When NATO invaded Serbia several years ago in order to "save" the Kosovars from the horrible, blood thirsty Serbs, I sat back and trembled at the implications: THIS IS A REHEARSAL FOR WHAT THE WEST WANTS TO DO WITH ISRAEL. At the time, no one thought I was making sense (a not uncommmon occurence) but I believe recent events have proven my thesis correct.
In brief, recall the situation: Kosovo was a province of Serbia. Part of the original Serbian heartland, it had undergone migrations of Albanians who were now the majority population. The Kosovans decided that they wanted to separate from Serbia, just like the Croats and Bosnians before them. And just like those other two peoples, the Serbs decided to use force to prevent that.
Something interesting happened however which people still don't like talking about. When the original Yugoslavia broke up into warring factions, there was very little interference from the outside world. Other than some impotent peace keeping forces, the former Yugoslavs were left to duke it out between themselves. Eventually the war ended and the borders were settled.
But when the Kosovars decided they wanted to separate from Serbia, something different happened. Now keep in mind this separation was different than the previous one. In the previous one, formerly separate nations which had been united under the Yugoslavian flag decided to break ties with one another but it wasn't like the Croats were trying to take Serbian territory. In Kosovo, an ethnic minority decided that their province should leave the country which had administered it for decades.
But there was another important difference. In contradistinction to the lack of outside interference in the previous wars, the outside world took a sudden and stirring interest in this one. So much interest, in fact, that NATO decided to blow Serbia to bits and then forcibly separated Kosovo from the rest of the country.
Now, there are a couple of problems with what NATO did. For one thing, according to the alliance's charter, they are a defensive group, formed to provide joint defence to each member state. NATO was never intended to initiate wars, especially against an adversary that was not threatening it in any way. In other words, NATO broke its own law to attack Kosovo.
The other concern is what happened afterwards. When NATO invaded Serbia, it was ostensibly to protect the Kosovars from the Serbs in the main country. But what happened to the Serbs living in Kosovo? Well their homes were burned, their churches were destroyed and they were mostly driven out of Kosovo, all under the watchful eye of NATO forces. One minority was protected, another destroyed.
All this came to mind when the Kosovans suddenly announced their independence from Serbia last weekend. This came as a surprise to many because the purpose of the NATO invasion wasn't to create an independent Kosovan state but to preserve the high level of autonomy the province had previously enjoyed from Belgrade. Yet despite this unilateral changing of Serbia's borders, the Serbs were given no say in the matter. In a more troubling development, many major powers including the United State immediately recognized the new state.
And what a state it is: 40% unemployment, no industry to speak of, no real government, high levels of corruption and powerful gangs running most of the national infrastructure. Kind of like the Bronx, I guess, but wiht a flag of their own.
How does this affect Israel? Consider the similarities, especially as viewed through the anti-Semitic eyes of the European Union, the Arab world and Russia:
1) Kosova is occuped by Serbia. The Serbians oppress the Kosovars, steal their land and prevent them from expressing their natural desire for sovereignty.
2) Serbia cannot keep this people under its occupation. It is therefore important for the international community to force the issue and separate Serbia from Kosovo.
1) "Palestine" is occuped by Israel. The Israelis oppress the "Palestinians", steal their land and prevent them from expressing their natural desire for sovereignty.
2) Israel cannot keep this people under its occupation. It is therefore important for the international community to force the issue and separate Israel from "Palestine".
The factors are already moving into play. If Kosovo remains independent, then the world will have proved that a foreign alliance (NATO) can invade a country that is of no threat to it (Serbia) and forcefully remove a piece of its territory (Kosovo) without anyone being able to stop them.
Caroline Glick discusses some of the implications in her latest piece but the questions must be asked: What happens when the Arabs decided, in the probably not-so-distant future, to declare unilateral independence and then scream that Israel is occupying their sovereign state? What happens when the Russians and their new central Asian allies announce that, just like NATO, they're going to ride to the rescue of the poor Arabs by attacking Israel and enforcing the new boundaries of "Palestine"? How can America protest a tactic it had no hesitancy to use not even a decade ago?
What happens indeed?