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Journalist Karl du Fresne finds
TENC's comparison between his (admitted) anti-Serb racism and
antisemitism "so offensive."
Jared Israel replies
[4 April 2006]
[Editor's note: My comments include
links to sources. So you can read straight through, I've put a list
of sources, in order, and with descriptions and links, in
Further Reading at the end. --
Letter from Karl du Fresne
asks: ‘Why do you say that media attacks on Milosevic are in effect
attacks on the Serbian people?’” at
To the editor:
In a non-sequitur of quite breathtaking effrontery,
you have concluded that because I used the adjective "whining" in a
column about Serbia in 1999, I am an anti-Semite and a Nazi. This is
so offensive you should consider yourself lucky to be several
thousand kilometres removed from me.
If this indicates the rigour of your thinking,
your website has about as much credibility as David Irving.
Karl du Fresne
Jared Israel replies
So, writing newspaper columns in which
you describe the Serbs as "fundamentally a deeply unattractive people,
brutal and malignant," about whom, "I can't recall any nationality
arousing such contempt," is OK, but noting the similarity between such
slanders and the language of Nazi German antisemitism is "breathtaking
I was not the only person disgusted by
the breathtaking racism of your 1999 columns attacking the Serbs in the
(Wellington) Evening Post and Nelson Mail. A reader named Judith Lenart
sent an official complaint to the New Zealand Press council, saying she
found your writing "deeply offensive, not only to Serbs and those of
Serb descent, but to all who, like myself, are affronted by racism."
Another reader wrote the following:
[Letter to the Evening Post starts
Offended by Columns
I am appalled that you continue to publish articles by Karl du
Fresne. Not only did I find his column of April 21 extremely
offensive, but now you have published another (The Post, May 19).
It is of little significance that du Fresne chooses to be offensive
and offers no insight on the conflict in Yugoslavia; what disgusts
me, however, is that you provide him with a vehicle to influence
many Evening Post readers with his destructive racist views.
I feel intense disappointment and anger at you and your organisation
for your lack of responsibility in publishing du Fresne's articles.
-- Offended by Columns, The
Evening Post, June 4, 1999, Pg. 4, 106 words
[Letter to Evening Post ends here]
Here is an excerpt from one of your
columns, with my comments:
[Excerpt from du Fresne's article,
"People of Serbia share blame," starts here]
My dictionary offers two definitions
of racism. The first is ''a belief in the superiority of a
particular race'', or ''a prejudice based on this''. The second is
rather broader: ''Antagonism towards other races''.
But for probably the first time in my life, I have to plead guilty
to that second form of racism: ''antagonism towards other races''.
To be more precise, I have to plead guilty to it in respect of one
specific racial group. I refer to the people of Serbia.
Aside from the
fact that modern genetics rejects the old claim that humans are
divided into races, even if races did exist, Serbs would
not constitute one as distinct from other southern Slavs.
('Yugoslavia' means 'land of the southern Slavs.') The Serbs
are a national group, that is they do have a distinct culture
and history, but they are physically identical to Slavic Muslims
(for example, Bosnian Muslims) and Croats for the very good
reason that Serbs, Croats and Slavic Muslims represent religious
divisions within not-very-distant common ancestors. (They all
even speak the same language, contrary to the Western media;
it's called Serbo-Croatian.) Du Fresne's reference to a Serbian 'race'
proclaims his ignorance, which is not a crime unless of course
an ignorant person were to write newspaper columns inciting hatred of
some national group.
The events of the past few years in
the Balkans have produced in me a deep detestation of all things
Serbian. I don't take any pride in this, but neither do I apologise
for it. Humanity demands that we are repelled by the vile acts
carried out in recent years in the name of Serbian nationalism.
In the article
that "so offended" du Fresne, I contrasted two speeches. One
was Milosevic's speech at Kosovo Field in 1989. There are three
important things about this speech:
* First, what it boasts about,
namely Serbian cultural tolerance as evinced in the fact that
Serbia was (and still is) 40% non-Serb;
* Second, what it does not
do, namely it does not attack any other national or ethnic
group; indeed, Milosevic says it is a very positive thing that
many non-Serbian ethnic groups reside in Serbia;
*And third, what
it warns of, namely that Yugoslavs are tragically allowing the
great powers to divide them using nationalism, as if they had
learned nothing from the past. You can read it at
Truthfully, the 1989 speech was Milosevic's finest moment. Ironically, this
speech (and only this speech) is cited by the media and
government officials as a supposed example of Milosevic whipping
up ethnic hatred.
The other speech
was delivered by Croatian president Tudjman after the Croatian
army, led by the MPRI, a privatized arm of the US military and
intelligence, drove the entire Serbian population from the
Krajina section of Yugoslavia. Tudjman's speech is a paean to Croatian superiority,
full of hatred for the Serbs, such as:
"And [applause] there can be no return to the past, to the times
when they the Serbs were spreading cancer in the heart of
Croatia, cancer which was destroying the Croatian national being
and which did not allow the Croatian people to be the master in
its own house and did not allow Croatia to lead an independent
and sovereign life under this wide, blue sky and within the
world community of sovereign nations...[We drove out the Serbs]
in two to three days [applause for 12 seconds] . They didn't
even have the time to take with them their filthy foreign
currency or their knickers. [applause]"
One can read a
(London) Guardian account hinting at what the Croats did to the
Serbs in Krajina at
One can read a 1991 (London)
Independent report on Jewish fears of resurgent Croatian fascism
I am forced reluctantly to the
conclusion that they are fundamentally a deeply unattractive people,
brutal and malignant. And though it's probably a technical breach of
the Race Relations Act to admit publicly to such feelings, since it
could be construed as inciting hatred and contempt for a particular
racial group, I'm sure of one thing: most New Zealanders feel
exactly the same, whether or not they care to come clean about it.
As noted, Serbs
are not a 'race;' but since the term racism is shorthand for
ethnic hatred, yes, I would agree that saying a people are
"deeply unattractive, brutal and malignant" constitutes
"inciting hatred and contempt" and therefore du Fresne should be
tried under the New Zealand Race Relations Act.
In my lifetime I can't recall any
nationality arousing such contempt. Since the death of Marshall Tito
and the breakup of the old Yugoslavia, the Serbs have embarked on
one barbaric series of atrocities after another, reactivating ethnic
feuds that go back centuries. They are a disgrace to 20th century
Again, Mr. du
Fresne either knows zilch about Yugoslavia, or perhaps he does
know and is lying. In any event, it was Croatia and Slovenia
that launched the breakup of Yugoslavia by seceding, after
Croatia passed a new constitution demoting Serbs from being a
constituent people to a national minority, fired all Serbs from
government jobs, set up non-Serbian police, systematically
vandalized Serb businesses, and violently assaulted thousands of
Serbian civilians and non-Serbs who resisted Croatia's return to
WWII Nazism. See NY Times article at
The return of all the symbols of Croatia's Nazi past terrified
the Jewish community. See news report at
It was the Serbs who gave us the hideously chilling phrase ''ethnic
cleansing'', the results of which we are continuing to see today as
the wretched Kosovars are butchered, raped and driven from their
homes in systematic depredations that spring direct from the Dark
Wrong again. A
search with the Lexis-Nexus media search engine shows that a) no
Serbian leader was ever quoted advocating "ethnic cleansing" and
b) the "hideously chilling" term was first mentioned in a New
York Times article about anti-Serb racism in Kosovo. See
As for the causes of the much-broadcast Albanian exodus at the
start of NATO bombing, see the myth-shattering interview with the Kosovo Jewish
leader, historian/archivist Cedomir Prlincevic, at
I am fed up with the Serbians'
whining apologists -- some of them right here in New Zealand -- who
tell us that not all Serbs support Milosevic, and that innocent
Serbs are being punished along with the guilty.
Serbia share blame, The Nelson Mail (New Zealand, April 24, 1999,
Saturday, FEATURES; OPINION;, Pg. 7, 866 words, Du Fresne Karl
[Excerpt from du Fresne's article,
"People of Serbia share blame," ends here]
Here is what I wrote last week in
response to the above, and which was "so offensive" to du
"Note that Mr. du
Fresne speaks of “the Serbians’ whining apologists.” The term
“whining” is a trademark word used by antisemites. From Hitler to
David Duke and Pat Buchanan, Jews and their defenders are always
referred to as “whining.” Why does Serbophobia always sound like
antisemitism? Could it be they share common Nazi roots?"
Mr. du Fresne, in the above I was not commenting on
whether or not you are an antisemite. My point was that the language of
anti-Serb racism curiously resembles the language of antisemitism,
especially the Nazi variety. For example:
* There is the appeal to physical
repugnance - your "deeply unattractive" and "malignant" and Mr.
Tudjman's "cancer" and "filthy foreign currency or their knickers."
Compare to Nazi cartoons that portray Jewish people as poisonous
mushrooms, or bearers of disease.
* There is the complete reversal of fact:
NATO bombs Serbian schools, hospitals, markets, bridges, auto plants,
and the media screams about Serbian brutality, just as Hitler screamed
that the Jews were destroying Germany.
* And there is the same derision of the
hated people, found in your multiple expressions of "distaste" and
"contempt," your sneering reference to "the Serbians' whining
apologists," mocking the attempt by a people who are being bombed into
the stone age to at least defend themselves from slander, just as
Hitler routinely sneered about the "whining of the Jews" whom the
Nazis were brutalizing.
The Serbs were an object of hatred in the
Balkans, Austria and Germany long before the advent of Nazism. For
But the language of anti-Serb hate, like
the language of antisemitism, was given a special 'racial' emphasis when
German Nazis and their Croatian allies targeted the Serbs for slaughter
as "polluting" Slavs. It is no surprise that anti-Serb journalism,
informed by the Croatian and German media, which were the first to
demonize Serbia 16 years ago, should echo the Croatian and German
anti-Serb propaganda of 65 years ago.
(In 1999 I wrote to a Jewish newspaper
about the similarities between antisemitism and Serbophobia. The text
As for your statement that, "you should
consider yourself lucky to be several thousand kilometres removed from
me," I am impressed by your long-distance bravery. It curiously
resembles the heroism with which you slandered Serbia, bravely defending
gutsy little NATO.
Editor, Emperor's Clothes
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Please forward this text or send the
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 Racial antagonism complaint
rejected, The Evening Post (Wellington), August 19, 1999, Thursday, News;
National, Pg. 5, 525 words
documentary sources, including newspaper articles, interviews and
speeches, cited in the above text, can help one pierce the fog of media
lies about Yugoslavia. I especially urge you to read the
interview in which
Cedomir Prlincevic explains why Albanians fled Kosovo during the NATO
bombing in 1999. It sheds much light on how great powers foment racist
terror and demonize the victims of terror in the Balkans and elsewhere.
* Milosevic's 1989 speech, routinely (but
falsely) described as ultra-nationalist. But don't take my
word; read it for yourself:
* Croatian President Tudjman's 1995 speech
after the Croatian army drove out or murdered the Serbian population of the
* A rare 1995 (London) Guardian article tells some of the truth about
the Croatian army's behavior when they attacked the Krajina.
* A 1993 NY Times article describes the violence
of resurgent Fascism in Croatia in early the 1990s.
* A 1991 (London) Independent report on Jewish fears of resurgent Croatian
* The 1992 NY Times article in which the term "ethnically
clean" was used for the first time - to describe the the program of
* NATO's 11 week-long bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was justified by the
claim that the Serbs had driven hundreds of thousands of ethnic
Albanians from Kosovo. In this interview Cedomir Prlincevic, leader of
Kosovo's former Jewish community and formerly the chief archivist in
Pristina explains that the exodus was contrived by Western
military/intelligence organizations based on intimate knowledge of
ethnic Albanian culture. One of most important documents for
understanding the breakup of Yugoslavia.
*In 1999 I wrote to a Jewish newspaper about the similarities between
antisemitism and Serbophobia.
[ www.tenc.net ]