The Emperor’s New Clothes (TENC)

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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. -- J.I.]


Letter from Karl du Fresne

Regarding Reader 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
New Zealand


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 effrontery"?

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." [1]

Another reader wrote the following:

[Letter to the Evening Post starts here]

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.

Peter McArthur

  -- 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.

[Jared Israel comments:

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.

Jared's comments end here]

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.

[Jared Israel comments:

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:

Excerpt from Tudjman's speech:
"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 at

Jared's comments end here]

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.

[Jared Israel comments:

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 arrested and tried under the New Zealand Race Relations Act.

Jared's comments end here]

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 civilisation.

[Jared Israel's comment:

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

Jared's comments end here]


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 Ages. 

[Jared Israel comments:

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 

Jared's comments end here]

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.


-- People of 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 Fresne:

"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 example:

"Serbia must die!"  Austro-Hungarian propaganda postcard, World War I. 

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 is at )

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.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes


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[1] Racial antagonism complaint rejected, The Evening Post (Wellington), August 19, 1999, Thursday, News; National, Pg. 5, 525 words

Further reading

The following 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 Krajina. 

* 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 fascism.
* The 1992 NY Times article in which the term "ethnically clean" was used for the first time - to describe the the program of anti-Serb racists. 

* 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. 

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