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“Anti-Nato” Antisemitism: Anti-Jewish Sentiment Related To The 1999 Nato Bombing Of Serbia

Posters with pictures of a World War II bomber with the Star of David and pictures of the collapsed buildings in Belgrade and bridges on the Danube in Novi Sad, with the message “14 years since the NATO bombing, their terror continues” appeared in Belgrade in March 2013.

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Various antisemitic narratives emerged in the aftermath of the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. These narratives still resurface rom to time, usually in the extreme-nationalistic and anti-American circles. While their focus is predominantly anti-American, in some of their segments they extend to traditional, typical, and well-known antisemitic stereotypes and myths. Founded on the myth about the “Jewish influence on the American foreign policy”, these narratives suggest that Jews were involved in the decision-making processes, or that Jews alone were behind the NATO bombings of Serbia. These antisemitic narratives may extend to imply responsibility and accountability of all Jews for their alleged role in NATO bombings of Serbia. Taking it further, there is a question of loyalty of Serbian Jews in this regard and accusations that their loyalty supposedly lies with the “World Jewry” rather than with Serbia and its people.

Dual loyalty is a bigoted trope used to cast Jews as the “other.” These narratives spread distrust and harmful ideas by accusing Jews of being disloyal citizens whose true allegiance is to a hidden “global” Jewish agenda, implying that Jews are “traitors” that secretly undermine their country.

For centuries, antisemitic accusations of disloyalty have led to the harassment, marginalization, oppression, and even murder of Jewish people.Jews feel threatened and reluctant to freely express their opinions, culture, and identity, which represents a violation of their human and civil rights. This way, the overall democracy in the society is threatened.

References

https://bit.ly/3u6FGRr (“Antisemitism from the social margins,” published on March 31, 2013 in Politika, Serbian daily newspaper.)

https://bit.ly/3zlzaqJ (“Antisemitic posters in the center of Belgrade, condemnations from the Government and Jewish communities,” published by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty on March 30, 2013)

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