February 20th 2012 05:29:46 AM
Sending this letter last Monday was probably too late for something that was responding to a January 19th article, and so I unsurprisingly didn’t hear back. But I at least wanted to have it in print for the record, so I’m reproducing it here (and will email a copy to the reporter). The letter concerns the “Albanian Anne Frank” play by a Bronx-based Muslim immigrant from Montenegro. (It’s similar to my original blog post on the subject, but makes a few additional points and has some new links.)
Tasteless Anne Frank Analogy in Your Paper
As a Jewish person, I was offended by the comparison your paper allowed between Anne Frank and the Kosovo-Albanian protagonist in a play you covered (“New play by Bronx writer/director tells haunting story of one family’s suffering in the Kosovo war,” Jan. 19).
“‘Why Did You Kill My Parents’ is ‘our version of Anne Frank’s diary,’” reporter Tanyanika Samuels uncritically quoted her subject, writer Roko Markolovic. Like most, Ms. Samuels never questioned some fantastic Balkan assertions. Instead, she repeated what was repeatedly disproved at The Hague and by independent investigations, regressing to the outlandish claim which other media have since abandoned—that Serbian troops engaged in an ethnic cleansing campaign of Albanian civilians in 1998-99, when in fact they were rooting out KLA terrorists.
When the KLA ordered Albanians to leave Kosovo, for benefit of Western cameras, and the Serbs were duly blamed for “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide,” humanitarian assistance came from all over Serbia. Further, Serbs and Albanians fled together to Serbia proper to escape the war the KLA duped us into fighting. It’s lost on Ms. Samuels that she herself couldn’t avoid the word “evacuated” to describe what the Serbian army did with the protagonist’s father.
KLA members have laughingly admitted that the war was “not over some human rights problem,” but for territory—part of a plan for Greater Albania, which Belgrade warned us about and we dismissed as “Serbian propaganda,” then reversed the accusation. Suffice it to say that Jews in 1930s Europe weren’t terrorizing their neighbors and ambushing police, postmen and officials—or supporting those who were—in the name of secession and expansion.
“Why Did You Kill My Parents”? The Serb side could pose such questions back to the accusers: “Why Did You Drown My Grandma in the Bathtub?”; “Why Did You Blow Up My Bus?”; “Why Are You Pottying on my Church?”; “Why Did You Rape Me?”; and “Where Did You Put my Kidney?”
For all the slander that’s been printed about the Serbs with impunity, very little is said about Albanians even though Albanian violence is legendary in Europe, a fact Americans can’t block out much longer after an Albanian from Kosovo killed two U.S. servicemen in Frankfurt last year; after another wanted to blow up Tampa last month; after four Albanians planned “to kill as many Ft. Dix soldiers as possible” in 2007; and after law enforcement declared Albanian Mafia the biggest mafia threat, arresting often New York-based mobsters by the dozen annually, the most recent convictions coming in December.