Michael J Totten is in Serbia:
“You also have some kind of stereotypes. The first is that there is an international conspiracy against Serbia, and that behind that are Americans and Jews with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
“Oh, you’re kidding,” Sean said. He spent six months in Denmark while I was in Lebanon, and he never heard that kind of thing there.
“Really,” David said. “They say Jews control America.”
Sean couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity.
“And the second,” David said, “is that all independent journalists and non-government members are traitors who are paid by the West. These two stereotypes exist now, in this moment. I am against this, you know, because I am Jewish.”
“Is that a problem for you here?” I said.
“It’s an attack on international Jews,” he said, “not Jews here, because, you know, in Serbia there are only 2,000 Jews. A lot of people who attack Jews and are anti-Semites, they have never seen in their lives any Jews. In this moment, we have over 100 anti-Semitic books. A lot of them are reprinted books that were written during the Nazi occupation of Serbia during the Second World War. They are trying to explain how it’s possible that Serbia lost all its wars. They are saying that it’s an international conspiracy. And people believe it. You know, the bombing of Belgrade. It’s true that in the American administration you have lots of Jews. But they are Americans, they act like Americans, not like Jews. I think so.”
“And the honest truth,” Sean said, “is there aren’t that many.”
“Most are Christians,” I said.
“Henry Kissinger,” David said. “Hal Holbrook, Wesley Clark.”
“Wesley Clark isn’t Jewish,” I said. “He’s Christian.”
“He’s not a Jew,” Sean said.
General Wesley Clark was NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander of Europe when the U.S. went to war against Yugoslavia – which was really just a war against Serbia since what was left of Yugoslavia at the time might be better described as the Serbian Empire. (Yugoslavia was derisively described by many of its citizens as Serboslavia even long before the rise of Milosevic.) It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect many Serbs to admire Wesley Clark, but accusing him of being a Jew seemed a bit much.
“Yes,” David said, “but he was born a Jew and adopted by some family. It’s not important whether it’s true or not. People here say someone is a Jew when they don’t like him.”