Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada (IGC) has addressed Ambassador of Israel in that country Ronen Hoffman, asking for a meeting and establishing a cooperation that would result in “better understanding.” The invitation comes days after a memo published by Tirana-based Israeli Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which expressed support to electoral reform in line with the Croat proposal and which prompted strong reactions in the country.
“We, Bosniaks, know very well how the labelling of ‘the other’ starts and how it can end up. The Jews had experienced the Holocaust and they know the best what it means and how dangerous it can be. The Bosniaks experienced genocide in Srebrenica, but also before that in the World War 2 and other violent periods of its history, faced with planned mass killings, displacement, pressures to change their beliefs,” the association said, noting that there should exist a feeling of empathy among those who survived the Holocaust and genocide.
The Canadian Bosniak community this received “with disbelief” the information about the support for the “segregationist and racist, anti-Bosnian and anti-European policy led by Dragan Covic (the ethnic Croat leader) and Milorad Dodik (the ethnic Serb leader) by the Embassy of Israel in Tirana, which is also in charge of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said the note sent to the Israeli ambassador in Canada.
“Jewish-Bosnian friendship is historically based on: fraternal acceptance of Jews in BiH at the time when they were persecuted from Spain, in World War 2, Bosniaks protected Jews in Sarajevo and BiH from the Nazis, risking their own lives. The Haggadah, one of the most important documents of Jewish suffering, is preserved in Sarajevo. The Haggadah was preserved by the Bosniaks in Sarajevo during the aggression against the RBiH and the genocide against the Bosniaks,” reads the letter.
Bearing all this in mind, the Canadian Bosniak community asked Hoffman to meet them and to establish cooperation that would lead to a better understanding.
“Europe is in a serious trouble. Western Balkans in an even bigger one. History teaches us what all this can lead to in the difficult times that are ahead of us,” the letter said.