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(E) Letter to Guardian
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  07/22/2003 | Letters to the Editors | Unrated
(E) Letter to Guardian

 

Letter to the Guardian Editor in Chief

Letters@guardian.co.uk

Dear Editor:

I find it ironic that someone like Julie Pascal feels she has the right to
talk about racism in Croatia. I pity her naivety in a subject she obviously has
no apparent insight in, her article an overwhelming contradiction in every
sense.

In light of her recent comments, Firstly, on her so-called clear message to
Serbs not to return to burnt out villages. Croatia is the only country in the
region implementing a return program for citizens that fled the fighting
brought on by Serbian separatists themselves. For a cash strapped country such as
Croatia, it is a big ask building houses for Serbians who fought against it
which would be like asking the Us and Brittain to rebuild houses in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, or the September 11 bombers

The Croatian culture was treated appallingly for 80 years in the former
Yugoslavia, organized killings of patriotic Croatians during this whole period was
considered normal within the ruling communist party - so there is no need for
Ms Pascal to point out contradictory similarities between her play and the
situation in Croatia. Where was she pre 1990 when the Croatians were the
horrendously oppressed and suffered daily aggression?

People do not like talking about war In Croatia. Quite simply it is rare to
find a family in the entire country who has not lost a family member or
relative at the hands of the Serbian aggression, therefore conjuring up this subject
obviously is not going to go down well. Mentioning the Ustashe may not be the
best idea either but it is important to mention that before being hijacked by
the Nazi’s, the Ustasha organization stood for uprising against the terror
that was the Serb/Yugoslav monarchy, and called for democracy and a right to
self-determination between the two great wars.

I also find ludicrous the suggestion that people and language must be
ethnically cleansed in Croatia. Ethnic cleansing is a by-product of the Serbian war
machine, not Croatia’s. The Croatian language has forcefully, over the
centuries been manipulated and suppressed with Turkish, Germanic, Hungarian, Serbian,
Italian just to name a few. It is only natural that it can now finally be
implemented in its correct form. Preservation of culture is surely something Ms
Pascal should understand. Most idiotic is the issue of people changing names and
religion, this suggestion is preposterous and unfounded. As for the hundreds
of thousands of Croatians who were forced to convert to Islam and orthodoxy
over the last 600 hundred years in Bosnia, I would like to hear Ms Pascals views
on that!

Ms Pascal’s misguided political bias becomes apparent when she says pensions
are cut to support Ustashe fascists. Only hardline socialist communists make
such pathetic comments. Her criticism of Croatia is nothing more than thinly disguised
Serbian propaganda.

May I remind Ms Pascal that the second oldest Synagogue in Europe is in
Croatia. That it was the Serbian government of world war two that collaborated with
the Nazi’s and consequently removed every trace of mosques and synagogues in
Belgrade and around Serbia, yet these communities still remain in Croatia. The
remaining slurs are fundamentally inconsistent and do not merit a response.

In Closing, let me just refer to how Israel’s make shift apartheid is slowly
killing off the Palestinians, bombing villages and bulldozing them to make way
for new Jewish settlements. Not so say anything of the treatment of Asians in
the UK or the backlash the Arabs have felt in the last two years in the US
and elsewhere.

Such articles in your publication set a dangerous precedent in overlooking
facts and bring to the fore some ethical issues which undermine your
professionalism.

What measures will be taken to ensure this does not happen again?

Sincerely

Robert Brizar
Australia

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