Most Israeli academics and military brass have expressed grave concerns that an independent Kosovo will be an eventual threat to Israel because of the province’s rapid radicalization, says an American delegation that was recently on a visit to Israel where they met with a broad range of Israeli academics, military brass and top government officials.
“The academics and generals seemed the most gung-ho for making sure that Kosovo wasn’t granted independence,” says Julia Gorin, one of the American visitors to Israel.
The purpose of the trip that was organized by the American Council for Kosovo and the Lord Byron Foundation was to brief the government institutions, academia and Israeli media on the dangers of an independent Kosovo, highlighting the common dangers of radical Islamic terrorism to both Serbia and Israel that such an outcome will force.
Both sides were pleasantly surprised that they share the same view on the issue of Kosovo’s independence.
“I found that there was very little nudging I had to do with the particular Jews we met,” recalls Julia Gorin.
“They were quite well informed about the common history of the Serbs and the Jews and, more surprising, they had an inherent dismissiveness regarding the concocted crimes of the Serbs. That wasn’t even a tripping block in our conversations,” says Gorin.
A more subdued optimism, however, was accentuated during the meetings with the senior officials from the Israeli foreign ministry who expressed a position that a negotiated, and not an imposed settlement is the way to support Serbia’s territorial integrity.
“These seemed to have a sad futility about them after sympathetically listening to us,” says Julia Gorin. “They seemed at least partly resigned to the Serbsâ€™ continued untoward fate, without feeling as directly imperiled as they should.”
“My fear is that Israel will be told by the U.S. to recognize Kosovo and Israel will do as told so as to not create problems for itself with its strongest ally,” concludes Gorin.
However, former Canadian Ambassador James Bissett has expressed more optimism about the meetings with the Israeli officials.
“I was not only pleased with the visit but also surprised with the warm reception we received at the highest level,” says Ambassador Bissett.
“When you are talking to people in Israel, they know the history and they know the great dangers that are in creation of an extremist Muslim states in Europe,” says Bissett.
The American delegation says that the Israelis expressed thorough familiarity with Serbian tribulation, not only during the WWII Holocaust but also with the recent attempt by the Islamic militants to capture the province of Kosovo.
Many in Israeli academia and media expressed outrage that some American politicians close to Israel also support an independent Kosovo which will be a threat to Israel in the future.
Yuli Edelstein, a Likud member of the Israeli Knesset, was particularly outraged and disenchanted that Senators Lieberman and McCain, who are very supportive of Israel, share the same views as the terrorist Jihadists when it comes to the issue of Kosovo’s independence.
“He seemed shocked, disappointed, yet not entirely convinced that they could behave so immorally,” recalls Julia Gorin. “Yuli Edelstein was incredulous that they could entertain the wrongheaded notion that Islamic good will can be bought with Serb blood.”
Edelstein recalled for the audience his father’s experience, an identifiable Russian Orthodox priest, when he was approached by a Muslim on a Jerusalem street who demanded to know whether he was a Serb.
“The elder Mr. Edelstein answered, ‘No, I am Russian’. ‘Oh, that’s too bad,’ replied the Muslim. ‘I was really hoping to kill someone today’,” recalled Yuli Edelstein.
Serbia, Israel cooperate in defense sector
Serbia and Israel could expand cooperation in arms and military equipment sphere, a seminar concluded.
The gathering was held at the Center for Peace Operations in the Serbian Army General Staff in Belgrade on Monday.
The Defense Ministry said on its website that the participants of the seminar pointed out that cooperation between the two friendly countries in the sphere of the special purposes industry could be expanded outside the economic framework, after 42 high level meetings and implementation of one successful joint project.
The seminar on the research, development and purchase of weaponry and military equipment, attended by the guests from Israel, was organized by the Defense Ministry and the Serbian Army General Staff.
The Israeli delegation included, among others, SIBAT regional director, Yakob Bitin, and Zvi Levy, a consultant and senior lecturer at the University of Haifa.