June 03rd 2010 12:28:06 PM
***CORRECTION TO UPDATE BELOW***
My eye for names isn’t too great yet. It turns out that the three from Macedonia were in fact all Albanian:
Jasmin Rexepi, Sali Emin and Sead Asipi are all ethnic Albanians. Expert Chris Deliso adds, “What was interesting to see according to televised footage of the men returning to Skopje was the visible solidarity between Turks and Albanians, in terms of mutual flag-waving and religious slogans. This is somewhat unusual, as there are often underlying tensions and distrust between the two communities in Macedonia.”
Like I said, the Ottomans are reclaiming their old Balkans dominion. And when it comes to the big-picture goals, those smaller squabbles/tensions can take a backseat.
The three Macedonians who were part of the provocation flotilla and have since returned to Macedonia (unfortunately for the latter) include just one Albanian — Jazmin Rexhepi — and two foreign-born Muslims living in Macedonia.
As seen below, condemnation of the Israeli response to the flotilla war provocation has come from the Bosnian-Muslim third of the tripartite Bosnian presidency — not from the Croatian or Serbian thirds. And a negative foreign ministry statement has come from Albania.
So two of the Balkans’ supposedly Islam-deficient Muslim states are more bothered by the defensive Israeli raid than the neighboring Christian nations are. Why Albania and Muslim Bosnia rather than Serbia, Croatia or Montenegro? Could it have anything to do with the Muslim solidarity that prevails regardless of how poorly Islam may be practiced by the Muslim majorities in these countries?
This isn’t to say that the rest of Europe, eastern and western, isn’t going to join in the condemnation soon enough (naturally, Greece has already started, given its perpetual annoyance with the Jewish state anyway), but it’s worth noting the reflexive concern by the Bosnian Muslim and Albanian side. The non-country of Kosovo, meanwhile, did not issue any criticisms, as it’s still hoping for an Israeli recognition. For this reason too the Albanian statement was very cautiously worded.
Several hundred people, mostly Turks and Palestinians, gathered in front of the Bosnian parliament building in Sarajevo on Monday to protest Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound peace flotilla in which at least nine peace activists were killed.
The Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency also condemned the Israeli operation against the peace activists.
In a statement issued by his office, Silajdzic called for an “urgent investigation of the Israeli attack”.
“All those who were involved or who ordered this crime must be held accountable in line with international humanitarian law,” Silajdzic said in the statement.
He called on Israel to “unconditionally and urgently allow the free flow of humanitarian aid, people and goods” in and out of Gaza.
Albania’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement following the incident, noting that it was following the latest developments and adding: “the MFA considers this attack to be unnecessary and calls on the Israeli authorities to investigate immediately with regards to this case, which has strained regional stability and more.”
The attack in international waters off the coast of Gaza drew condemnations from Turkey, France and the United Nations. Responding to the attack, Greece suspended a military exercise with Israel and postponed a visit by Israel’s air force chief.
More ominously, among the “protesters” seeking a confrontation with Israel by penetrating the Gaza blockade using the flotilla — and chanting an Islamic battle cry invoking the killing of Jews — were a Bosnian citizen of Syrian birth, and four other Balkan Muslims. As Mickey Bozinovich at Serbianna.com blogged:
During the raid on the Muslim terror ship, Israeli commandos have arrested a Bosnian Muslim national. His name is Yasser Mohamad Sabbagh and he is of the Syrian origin…Four additional Balkan Muslims were nabbed by the Israelis and presumably all of them are ethnic Albanian Muslims. One is from Kosovo and the 3 others are from Macedonia where Wahhabism is rampant among the Albanian Muslims.
The Kosovo Albanian arrested by Israel is Ramiqi Fuad President of Muslim Forum of Kosova and he said to Sabbagh [via imperfect Google translation]: “I was at this time stated the common suffering that we went during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Kosovo war. Knowing the situation in Palestine, the least we can contribute is that they carry a part of faith in the freedom that we achieved after long years, and will also one day have.”
Earlier this year, Israel warned via Macedonia’s PM that local Balkan Muslims are deep into world’s Islamic Jihad.
Turkey has been rattling against Jews for some time now, and after Turkey wrapped up [a] bunch of diplomatic deals with Serbia, they got Belgrade to support UN investigation of the raid on the terror ship.
Sabbagh is currently held in the prison at Ela near Bar Sheva.
Bosnia’s Foreign Minister, Sven Alkalaj, issued a directive to his Ambassador in Israel, Ivana Levi, to extend consular help to this Syrian-born Bosnian Muslim. Alkalaj orderd Levi to visit Sabbagh as soon as possible and report back to him. Sabbagh’s son, Amar, demands that the Bosnian Muslim government seek relief for his father via Israel and/or Turkey. […]
Without reading too much into the few Albanian Muslims from Macedonia who were involved in this military confrontation with Israel — or into the typical Bosnian protection of an Israel-hostile citizen whom we’ll eventually find out supports terrorism either morally or logistically — let me just remind readers about this item from 2008: Today’s “Palestinians” include Bosnians and Albanians. Let’s also recall this Balkans-sponsored terrorist act against Israel. And the fact that Hamas trained in Bosnia.
Also related is the fact that the flotilla was organized by a Turkish “NGO” that was first established to support the separatist 1990s Bosnian regime of Muslim fundamentalist Alija Izetbegovic. The “humanitarian organization” IHH has been mentioned by several articles, each one connecting it to Bosnia (”members were going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya…”). The IHH provided three of the passenger ferries, including the leading one that put up resistance to Israeli interception. As retired Indian cabinet secretary B. Raman noted yesterday in the Sri Lanka Guardian, the IHH is banned in Israel. But the interesting part is this:
[IHH] came into existence in 1992 ostensibly to provide humanitarian assistance to the Muslims of Bosnia. Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the connivance of the Bill Clinton Administration then in power in the US, helped the Bosnian Muslims in their fight against the Serbs.
All these activities for the provision of volunteers, money and arms and ammunition to the Bosnian separatists were allegedly co-ordinated by the IHH, under the cover of a humanitarian organisation…All these Pakistanis frequently used to visit Bosnia. Mrs. Benazir herself made a joint visit to Bosnia along with Mrs. Tansu Ciller, the then Turkish Prime Minister, in February 1994. Among Pakistani volunteers from the diaspora in the UK who allegedly worked for the IHH in Bosnia was Omar Sheikh, who is now in jail in Pakistan after having been sentenced to death for his role in the kidnapping and execution of Daniel Pearl….
All indications from reliable Pakistani and other sources were that the IHH’s role in Bosnia was not solely humanitarian. The humanitarian cover was allegedly used for keeping alive the Bosnian jihad and enabling it to succeed against the Serbs. The IHH allegedly played a similar role in Chechnya by helping the local Muslims in their jihad against the Soviet and then Russian troops. It then turned its attention to helping the Kashmiris by funding refugee camps for Kashmiris set up by the MDI and other Pakistani jihadi organisations in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). These refugee camps also became training centres for training Kashmiri and Pakistani jihadis for fighting against the Indian security forces. […]
Now, since I brought up Albanians and Bosnia, let me also bring up that Bozinovich found out a Serbian cameraman, Srdjan Stojiljkovic — who works for the Free Gaza organization and lives in New York — was also arrested in Israel (though he apparently was not on the ship that was raided). Unless this guy is a convert to Islam, then he is like millions of other secular Western dhimmi Palestinian-sympathizers. This leads me onto the most unfortunate aspect of this incident, at least as far as the Balkans angle goes: the Serbian Foreign Ministry statement supporting a UN investigation of Israeli actions, as Bozinovich mentioned — a significant departure from keeping a low profile and taking neutral stands on things related to Israel.
As Bozinovich notes, this turn likely has a lot to do with increased Turkish activity with Serbia — similar to other financially strapped Balkan states. So what we have is Turkey reducing ties with one pariah state (Israel) while manipulatively increasing ties with the other big pariah, Serbia — and alienating it from its Jewish counterpart, adding to Israel’s isolation.
I’m not going to get into the long history of efforts by Balkan Muslims and Croatian Nazis to drive a wedge between Jews and Serbs, but just as it worked in the 90s (when these elements got Jews to turn against Serbs), so we seem to be witnessing the beginnings of the reverse situation: getting Serbs to turn on the Jews. Notice that this is coming as the Ottomans are reestablishing their Balkans dominion, actively increasing cooperative agreements on infrastructure, security and cultural projects with Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Serbia and others.
(Muslim infiltration of Europe being one of Turkey’s main goals, of course. Note this from February: “Stating his satisfaction with the interest of Turkish banks and companies in building a highway connecting the capital of Belgrade with Sandzak [a terrorist den that tried to secede from Serbia as early as 1991], Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said this project would alter the social and economic dynamic of Sandzak. ‘This is a strategically big investment that will make Serbia Turkey’s most important partner in the western Balkans,’ he said.” Indeed.)
Anyway, as Serbia struggles to diminish its own pariah status, she increasingly may be asked to distance herself from that other pariah, Israel. Considering Serbia’s facility in betraying itself — making Serbia the primary victim of the populace’s and government’s Euro-Atlantic, pro-Muslim integrations and ambitions — betraying Israel too shouldn’t be all that hard. (Though for many Serbs, it’ll be at least as painful, since they remember Israel’s military assistance in Serbia’s hour of need while it was under bombardment by the world on behalf of Islamic propaganda.)
If that does end up being the turn of events, we will have our own treacherous leaders of the past 20 years to blame. For that is who put Serbia in the desperate financial situation it’s in, forcing it to do business where it can and make whatever friends see its situation sympathetically (even Libya, to which Serbia is grateful for not signing on to the U.S.-led theft of its territory). Much like Israel has had certain weapons transactions with China that we haven’t liked.
I’ve written before that Israel may end up paying the price for our Balkans machinations, its undoing being the Western world’s doing in even more ways than the obvious.
Meanwhile, in her own blog mentioning the IHH, Ilana Mercer highlights a comment left by Nebojsa Malic:
Ilana, Israel is being “Serbed.” Hamas has learned the lessons of Bosnia well, and by casting Gaza as another Sarajevo, is planning on winning by losing. Israel’s military advantage thus becomes a liability, and the war is shifted to the theater of international public opinion – which, ever since Bosnia, has been dominated by bleeding-heart liberals conditioned to root for the designated “underdog”, while seeing anything the designated culprit does (whatever its legitimacy) as pure evil.
Malic’s updated, complete analysis is here. I’ll close with a note on the Bosnian foreign minister who instructed his ambassador to Israel to extend consular help to the Syrian-Bosnian, Sabbagh. Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj is Jewish. But in Bosnia, even a Jew helps camouflage the government’s terror ties, particularly when the guy with the most staggering ties is the Jew’s boss, President Haris Silajdzic. Alkalaj first hit my radar earlier this year when, as mentioned by Bozinovich above, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Jan. 5:
…Intelligence services had evidence that Islamic terrorist organisations were already recruiting in the Balkans, Lieberman said, according to Israeli media reports.
Islamic and Saudi charities were continuously transferring funds to Muslims of Bosnian and Albanian origin, the Jerusalem Post reported him as saying.
Citing Israeli intelligence sources, Lieberman said that Muslim militants planned to exploit tensions between Muslims and Christians in the Balkans. Bosnians and Albanians had been recruited for terrorist training camps in preparation for being sent home to foster an Islamic revolution, according to Lieberman.
In a 2008 article, [author Chris] Deliso listed a long series of terrorist incidents either planned or carried out that involved people from various countries in South Eastern Europe, from Albania to Turkey. […]
The Bosnian reaction to Lieberman’s statements was immediate and fierce, with the Jewish Bosnian foreign minister featuring prominently:
Bosnia’s foreign minister called his Israeli counterpart last night to personally protest Avigdor Lieberman’s statement on Tuesday that the global jihad movement has made inroads into the Balkans, particularly the Muslim-majority countries of Bosnia and Albania.
Lieberman’s remark was widely reported in several Balkan countries, including Bulgaria, Macedonia and Bosnia, and by Wednesday, Balkan embassies in Israel had started calling the Foreign Ministry to ask on what information Lieberman had based this assertion.
Then, yesterday, Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj - who is Jewish - called Lieberman personally to protest, saying the minister’s remark “damaged Bosnia’s reputation.”
He added that his own country’s intelligence service believes there are no global jihad cells or training camps in Bosnia, and if Lieberman has evidence to the contrary, he would like to know about it.
Lieberman’s original assertion was contained in a press statement that his ministry issued on Tuesday following a meeting with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
“Current information clearly shows that the Balkan region is the next destination of the global Jihad, which aims to establish an infrastructure and recruit activists,” the statement said. One such indication, it added, is that Muslim charities that previously “transferred money to Africa and South America for this purpose” are now sending money to Bosnia and Albania.
Since taking office last spring, Lieberman has been seen as working hard to improve ties with the Balkan states, and has visited three of them - Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia.
The Foreign Ministry’s view is that all the Balkan states, which either already belong to the European Union or are likely candidates to join, constitute potential Israeli allies within the EU. Yet his remarks on Tuesday appear to have increased tensions with Bosnia.
Senior Foreign Ministry officials stressed that Lieberman’s assertion was based on intelligence information, not mere press reports.
“We’ve received requests for clarifications, and that’s natural,” said one official. “Our goal is to share the information we have with everyone.”
Arutz Sheva also carried Alkalaj’s denial: Bosnian FM to Lieberman: No al-Qaeda activities in Bosnia
(Oh, since there have been “requests for clarifications,” here’s a clarification, from author Chris Deliso: “The Wahhabis arrived in the Sandzak [region of southern Serbia] just a decade ago, from Bosnia, and quietly built a power base with an eye towards more militant future activities, as the March 2007 arrests would seem to show. They came with the support of the radical, mujahedin-connected Active Islamic Youth, and have since been supported by Sarajevo radicals backed by Arab money….It is important to remember that this geographical progression of radicalism could not have existed without the deliberate installation of a foreign-funded charity and terrorist network, originally conceived by the West as a lifeline for the…Bosnian Muslim government of Izetbegovic against the Serbs, created under the watchful eye of the Clinton administration and German and Austrian intelligence.”)
Anyway, such a good servant is the Bosnian Jew to his Muslim masters that in July 2009 he called for the annual memorial for the 8,000 (not and not) Srebrenica “victims” (not and not and not) to be made into a monthly memorial:
Bosnian Jew Honors Srebrenica Genocide Victims
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj visited Srebrenica on the occassion of the 14th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide [sic]. Alkalaj is one of the most prominent Bosnian Jews and a member of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina led by Dr. Haris Silajdžić.
Alkalaj met with the Mayor of Srebrenica and discussed the current and planned projects in Srebrenica. He also paid a visit to the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial and laid flowers in remembrance of 8,372 victims of genocide and 30,000 people that were forcibly expelled from Srebrenica in July 1995. As he said, he regularly pays tribute to the victims of genocide in Srebrenica. He called for the Srebrenica genocide memorials to be held every single month, and not just once per year.
Now THAT’s Balkantainment!