Israeli historian Gideon Greif, known in Bosnia for his denial of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, told Haaretz that he agrees that the number of victims killed in the eastern Bosnian town is 8,000 and announced that a “clarification” of his controversial report on the matter will be published.
Grief was the head of a commission set up by the Government of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, which published the report on “Sufferings of All People in the Srebrenica region between 1992-1995”.
The report was widely criticised as it implies that what happened in Srebrenica in 1995 was not an act of genocide, contrary to ruling by international courts.
“We will be publishing a clarification to the report in the coming weeks,” Greif told Haaretz.
“We didn’t diminish even one victim. Not even one victim. It was my personal mistake so we are going to correct it to publish the truth, and I think this controversy around the commission will be reduced significantly,” he said.
“This is the number which is mentioned from the beginning onward, there was no different number: about 8,000. And we do not distort it; we accept it. Of course, we decry the crimes, naturally. And we will do it even more stronger in our clarification,” Greif said.
He argued that he felt the criticism directed towards him was unjust, arguing, “we had no bad intentions; we had no intentions of distortion of history, we had no intention of making the perpetrators free of guilt.”
“We are not changing anything. We stand behind our report, but we will make things more clear for the public,” he said.
However, the executive vice president of the World Jewish Congress, Menachem Rosensaft, told Haaretz that he perceives Greif’s announcement “a rather desperate attempt at damage control.”
“No amount of prevarication or sophistry on his part can change the fundamental fact that the parameters of the crime of genocide are set forth in the Genocide Convention and have been repeatedly and consistently applied to Srebrenica by successive tribunals,” he said.