Recall this part of a letter I blogged in September 2010:
I was born 1963 in Banat, but lived until 1970 with my parents in Kosovo, where I started going to school. We also were exposed to Albanian-Muslim violence, for instance an Albanian shopkeeper who had a shop in the basement of our building threatened me — then 5-6 years old — with a knife. I went home screaming and after my parents went down he told them with a smile that I was lying.
My mother was nearly beaten up by Albanians on the street, because she picked up a Yugoslav flag they previously threw to [the] mud. There was nothing my parents or other Serbs could do to change this, the authorities did not want to protect us, they gave in to Albanian violence (in and outside Kosovo), because they were indoctrinated with the official Yugoslav “brotherhood and unity” ideology (an early verson of today’s multiculturalism), and partially they were simply afraid of this brute violence, so we had to leave Kosovo.
The way that Kosovo was taken away from the Serbs is the way that Israel is being taken away from the Jews. Consider this video testimony of Yoel Zilberman, who a few years ago started a group called The New Guardians, or The New Guardsmen. ( “HaShomer Hadash”) Ignored — and even persecuted — by Israeli law enforcement, citizens took to defending themselves and one another:
[About four years ago]…my father, who has a cattle herd on 5,000 dunams [dunam=just under a quarter-acre] of land north of the Zipori moshav [a cooperative agricultural community]…sits us down for the Friday night dinner and tells us “I’m going bankrupt. There’s a tribe of Bedouin who for many years have been slashing the fences, torching the fields, threatening to kill me, to slaughter the cows, doing whatever they want. I have registered 240 complaints with the police, and no one even looks in my direction.” He simply tells the family, “I have decided to abandon 2500 dunams. I can’t handle the land anymore.”
At that time, I’m exactly at a crossroads, leaving for an officers’ course in the army. I say to my father, “Over my dead body; this isn’t going to happen.” A few guys from my [untranslated] get organized and buy an old Renault Express. We start going out into the fields. There are already some people here who visited me out there in a shipping container on wheels, in which I lived for two years. Last year it was upgraded to a trailer out in the field. Everything was arranged legally with the authorities, because we understood that in the Galilee the rules are somewhat different.
We hung a flag of Israel, brought in books only on Zionism and Judaism, and each day after army training and operations we’d come to the land and start guarding and fighting the Bedouin to get them out. Whenever we crossed paths with the police [or] called the police, the duty officer would say, “If you call me one more time, I’m coming to arrest you.”
There are 15 authorities in the state — from police, to border police, to the Jewish National Fund — who don’t dare do their job out in the field. While in this process…we discovered that when you talk to the teenagers in Israel…and you ask them about a story they know, then they can tell you who Harry Potter’s grandmother’s cousin’s brother is, and when you ask them who the Rambam is, even the hospital by that name doesn’t mean anything to them, and when you ask these guys if they know who Berl Katz or Tabenkin or Jabotinsky is, at best it’s some street in Tel-Aviv and even that is highly doubtful. And you understand that this generation is a generation whose oxygen and whose energy [comes] mostly from “Survivor” and “Big Brother” reality shows — that’s what provides them with insights, with thoughts…The Jews don’t feel that Israel belongs to them, and that this is our story…I started living out there on the land, [and] stories started reaching me — tens of stories of kibbutzniks and moshavniks that have already abandoned, left the land after the Bedouins abused them for decades. Three years ago, the Kfar HaNassi kibbutz abandoned 4,000 dunams, just gave up and left the land. The Tuba-Zangariyye village — a Bedouin village — is already invading the land and building illegally. Kibbutz Amiad — 13,000 dunams. Moshav Alonei Abba — 2000 dunams. The stories go on.
And farmers and cowboys start coming to me, saying, “Yoel save us.” Amir Engel from Tel-Adashim, whose murder was attempted. Moti Peretz from Mt. Turan in Bet Rimon, whose murder was attempted. You suddenly realize that these people are really on their own out in the field and we decided right then to come together and build a group. As we said, Yitzhack Ben-Zvi writes in his book on the history of the Hagana that when a country deserts its citizens — by the way not only is it deserting them, the country is even harassing them, really making sure they tire out — then, he says, the public has no choice but to unite and to know together how to protect one another.
We all decided at once in that situation, we decided as a group of friends — all guys who served in the army, most in special units, all who love the country, all glad to be living here, not one of them confused, all understanding and knowing the expression “know where you come from,” knowing their story and knowing where they’re headed — out of all this we decided to establish something to be called The New Guard. Which we’re not inventing, because 100 years ago the same group of Jews was here who arrived in Israel and the authorities abused them as well. We understand that by dong this we are renewing the concept of mutual responsibility of people coming to save others’ lives . We now have over 600 volunteers , guys who donate 7-10 reserve days a year, who come to the farmer and the cowboy out in the field and say to him: Go sleep with your wife tonight; today we’ll guard the field. Because although you make money from it, it’s ours — it’s our story.
And you meet these cowboys who say to you, “My wife says either we’re getting a divorce, or you leave the land.” You suddenly show up for these people and simply save them. We have more than seven yeshivas and army preparatory programs that come on a regular basis to guard — young guys who join the farmers and work with them day by day. Last week we did, you can say, a historical revolution…a program like the army preparatory programs, like in Eli, Atzmona — like a service year, a year before the army, when guys finish high school — we have more than 230 male candidates for whom last week we did a very different trial training where we tested from the 20-30 guys who will start next year, as we say “like King David.”
Every eight, ten guys will be on a lookout in the fields with a herd of sheep, learning Torah in the morning, learning Zionism in the evening, learning Arabic — so these guys understand we don’t live in a place surrounded by France , Switzerland and Holland, but rather we’re in the Middle East. And these guys together with the cattle herds with training for full contact and running and practicing, they’re going to restore the courage of the Jew in Israel, the Jew who guards….By the way, there are those who come to guard and those who contribute either their money or their help with equipment or otherwise; everyone feels that they want to be part of this thing, and this thing grows each week — at least 60 people join. We do between three and seven lectures a week. We also receive three to six requests for help per week. Oz Davidian, the guy from the Negev who called me a year ago and said to me, “Yoel, three weeks ago three Bedouins caught me alone at my farm, beat the hell out of me with bars, with metal bars.” Why? Just because he has 1500 dunams and they really want him not to hold on to them anymore. He says that three weeks after, the same Bedouins came and stole all his sheep. He says to me, “If you don’t come tonight, these guys are going to kill me.” In that situation, the other volunteers and I from the north, without a car, hitchhike and reach him at 2 a.m.
I find a man all skin and bones, anorexic, hasn’t left the farm for four months, can’t leave the farm. His daughter is prohibited from visiting by court order because it’s dangerous out there in the Negev. I sit with 20 pilots at the Nevaim base…it’s between Arad and Be’er Sheva. Twenty pilots, cream of the crop. They tell us their base commander doesn’t let them [travel] on the Arad-Be’er Sheva road, the Shoket-Be’er Sheva intersection. Why? Because Bedouins there throw washing machines and boulders on the road. The cars stop suddenly, they take the soldiers out from their cars and beat them. So they travel to the base via Dimona, make a detour. Now as I see it, whoever thinks — by the way, I always claim that in the end, the fortified walls of the State of Israel are the open areas, the fortified walls of Jerusalem are those same farmers and cowboys, the same land, the four million dunams of state land, that’s what protects our country — whoever thinks the Israeli State will save us, has it wrong.
From all this, we foresee that in the year 2015 we’ll have more than 2000 guards, no less than 6000 volunteers in the overall structure, and no less than 30 groups which I described of 8-10 guys before the army, out with the sheep in the fields, literally going back to the roots, and these guys re-learn their own story and don’t let anyone confuse them. And then there are no cracks and no confusion, and then the whole world will be clear on whose this is. By the way, I say this to include the Arabs; they’re just waiting for us to tell them it’s ours. They haven’t yet understood that. They’re just waiting, and with god’s help and through long processes it will happen.
Regarding Oz Davidian’s story, wherein Bedouins were beating him with metal bars and stealing his sheep because they want him to let go of his 1500 dunams, recall the story of Froka and Haki in Kosovo. It came to us by way of the 2007 book Hiding Genocide in Kosovo, in which the author explains that “In Kosovo, land doesn’t belong to those who own it, but to those who want it.” The story of Froka, though a Croatian, is representative of the way that Serbs and other non-Albanians were bullied out of Kosovo:
A climate of fear prevails in Letnica just like all the other enclaves in Kosovo. It does not matter that they are Catholic Croats. Someone wants their land and their property and therefore they are legitimate targets. Some families in the village have suffered almost daily harassment and intimidation.
The first to be killed in the area was a Croat man from the village of Shashevici; his name was Petar Tunic and he was 70 years old. A Catholic nun went with KFOR to look for him when he went missing. They found the corpse in the woods near his house. According to the nun every organ had been ripped out of his body and then he was shot. He had been with his horse and when the horse got back to the house it dropped dead. The nun went searching for Petar as Froka was afraid to go because not long before he was beaten up by the UÇK [KLA]…This event was enough to frighten most of the rest of the remaining Croats. [Village representative Froka Djokic] explained that the Croat community decided to leave after this killing….That one killing was seen as a warning and the continuing campaign of harassment has underlined the same message as far as the Croat community in the area is concerned. On 27 October 1999, two days before the “Day of the Dead” the Croatian government sent buses to rescue the remaining Croats and 400 left that day. More left later.
Most of the houses belonging to the 400 who left that day were later handed over to Albanians from Macedonia who were temporarily displaced by the war in Macedonia in 2001. This was presented by UNHCR as a humanitarian gesture. But, they are still there six years later although it is safe for them to return to Macedonia. The Croats who left Letnica on October 27, 1999, have never had the chance to return and even if they wished to return they could not in the present circumstances given that their houses have been occupied by Albanians from Macedonia with the official approval of a UN organisation. According to Froka, one French representative of UNHCR asked him why could the Macedonian Albanians not keep the occupied Croat houses. In reply, Froka asked her that if they were occupying her house in France whether she would be happy to let them keep it. She did not reply. She did not seem to understand that the displaced Croats as the rightful owners of the properties should be allowed to return. This attitude by the international community towards the return of the displaced Serbs, Roma and Croats is not uncommon.
An Albanian man Haki Ahmeti from the village Komo Glava in Urosevac municipality bought a small piece of land from a Croat neighbour of Froka’s who had decided to leave. The land was on the bank of the river which ran under Froka’s house. Haki cut off part of the water to Froka’s mill. Froka took Haki to court. In November 2003 when Haki got the summons to go to court he attacked Froka in the street near his home and rammed the summons into Froka’s mouth. He called him vulgar names saying he would cut off his private parts. Froka reported the assault to the Kosovo Police Service who took statements and prepared a case for court. Two others from Letnica were witnesses. These were Marian Nikolic and Marko Kolic, who both told Froka that they were threatened by Haki to keep quiet. In court the judge said the case would be resolved if they shook hands and kept the peace in future. They did so but upon leaving the court only a few hundred metres from the court house Haki and his son attacked Froka and beat him up. Then and there, Froka decided to drop the case because of the threats. His friend Marko used to work in the mill but he is afraid to go there alone now. The Croat community is now afraid to report incidents and has no faith in the court system to defend their rights.
…Haki always tells Froka that it does not matter what the court says, “We will get the mill in the end.” Haki is now using the land that he bought from Froka’s neighbour to re-direct the course of the river. Froka took a second court case against him, this time because he was affecting the water supply to the mill. Haki beat up Froka in the street outside the court and warned Froka that he was not to sell the property to anyone….
Haki is using all of Froka’s land and the land of the other Croats who have left; they asked Froka to look after their land for them while they were gone. The remaining Croats are afraid to work their land as Albanians both here and from across the border in Macedonia threaten them on a daily basis.
Froka consulted an attorney, an Albanian who promised to send a commission to investigate. But he has heard nothing since.
There is a primary school in Letnica and a secondary school in nearby Vrbovac. A Serb boy Milos used to go to the school in Letnica with Milorad’s daughter but was beaten up by Macedonian Albanians on his way to school.
The village has lost hope. More than 100 reports of harassment have been lodged with the authorities but not one case has been resolved and the reports make the Albanians even more angry. Albanians come to see Milorad every day to see if he will sell his house in Vitina. The Albanians graze their cattle on Froka’s land as if it is already theirs.
In March 2004 all the windows of the Croat houses were broken. This was at least the third time they had been smashed; however after the March 2004 violence UNMIK paid for the window repairs.
Froka thinks that the Albanians want to liquidate all Croats from here and they stay awake at night afraid to sleep. His daughter and grand daughter have been attacked and verbally insulted on numerous occasions.
The Catholic priest who replaced the Croat priest, Fr Gerge Crista, is an Albanian; he says Mass in Croatian every Sunday at 9 am but all other masses are in Albanian. The Albanian priest is seen by the Croats as unsympathetic; they say he gives no support to them. He never talks to them. After the earthquake some years ago, he visited all the Albanian villagers including the Muslims but none of the Croats. The Croats receive no support from him and he does not voice their needs.
No NGOs except the Serbian Red Cross assist this village; they bring stuff, food and non food items to Vrbovac and they share it out with the Croats in Letnica.
In 2005 in all the Croat villages there were 63 people left compared with 1999 when there were 570. In the early 1990s there were 6,000. All that remain are the old and sick. When returnees have visited Letnica they have been subjected to threats and intimidation.
The Macedonian Albanians [who took over the fleeing Croatians’ houses] have recently become increasingly belligerent, making insulting remarks to the Croat women in front of their men-folk in an apparent attempt to provoke some sort of incident. Certain women in the village have been threatened with rape. Froka, his Serbian son-in-law Milorad and the other Croat men express their shame that they cannot protect their female relatives and friends…
A few years ago, professor and historian Fracisco Gil-White wrote the following about the exodus of mostly Serb non-Albanians from Kosovo, in a piece titled “The Serbs Were Not Oppressing the Kosovo Albanians…Quite the Opposite”:
People do not lightly leave their home and their land, especially peasants who have a thoroughly romantic attachment to the land, who are fearful of travel and strange places, and whose entire property is almost coextensive with the territory they farm. Terrorism however, can certainly tip the balance…[N]ot only were the Kosovo Serbs not oppressing the Kosovo Albanians [but] after 1981, a troubling number of Kosovo Serbs were at least sufficiently fearful to leave everything they knew and loved behind…[T]here was nothing easy, institutionally, about the Serbs oppressing the Albanians when the latter controlled all of the government organs in Kosovo. It is clear even from a book dedicated to explaining the alleged extremism of Slobodan Milosevic (Cohen 2001) that as late as 1987 Milosevic could not yet figure out how to get the Albanian policemen not to beat the Serbian peasants in Kosovo. His hands had been tied by concerns in Belgrade — including his own concerns — that any moves to protect the Serbian peasantry in Kosovo (as any state should protect its citizens) would be perceived as Serbian nationalism!
Such politically correct considerations increasingly have been guiding the response of U.S. law enforcement to potential threats and provocations against the citizenry here as well. Even though audiences were meant to shake their heads disapprovingly during the 2006 film “Path to 9/11″ when one airport security employee said to another (paraphrased): “If you want to keep him off the flight, it’ll be your ass, not mine” — about a passenger who turned out to be a hijacker — this mentality has only increased since 9/11. After all, people want to keep their jobs and our law enforcement agencies don’t want to be sued for discrimination.
But in a more direct parallel to Galilee and Kosovo, however, there is Arizona. As my source JK wrote a few months ago:
Here in the US, what better example of the same tactics being applied than the situation in AZ? Most of the press blatantly lies about the law while AZ seeks to defend itself against a de facto insurrection, where the narco-mafia places bounties on US law enforcement officers and raids homes and ranches. How long will it be before car bombs are going off?
Between the increasing violence of Latin American drug cartels/gangs, and the antics of Muslims, we too are going to start hearing from our lawmakers and authorities what the Israelis and Serbs did: “That’s just the way it is.” Again, law enforcement doesn’t want firings, bad PR, or lawsuits. This is why when I see the public service advisory to report suspicious behavior (”If you see something, say something”), I wonder: Why, so I can be arrested for discrimination?
In case that sounds far-fetched, keep in mind that Yoel Zilberman has been threatened with arrest for calling in to police the deadly provocations by the Bedouins, and the daughter of one of the other farmers is prohibited by law from visiting her father. The state turns against the citizenry, eventually to totalitarian lengths, and becomes an enforcer of its enemies’ demands.
Our authorities and politicians throwing their support behind the Ground Zero Mosque instead of behind the Americans it’s terrorizing also portends of this impending reality. Whose advancement is helped when the citizens forget or forsake their own history and therefore lose a sense of entitlement to the land, as Zilberman and his Guardians are trying to keep from happening.
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