

In commenting to The Daily Caller news site about NPR firing Juan Williams for saying he gets worried when he sees Muslims on the plane, the man who helped spread terror through the Balkans really put his finger on what I’ve been trying to say about the seemingly counterintuitive, more pronounced, in-your-face Muslimness that’s been spreading since 9/11:

“Mr. Williams is basically an opinion journalist and he offered an opinion based on an undeniable reality: American Muslims have so far failed in our duty to prevent negative perceptions among our non-Muslim neighbors, and many, unfortunately, have taken the existing concerns among non-Muslims as a challenge to assert Muslim identity more aggressively, through forms of dress as well as speech that are often extravagant and excessive,” Schwartz wrote in an e-mail to TheDC.

He’s saying, correctly, that Muslims are brats.

The irony, of course, is that Suleyman Schwartz himself converted to Islam as a fad. When Communism was the threat, he became the infamous “Comrade Sandalio,” buying a commie-era uniform, learning Spanish, being an atheist, and becoming a self-styled spokesman. When the threat of Communism gave way to the threat of Islam, again he changed his name, learned the language, converted to the religion, bought the costume and became a spokesman.

Amazing how much damage a brat can do, isn’t it, Suli?

Not content with glorifying the Bosnian Serb-killers in its midst, the greater St. Louis area now welcomes Albanian Serb-killers. Specifically a synagogue in St. Louis, where Jews help Muslims erect new mosques and where one Jew emailed me from, objecting to my criticizing the soundless (for now) minareted Mosque that went up in 2008 in St. Louis. The latest round of the Albanian propaganda making use of Albanian Righteous from WWII was covered in this news item which I received today:

Albanian Muslims risk their own lives to save Jews from Nazis during World War II

By Leisa Zigman

Creve Coeur, MO (KSDK) — With rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country, an untold story is raising greater awareness about the Muslim faith and the teachings of the Quran. That awareness comes from an unlikely source: a small Jewish congregation in Creve Coeur. Temple Emanuel is premiering a groundbreaking exhibit of photos that reveals Albanian Muslims who saved 2,000 Jews during World War II.

It’s a story you’ve likely never heard. It is a story told through the faces of Albanian Muslims who risked their own lives to live by a code of faith and honor called Besa.

Dr. Ghazala Hayat is a neurologist at St. Louis University and serves as spokesperson for the Islamic Foundation of Greater Saint Louis.

Hayat said while Besa is an Albanian word, it is part of Islamic culture and teachings. According to Dr. Hayat, Besa is an ancient code which requires people to endanger their own lives if necessary to save the life of anyone seeking asylum. To this day, Besa is the highest moral law of the region, superseding religious differences, blood feuds, and even tribal traditions.

The exhibit is opening eyes throughout the world.

“You don’t have to share the same faith. You have to respect each other’s faith,” Hayat said.

Pictures of the Albanian Muslims in the exhibit tell a lifetime of stories. As a young mother, one woman did not have enough breast milk to feed her son. A Jewish woman she hid nursed him instead. She was asked if she minded that a Jewish mother had fed her baby.

“Jews are God’s people like us,” the woman said

Another man who also hid Jewish families said, “I did nothing special. All Jews are our brothers.”

And the head of the Bektashi sect, with more than seven million followers, tells the story of Albania’s prime minister, who gave a secret order during the Nazi occupation.

“All Jewish children will sleep with your children, all will eat the same food, and all will live as one family,” the order read.

In post-war Europe, it is said Albania was the only Nazi-occupied country to boast a greater number of Jews than before the Holocaust.

“They were among the people who at great personal risk sheltered Jews and protected them in their homes and did so out of a religious obligation,” said Rabbi Justin Kerber, Temple Emanuel.

The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and several local Jewish agencies hope the St. Louis community will experience this rare look at the role Albanian Muslims played in sheltering Jews from the Nazis.

“At this time of tension over Islam in America, there is so much more to understanding Islam,” Rabbi Kerber said.

The BESA exhibition at Temple Emanuel is October 21- December 1, 2010 12166 Conway Road Thursday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4pm and by appointment For more information, contact Gail at gail@testl.org or call 314-432-5877.

Yes, there’s so much more to understanding Islam, Rabbi. And this isn’t part of it. This is just to make sure you’re blindsided when the stuff hits the fan.

Oh, and real nice how the “not like that” Albanian Muslims are letting themselves be used to represent something about Muslims and Islam generally. They’re otherwise trying to distance themselves from it/them. Hmm.

Now, I’ve debunked FIVE times this insidious ploy trying to utilize the Albanian Righteous to get Jewish support to regain the Albanians’ short-lived Nazi-bestowed land. Land which they have been stealing back through terror, ethnic cleansing, and religious and cultural genocide. As with Bosnia, and Kosovo the first time around, the Jews are eating up the propaganda.

Here were my previous responses:

Rewriting History in the Balkans

WorldNetDaily Falls Victim to Albanian Hoax

Can We Please Stop Using the Jews?

Radical Islam’s Dupes (also published in NY Jewish Week, with original title “Still Islam’s Favorite Dupes”)

More on the Albanian Righteous being Used by Modern Albanian Nazis

By the way, you can’t parade your Righteous while building monuments to Albanian Nazi heroes.

The Righteous, of course, being a phenomenon that every European country had, and the Serbs had more of than did Albanians.

As for the dramatic-sounding statement that Albanians “risked their own lives to save Jews,” God bless them (though I won’t ask how many Serbs these Jew-savers killed). But let’s keep things in perspective: It’s not like Albanians value their lives. That’s why the blood code still rules. And that’s why the KLA could get away with wantonly killing far, far more Albanians than Serbs in the late 90s — and still be cheered by Albanians worldwide to this day. Now that’s depravity.

This is of course in addition to the numerous mosques, “charities” and other projects that the UAE has planted in Kosovo since the very beginning of our intervention:

RCA opens Emirates House in Kosovo

WAM Abu Dhabi, 19th Oct. 2010 (WAM) — The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) opened the Emirates Residential Building 2 in the Kosovan city of Peje to shelter poor families who suffered instability and displacement during the years of conflict.

RCA Secretary General Mohammed Khalifa Al Qamzi said the five storey building houses 25 residential units and its construction had cost Dh 2.6 million.

He added that the first Dh 2.8 million facility with a 22 apartments was opened three years ago.

‘’The establishment of the Emirates Residential Building 2 comes within the framework of the RCA’s plan for reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in Kosovo under directives from President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and support of H.H. Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and follow up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and RCA Chairman,'’he said, adding that programmes carried by the in Kosovo since 1999 were valued at Dh 130 million.

From the very beginnings of the crisis in Kosovo, he said , the UAE leadership has been working towards improving the humanitarian situation and has dispatched urgent relief aid to alleviate the suffering of Kosovans.

Representative of the government of Kosovo thanked Sheikh Mohammed for the generous donation he offered for building the housing complex and praised the UAE’s leadership and people for their humanitarian and philanthropic support to Kosovans. The UAE, he said, has been among the first countries to respond to the Kosovan tragedy and has been proving support to the affected people.

He added said his country and people will always be grateful to the UAE and its humanitarian agency (RCA) for the generous support to the distressed Kosovans.

‘’The RCA has done well in delivering humanitarian services to the victims and affected people,'’he said, describing the new project as a qualitative leap in the RCA operations in Kosovo.

‘’It is the hope the people of Kosovo has been waiting for a long time,'’he added.

I recently blogged about the enthronement ceremony of the new Serbian patriarch Bishop Irinej. Here are some tidbits that English-language media neglected to include in covering the day’s events. From a partial translation by reader Danny:


…At one point in the center of Pec, on a stretch of 300 meters, the nuns noticed that there were no police officers. Then they saw a group of fifteen men, aged about thirty years old, standing at the edge of the sidewalk, holding stones.

The van with the nuns from Zica and the broken window stopped only after a few miles when the driver ran into a police patrol.

“We reported the stoning, and they extremely cynically asked us, ‘Why didn’t you immediately stop and wait for an investigation.’” […]

I also missed this AP report, which had the following two paragraphs:

Some 10,000 ethnic Albanians, mostly civilians, were killed during the 1998-99 Kosovo war as Serb forces launched a crackdown on the separatist guerrilla force, the Kosovo Liberation Army. Hundreds of Serbs were killed in retaliation attacks after the war, their houses and property burned.

Pec was one of the hardest-hit areas and the ceremony has troubled ethnic Albanians.

“This makes no sense,” Jakup Zeka, an ethnic Albanian, told The Associated Press. “The same people that have massacred us are coming back. This is intolerable.”

The “10,000″ figure — the favorite post-conflict inflated number after the pre-conflict inflated number of “100,000,” courtesy of Bill Clinton — in reality is of course closer to 5,000 on both sides. And so that you don’t think that the Serbs were truly targeting the Albanian terrorists, she’s assuring you these were “mostly civilians.” Never mind that the only significant Albanian civilian deaths started only once NATO started lobbing bombs at civilians and civilian infrastructure.

She also uses the favored “retaliation attacks” phrase, so that you forget these attacks were actually a continuation of the modus operandi and goals of Kosovo Albanians all along. She may be an AP reporter, but she’s an Albanian first, as is this Jekup Zeka she interviewed, who is still as confused as any Albanian about who was massacring whom. His indignation over a church event is particularly interesting, given that the churches and monasteries were what sheltered Albanians and Serbs from the KLA-driven war and NATO bombs. Their bishops were also early and vocal critics of Slobodan Milosevic, so to view these monasteries as symbols of 1990s “Serbian repression” is disingenuous, to say the least.

Naturally, in their Albanian gratitude the Kosovo residents hung posters of the new patriarch with a pitchfork in his hand, telling him to go to hell. The posters can be seen in this short video.

Upon Hillary Clinton’s departure from the former Yugoslavia yesterday, the region symbolically marked the occasion of her visit with an apropos ritual symbolizing the era she ushered in:

Kosovo: Serb beaten near enclave
15 October 2010 | 11:33 | Source: Beta

GRAČANICA — A Serb man was attacked and severely beaten near the Serb enclave of Gračanica in Kosovo.

This is according to Gračanica’s health center. This medical institution issued a statement today saying the man was assaulted on the Janjevo-Gračanica road while he was trying to repair his car, which had “Serbian license plates”.

The victim, identified as M.L., told the doctors that three persons approached and cursed him in broken Serbian, and proceeded to beat him saying they did so because of his license plates.

The victim also quoted his assailants as repeatedly saying that he should “remember that Kosovo is an Albanian state”.

The victim was left lying on the side of the road. He then unsuccessfully tried to reach the Gračanica health center by phone, but the Telekom Srbija lines in Serb enclaves south of the Ibar River were severed last month by the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština.

The man eventually managed to reach the hospital, where he was diagnosed with serious injuries to his head and body.

Kosovo police, KPS, have been informed about the incident and they investigated the scene, said reports.

Macedonia congress to highlight Islamic Civilization in Balkans

World Bulletin, 15 October 2010

The Fourth International Congress on “Islamic Civilization in Balkans” has begun in Skopje under the auspices of President Gjorge Ivanov of Macedonia.

Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu attended the opening of the congress organized by the Islamic Research center and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts.

Ihsanoglu gave information about history of Islam during his speech.

In his opening remarks, Macedonian President Ivanov said that the Ottoman Empire succeeded in ensuring legal equality among adherents of different religious beliefs. He also informed participants on Ottoman era policies about the Balkans.

Besides Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts President Georgi Stardelov and members of the executive board of the Academy, a number of academicians and researchers from Turkey, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Bulgaria are attending the congress.

The five-day congress will highlight the history and the heritage of Islamic civilization in the Balkans under their past and present aspects. It will encourage inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural approaches.

The previous congresses were held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2000; Tirana, Albania, in 2003; and Bucharest, Romania in 2006.

This is almost too good to be true.

Israel: ‘Fix Kosovo first before telling us what to do’ by LEIGH PHILLIPS, EU Observer, Oct. 11

Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman of the hard-right nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, has bluntly told the foreign ministers of Spain and France to fix problems in Europe before telling Israel what to do, according to reports in the local press.

“Solve your own problems in Europe before you come to us with complaints. Maybe then I will be open to accepting your suggestions,” he told France’s Bernard Kouchner and Spain’s Miguel Angel Moratinos at a dinner on Sunday evening (10 October) in Jerusalem.

Mr Lieberman said that after Europe had solved conflicts in the Caucasus as well as the ongoing disputes over Cyprus and Kosovo, then the Jewish state “will listen to your advice,” reports the conservative Jerusalem Post.

Now, notice the way the reporting goes out of its way to try to say something about an Israeli talking this kind of sense: “Lieberman of the hard-right nationalist party”; “the conservative Jerusalem Post”. Notice any shades of similarity between this and how non-compliant Serbs are portrayed by the same media?

He also suggested that Europe is sacrificing Israel the way it abandoned Czechoslovakia in 1939.

“In 1938 Europe placated Hitler, sacrificing Czechoslovakia instead of supporting it, and gained nothing from it,” he said, according to Haaretz, the left-leaning Israeli daily.

“We will not be the Czechoslovakia of 2010, we will stand up for Israel’s vital interests.”

Mr Lieberman suggested that the international community was trying to compensate for its failures elsewhere in the world by pushing for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

“What about the struggle in Somalia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Sudan?” he continued.

“Instead of talking now with the Arab League about the future of a referendum in Sudan, or discussing the explosive situation in Iraq in 2012, the international community is applying great pressure on Israel.”

The strong words came as Mr Kouchner reportedly signalled that the creation of a Palestinian state may have to come via the United Nations Security Council if peace negotiations falter.

In an interview with Palestinian paper Al-Ayyam, the French minister said that Paris would prefer a two-state solution to be agreed by both sides, but that the former option could not be ruled out.

“We want to be able to soon welcome the state of Palestine to the United Nations. This is the hope and the desire of the international community, and the sooner that can happen the better,” he said.

“The international community cannot be satisfied with a prolonged deadlock. I therefore believe that one cannot rule out in principle the Security Council option,” he said.

“But the establishment of the Palestinian state must come as a result of the peace process and be the fruit of bilateral negotiations.”

Those are some considerations that the Serbs — the other Czechoslovakia — were not afforded. And the “prolonged” Kosovo “deadlock” — unlike the decades-old Palestinian one — lasted only eight years before Serbia wasn’t afforded a negotiated solution.

The two ministers also met with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defence minister Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister and leader of the opposition centrist Kadima party.

The other government leaders told the two Europeans that the international community must be flexible over the issue of a freeze on the construction of settlements in the occupied [sic] Palestinian territories.

The Israeli government has refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze that ended in September on new settlement building, illegal under international law [a debatable point].

Over the weekend, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said to Arab foreign ministers that his side would consider a request before the UN Security Council if the peace talks collapse as a result of the settlement issue.

The Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, of the centre-left Labour Party, was reportedly more cordial with the two European ministers.

“They both take a lot of time working towards a real European contribution to peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said.

“I know that they are both friends of Israel, and they are respected by the Palestinians and throughout the Arab world. Therefore, they can really help.”


There was an update to this story in the Jerusalem Post today in a commentary by Israel Kasnett. Until reading it, I didn’t realize just how much this is the Kosovo precedent in action:

…This was a busy week for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos arrived at the Foreign Ministry Sunday to promote an initiative under which the European Union would recognize a Palestinian state even before Israel and the Palestinian Authority reach a final settlement through negotiations. Lieberman responded by telling his counterparts that before coming to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they should concentrate on the problems in their own backyards.

One must wonder why it has become the diplomatic norm for Europeans to come here for meetings that are disproportionately devoted to telling Israeli officials what this country should or should not be doing. If the opposite were true and Israeli officials were to arrive at the Elysee Palace to lecture the French on their policies, it is easy to see why they would be met with scorn.

Lieberman suggested that after solving the conflicts in the Caucasus and Cyprus, and after making peace between Serbia and Kosovo, the Europeans can come here and “we will listen to your advice.”

“I tried to explain that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far from being central to the world and surely not the most ancient in the world, and I have not seen any universal formula that has solved all the conflicts on the face of the planet,” he said. “Our stance is that we must stop stuttering and apologizing.”

If Kouchner insists on focusing on Israel, then why not, as Lieberman suggested, review Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus as well?

And yet, even with its ongoing occupation of Northern Cyprus, Turkey is currently considered a candidate for full membership in the EU. This lies in sharp contrast to the EU decision to suspend the upgrade process for Israel in April 2009 after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced a reassessment of the peace process and suspended peace negotiations.

But Kouchner has taken his meddling even further. He said on Sunday in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam, “One cannot rule out in principle the Security Council option.”

This echoes Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said that the possibility was raised of eventually going to the UN Security Council to create a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last Friday also told leaders at the Arab League meeting in Libya that if peace talks remain stalled, he may consider asking the US to recognize a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders. [NOTE: Both of these Palestinians brought this option up immediately upon observing Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in February 2008.]

While he is repeating Erekat’s comments, if nothing else Kouchner’s remarks appear to be blatant European meddling in the peace process, the resolution of which must be found through bilateral negotiations between the two sides.

Kouchner appears to be informing the Palestinians of European support for a Palestinian state regardless of whether or not the negotiations are successful. […]

HELLO! This is following the lead of how Washington sabotaged the negotiations process.

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