Serbia Flaunts its Palestinian Connection
by Ruben Avxhiu
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Serbia Flaunts its Palestinian Connection
After years of working to present itself in Washington as a victim of an Islamic conspiracy, Serbia is now trying hard to convince the Arabs and other Muslim states that it is a victim of US imperial designs
By Ruben Avxhiu
Illyria (New York), July 10-13, 2009
The leader of the Palestinian Authority is visiting Serbia where he is being treated as a head of state and a guest of the highest honor.
Mahmoud Abbas, who represents the moderate wing in the deeply divided Palestinian political scene, met Tuesday with the Serbian President Boris Tadić, the Serbian version of the moderated leader.
They declared their strong agreement that the Kosova question and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis "can be resolved by upholding international law" and that conflicts around the world, including the ones in Kosova and the Middle East, could be settled through negotiations and without imposed solutions.
"Kosova is not a religious, but a purely political question, that is being considered by the International Court of Justice," Tadić said. He added that Palestine and Serbia based their stances on compliance with the UN resolutions and the international law.
Their show was both ridiculous and tragic, depending on the viewpoint.
Serbian diplomacy has spent millions of dollars, thousands of traveling miles and an ocean of ink in the last two decades trying to convince the US and the West that the Serbian cause in Kosova was a religious fight against the Islamic expansion in Europe.
In his rare visits in Kosova, President Tadić spent most of his time kissing hands of local Orthodox priests and lighting candles in the old monasteries. In the history books that every Serbian child has to learn in schools, Kosova is described as the religious birthplace of Serbia.
So, how come suddenly the conflict in Kosova is no longer religious?
The truth is that now that the Serbian diplomacy failed to manipulate the West about the inexistent "religious fanaticism" of the Albanian Muslims, the battle of words has moved to the Middle East and other parts of the globe. Now, US, a smashing majority of the European Union, Japan and dozens of other countries have recognized Kosova as an independent state. Among those who are still demurring are the Muslim countries and especially the Arabs, exactly those countries, which according to the pro-Serbian alarmists and Milosević apologists in U.S., James Jatras, Julia Gorin, etc., were supposed to be behind Kosova's ambitions for statehood.
Now that Kosova is working to earn recognitions around the world, Serbia has made a 180 degree turn in its diplomatic course. After years of working to present itself in Washington as a victim of an Islamic conspiracy, Serbia is now trying hard to convince the Arabs and other Muslim states that it is a victim of US imperial designs. Abbas' recent visit was planned to work exactly in this context.
On November 21, 2008, Serbia voted against a UN resolution on human rights in Iran. The reason was the strong support that Iran is giving to Serbia about Kosova.
In fact, Iran has written to the International Court of Justice to make the case that Kosova's independence is illegal. That document is filed together with those sent by Chavez' Venezuela and Gheddafi's Libya: hardly a company befitting to the pro-Western, pro-European image that the current Serbian government is trying to promote.
During the most recent summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Syria denied a request from Kosova to attend the event.
The leader of Libya has even penned an article in a known U.S. newspaper against the right of Kosova for self-determination.
However, the tide is changing. The Saudi Kingdom broke the ice a few weeks ago and its move was followed by Bahrain. Just as Tadić was courting Abbas, Jordan decided to recognize Kosova as well. Turkey is also actively lobbying in favor of Kosova among the rest of the Muslim world.
In the West, Serbia tried to exploit the difficult situation created after 9/11, in the Middle East, it is trying now to exploit animosities created by the war in Iraq. It did not work in the West and it will not work in the Middle East.
It is true that Kosova would have not been able to become independent without the support of the United States of America. However, Kosova is not independent today, because of an imposed solution cooked in Washington and Brussels, as the Serbs claim it to be. The independence was simply the only practical and just solution in the name of the stability and the peace in the region.
The Muslims of Kosova are moderate and they love America, but it was Serbia that with its army and police destroyed thousands of Islamic shrines and places of worship, humiliated and offended the religious sentiments and traditions of the Kosovar people and waged a clear religious war, by having priests bless the weapons before the operations and mobilizing their society by sorting to religious hate speech. [They] killed thousands of Kosova Muslims (many women and children) and dumped their bodies in mass graves.
Serbian anti-American rhetoric is music to the ears of some Muslim leaders, but they are few in number. Step by step, the Muslim and Arab countries will stop ignoring the obvious and will recognize that the political changes in Kosova cannot be undone. Some of them have good relations with Washington and the West and even applauded President Obama's willingness to open a new phase of diplomacy in their region. Their current support for Serbia is only temporary while Kosova has still to make its case in front of them. Serbia can postpone Kosova's recognitions but it cannot stop them.
Tadić treated Abbas as a star guest so that the rest of the Arab world would see. However, the Serbian diplomacy found itself again in an impossible position the way it has been when the Georgian conflict exploded. Serbia claims that Kosova's independence is illegal because it says that it was the result of a "unilateral declaration of independence". However, Serbia has recognized the state of Palestine, which also declared its independence unilaterally. Serbia says Kosova is not a state because it is not a member of UN. However, for Palestine Belgrade seems to have different standards.
The charade of these two "moderate politicians" is probably not worth the attention. Unless they step up and start telling to the people that they represent the hard truths of their situations and ask them to take responsibility for their action, their role in history is seriously in doubt.
In fact, Tadić and Abbas have a lot in common. They both have built a reputation in the West by pointing out at how anti-Western and radical the alternative is. They have been accepted therefore despite their fatal flaws and shortcomings.
However, just because Tadić is not Kostunica and Abbas is not Hamas, it does not mean that they are worthy partners. They will both balk when it will come to make a decisive choice between the past and the future, when it will come to make vital decisions.
They are both spineless and weak leaders and their main goal is to postpone any true solution to their national causes in order to prolong the status quo and their stay in power. Abbas learned the trade by imitating Arafat. Tadić learned it by saying the opposite of everything Milosevic said to the West, while remaining true to his political cause on Kosova.
Anyone who doubted that these two couldn't go well with each other is not a good reader of the world's current affairs.
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