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December 18, 1992 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-12-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Washington (JTA) — The
president of B'nai B'rith
International urged
Yugoslav Prime Minister
Milan Panic in a telephone
call this week to do all he
could to end the "tragic car-
nage" in Bosnia.
B'nai B'rith's Kent
Schiner made the 45-minute
call as part of what he has
called the special obligation
of the Jewish people after
the Holocaust to protest the
"horror that has become
Bosnia."
Mr. Panic responded by
pledging his efforts to make
peace in the war-torn region
and saying he was a "man of
tolerance" who, like most
Serbs, "prayed" for an end to
the killing, according to
B'nai B'rith.
At the same time, he
claimed events in Bosnia
were beyond his control. He
said a worldwide appeal
must be made to end the con-
flict, in which hundreds of
thousands have lost their
lives and millions have been
driven from their homes in
the name of "ethnic cleans-
ing."
Mr. Panic also expressed
solidarity with Jews, noting
"Serbs and Jews marched in
the same line to the concen-
tration camps" during
World War II.
The prime minister this
week won a Serbian
Supreme Court ruling that
cleared the way for his run
for president in the Dec. 20
elections.
The race pits him against
Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, the extreme na-
tionalist many view as the
catalyst for the violent
dissolution of the former
Yugoslavia.
Mr. Panic is a moderate
who left his home in the
United States about a year
ago to try to bring peace to
his war-torn native
Yugoslavia.
The B'nai B'rith conversa-
tion came the day after Mr.
Schiner called on President
Bush and President-elect
Bill Clinton to hold a Camp
David summit the week of
Christmas to end the con-
flict.
Mr. Schiner said such an
unusual collaboration would
be "an extraordinary action
to meet an extraordinary
crisis."
"What we are witnessing
today in Bosnia reawakens
the most agonizing

memories of World War II,"
Mr. Schiner wrote in a letter
to Mr. Bush.
"Those memories impose
on the Jewish people a -
solemn obligation to speak
out, with passion and per-
tinacity against the horror
that has become Bosnia, a
horror that only a political
settlement can end," he
wrote.
Mr. Schiner called the
situation in Bosnia a
"tragedy which, if allowed to
continue, will consume
many thousands more inno-
cent lives and set a highly
dangerous precedent in this
post-Cold War world of res-
urgent and clashing nation-
alisms."
B'nai B'rith has called for
months for an end to the
Bosnian conflict "by all
means necessary, including

A worldwide
appeal must be
made to end the
conflict.

international military
intervention" and interna-
tional appeals for the admis-
sion of Bosnian refugees.
In his phone conversation
with Mr. Schiner, Mr. Panic
rejected the idea of military
intervention.
B'nai B'rith organized a
meeting on ethnic cleansing
at the United Nations,
which featured speeches by
the ambassadors of Bosnia-
Herzegovina and Croatia,
and the director of the In-
stitute for the Study of
Genocide.
The discussion was held on
the 44th anniversary of the
adoption of the Convention
on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of .
Genocide.
At the meeting, the Bos-
nian ambassador, Muhamed
Sacirbey, paid tribute to the
Jewish community for its
efforts to end the atrocities
in his country, according to
Harris Schoenberg, B'nai
B'rith's director of U.N. af-
fairs.
Mr. Sacirbey lauded the
Jews for applying their
slogan of "Never Again" not
only to fellow Jews but to
non-Jews, said Schoenberg,
who is also the chairman of
the U.N. Non-Governmental
Organizations Committee on
Human Rights.

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