By VICTOR SHARPE—
Tomislav Nikolic, the president of Serbia, has just began an official state visit to Israel. This is the first time that President Nikolic has traveled to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and perhaps the first time a leader of Serbia has done so.
It is very fitting that Serbia and Israel should have political, economic and cultural ties as the similarities between each of the embattled nations are considerable and significant in historical terms. Like the ancient and modern Jewish state of Israel, Serbia has a magnificent and tragic history. Both continue to suffer from Islamic threats and an uncaring and, too often, a hostile world.
In the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire began to crumble, finally falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. But in 1389, the Ottoman Turkish sultan, Murad, 1, began to lead his forces against the armies of the Serbian prince Lazar.
Prince Lazar had already been active in resisting increasing Muslim raids against Christian lands in the Balkans and had called his barons, knights and warriors together to ask them if they should fight or become slaves, dhimmis, to the Muslims. The decision was made to fight although their forces would number some 35,000 against a Turkish Muslim host of 100,000. But better to fight than to be enslaved.
The place chosen to make a stand against the Muslim Turks was at Kosovo Polje (the Field of Blackbirds) in Kosovo – the heartland of the Serbian nation. It was in June, 1389, on St. Vitus Day, (Vidovdan), that the rival forces met.
Prince Lazar reviewed the serried ranks of his foot soldiers and the mass of his cavalry, but he saw facing him a Muslim horde with a sea of waving flags upon which were emblazoned the Islamic crescent. He called upon all Serbs on that day saying: “Whoever is of Serbian descent and fails to come and fight in Kosovo, may his name be cursed for as long as his lineage should last.”
The battle began at first with Serbian successes and the great Serbian hero, Milos Obilic, killed the Turkish Muslim sultan, Murad. For a while the Turks were in disarray but they managed to recover and by their sheer weight of numbers ground down and finally defeated the Serbian army.
500 years of Christian suffering under the Muslim yoke
It was not a mere military defeat but the end of Serbian independence and the beginning of 500 years of Christian suffering under the Muslim yoke. But worse still, the Serbian heartland of Kosovo was lost. For the Serbian people, the blood shed at the Battle of Kosovo in the Field of Blackbirds marks Kosovo as eternally Serbian.
Another year in history that haunts the memory of a different people, who also saw the beginning of the loss of their heartland, is the year 70 AD. It was in that terrible year that the Roman general, Titus, finally came with overwhelming force against the people of Judea and the Jewish capital city, Jerusalem.
Suffering for decades appalling persecution by Roman procurators such as Rufus, Gratus and Pilate, and their Roman legions, the Jews rose up against the occupation of their ancient land and at first won great victories. But the superpower of its day, the Roman Empire, sent legion after legion to relentlessly grind down Jewish resistance.
Jerusalem, was finally surrounded by Titus and his forces. Every tree within 20 miles of the city was cut down to make a wooden palisade around the city walls, both fruit and olive as well as immense stands of cedars – some over 1,000 years old – were cut down; trees which the Jews had planted and nursed for centuries. In this, there is an eerie similarity from the past to the present. Today, the forests in Israel planted as long ago as 100 years by Jewish pioneers are often targeted by Arab Muslim arsonists, those who call themselves Palestinians, and who gleefully burn down the trees.
Jerusalem was finally destroyed after a frightful siege in which hundreds of thousands died of disease, hunger, and the sword. Eliezer, one of the leaders of the resistance managed to escape with his followers and their families to the immense rock of Masada that overlooks the Dead Sea.
There, high upon the mountain that had been a winter palace of King Herod, the 960 Jewish men, women and children held out for three years. But in the end, with the Romans closing in, Eliezer called them together and asked them if they should surrender. Rather than be enslaved or crucified they took their lives.
Before that they had witnessed some one hundred thousand Jewish resistors crucified by the Romans in an immense and ghastly forest of crosses surrounding Jerusalem. In this, yet more trees from Judea and Galilee had been cut down turning the once fertile land into a howling desert.
It was later in 133 AD that the Second Jewish Revolt against continuing Roman depredations and occupation occurred, which also was successful in the first years of the uprising, but finally led to Emperor Hadrian destroying what was left of the Jewish state in 135 AD and – in a frightful insult to the Jewish survivors -renaming the Jewish homeland, Palestina, after the hated and long extinct biblical enemies of the Jews; the Philistines.
Centuries pass but history has an almost supernatural way of repeating itself. Fast forward to the twentieth and twenty first centuries and both Serbia and the Jewish homeland are linked by eerie circumstances. Both are often demonized in the mainstream press and both are under relentless aggression from Islam.
The late 20th century’s insane rush to create Kosovo as yet another Muslim autonomous region in the heart of the Balkans, was a testament to the curse of oil. Ever ready to enrich their economies, the Europeans and, sadly, the Clinton Administration combined to appease and placate the Arab and Muslim kings, emirs, imams, mullahs, sheikhs and assorted dictators. The price demanded by the Saudis and the Gulf States for example was, as always, a steep one; namely to pave the way for more and more Muslim influence throughout the world.
The Saudis constantly pour billions of their petrodollars into Europe and North and South America in order to build lavish mosques where often Wahhabi imams propagate the later and more incendiary Koranic texts. European and American universities hold out their begging bowls to receive Arab money and in return help facilitate the spread of anti-Israel and anti-Western falsehoods masquerading as Middle East studies.
The phenomena of the so-called sovereign funds are instruments through which European and American financial institutions receive desperately needed infusions of Arab money to bail themselves out of their own greed and monetary shortcomings. And the financial help bestowed upon them always comes with strings; thus adding yet another layer of Arab and Muslim infiltration.
Islamic influence grows with every passing day. Facts are being created on the ground, which are changing the demographics and national characteristics of one European state after another. And it was in Europe that Arab oil drove the creation of a Muslim statelet, Kosovo, that is rapidly becoming a radical Islamist Balkan beachhead threatening what is left of an erstwhile Christian Europe. In time it will inevitably become a springboard for more terror in both the United States and Russia as the Tsarnaev Chechen brothers proved in the Boston Marathon massacre.
Serbs, in fact, call Kosovo their “Jerusalem.”
The U.S. State Department’s Nicholas Burns some years ago had congratulated the Kosovars in obtaining their independence from Serbia. This was a betrayal of the Serbian people and has left a disfiguring scar on the United States. For the Serbian people, the province of Kosovo is their very ancestral heartland. The long suffering Serbs were forced to witness the witless and perfidious Western powers rip away Serbia’s heart while the hated ethnic Albanian and Muslim historical enemies took possession of it. The Serbs, in fact, call Kosovo their “Jerusalem.” That is how holy they consider their lost heartland.
And we must realize that Israel, too, is threatened by the same evil created by Arab oil. The Arabs who call themselves Palestinians demand Judaism’s eternal holy city of Jerusalem and the Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria (known by the erroneous Jordanian Arab name – the West Bank). In this, the baleful influence of today’s President Barack Hussein Obama looms, just as the Serbian people’s heartland of Kosovo was stolen from them with the connivance and brute force of President Clinton and his diplomats, Richard Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright.
Under relentless U.S State Department pressure, the Israeli government of Prime Minister Netanyahu endure the same attempt at the dismemberment of its biblical, ancestral, aboriginal, spiritual and physical Jewish heartland just as the brave and ill served Serbian people suffered with the loss of their beloved Kosovo.
Although Serbs living in enclaves within Kosovo are still holding on from being competely driven from their homes, the price of creating a Muslim Palestinian state is the expulsion – the ethnic cleansing – of all Jews from its proposed territory. In other words, it is even worse for the Jews as a new Arab state called Palestine will be judenrein – the forcible removal of Jewish villages and their inhabitants. This is the reality of Muslim Arab apartheid, which the odious anti-Israel BDS movement ignores, yet falsely accuses Israel of it.
And this unthinkable outrage of ethnic cleansing will be sanctioned by President Obama, the ever appeasing European Union and the immoral United Nations under cover of the misnamed peace process. Jordan is historically in possession of nearly 80% of Mandatory Palestine and its population is over 75% Palestinian. There already thus exists a de facto Palestine.
Israel is a mere 40 miles wide from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan and it is within this narrow strip of land that a new Arab and Islamic state would be carved from the biblical Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria. The world demands that Israel returns to the highly vulnerable armistice lines that existed before June, 1967 when it was only nine miles wide at its most populous region. These lines were justifiably called the Auschwitz lines because they invite and portend another Holocaust.
These are the striking similarities between the Serbs and the Jews. Serbia originally lost its province of Kosovo after being defeated in battle by the Muslim Turks at the Field of Blackbirds in June, 1389. Like the Jews, who in their 2,000 years of exile dreamed of restoring their ancient homeland and their holy city of Jerusalem from alien conquerors after losing it to the Romans, so too the Serbs dreamed of Kosovo and wove their folk music and national identity around the lost Serbian heartland.
Kosovo was partially restored to Serbia but it was not to be for long. Judea and Samaria was liberated by Israel in its defensive 1967 Six Day War. But the world is coming against Israel and brings terrible pressure upon the Jewish state to again abandon its very biblical and ancestral heartland and give it to a terrorist and Islamic state to be called Palestine – a state that has never existed in all of recorded history.
During the late 1990s when President Clinton and his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, launched a disgraceful war against the Serbs, the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Draskovitch said of Kosovo: “Our faith was born there, as was our language, our nationhood, our pride. It is incumbent upon us to defend Kosovo, even if we all die.”
His words were uttered as American bombers, repainted in NATO colors, bombed Serbia for several months inflicting some 3,000 civilian deaths and destroying all the bridges over the Danube River in Belgrade. This was not America’s finest hour but it is now largely dead and buried by the mainstream media.
The same mainstream media rarely, if ever, tells us about Serbia’s passion during the many centuries leading up to the present and shameful act of the West. When Serbia was part of Yugoslavia, it was the Serbs who fought alone and unaided against the German divisions during World War 2; fighting them to a standstill. No other people alone in occupied Europe achieved that remarkable and heroic feat.
Croatia allied itself with Hitler and established a Nazi state. The Croatian fascist Ustashis exterminated hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews. If you visit the Yasenovatz death camp in Croatia, you will find Jews and Serbs buried there together in mass graves.
The anti-Jewish Arab Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate of the geographical territory known as Palestine, Haj Amin el-Husseini, spent many days with Hitler in his Berlin bunker plotting the destruction of Mandatory Palestine’s Jewish population. He encouraged the Bosnian Muslims to form several SS divisions. They subsequently carried out mass murders and deportations of Jews to the German death camps.
Serbia emerged from the Second World War with the distinction of defeating the German invasion and inflicting severe losses on the German army. But the Serbs paid a terrible price, losing nearly 2,000,000 dead or some 12% of their population. The Serbian partisans, who included Jewish fighters, were able to save thousands of Jews from death at the hands of the Croatian, German and Bosnian murderers.
During the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, the Croatians expelled some 250,000 Serbs from their homes in the Krajina district. As soon as the Muslims in Kosovo received autonomy in 1974, they drove out 400,000 Serbs. At the same time a vast influx of ethnic Albanians fleeing Communist rule, flooded across the border to take the place of the disinherited Serbs. Albanian Muslim birth rate was so high that within 60 years the Kosovan population within Kosovo grew from 70,000 in 1947 to 2,000,000 by 2004. Similarly, the Arab Muslim population within Israel has grown from 200,000 in 1950 to some 1.5 million in 2013.
The Serbian people have been reduced to only 10% of their original population in Kosovo. Ethnic cleansing against the Serbs began long before the Western press ran their lurid stories of Serbian ethnic cleansing against the Bosnian Muslims. Predictably, the mainstream press ignored the earlier attacks by the Muslims against the Serbs, which first led to the war.
The lesson for Israel is that foreign powers have conspired to strip the expendable Serbs of their ancestral heartland and give it to the Muslims. In doing so, these same western powers believe that by placating and ingratiating themselves with the oil rich Arab and Muslim world they enrich their own economies. After all, Serbia does not possess any known oil reserves.
Israel, too, until quite recently had been bereft of meaningful reserves of oil. It too is thus expendable. The pressure upon Israel to give away its own ancestral, historic, spiritual and biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) grows relentlessly and insidiously.
Sadly and tragically, there has not existed since the time of Prime Minister Shamir an Israeli government or leader with the intestinal fortitude and spiritual certitude to adamantly and resolutely resist the cynical and perfidious machinations of western leaders. Israel desperately needs a leader who can talk to the world as Draskovitch once spoke for the Serbian people.
Perhaps Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may yet be that leader, though he has not fully removed the fears of many Israelis and still speaks of a Two-State-Solution, which has now assumed the role of a deadly euphemism. Just like the German Nazi euphemism for the extermination of Europe’s Jewish population – the “Final Solution” – so too is the “Two-State-Solution” yet another euphemism for the eventual destruction of the Jewish state and extermination of its people.
Serbia and Israel must be supported by all who still cherish morality over political and economic expediency. Historical correctness must in all such cases trump so-called political correctness. As goes Serbia, so goes Israel.
Neither nation deserves to become victim to the international greed for black gold and the attendant groveling acceptance by oil-importing states to the demands of the oil producing dictatorships and Islamic theocracies. The failure to withstand Islamic triumphalism is dhimmitude or death.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer with articles and essays published in FrontPageMag.com, Townhall.com, Outpost, The Jewish Press, American Thinker, Renew America, Israel News Daily, Family Security Matters, Jewish Voice & Opinion, Page One Daily, The Jerusalem Connection, Israel National News and many other publications. He is also the author of Volumes One & Two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish State and The Blue Hour and Other Strange Tales.