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Overcoming Anti-Semitism and Nationalistic Bias


The New Serbian Right and Anti-semitism

Round Table, November 2005



The round table titled "The New Serbian Rights and Anti-Semitism" was organized on November 2, 2005, in the Belgrade Media Center. This first in the series of activities under the project "Overcoming Anti-Semitism and Nationalistic Prejudice" - implemented with the assistance of the Council of Europe - provided the guidelines for further discussion of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance and hate speech in today's Serbia.

Keynote speakers - Sonja Biserko, Aleksandar Lebl, Mirko Djordjevic, Teofil Pancic and Filip David - broached contemporary anti-Semitism in Serbia and worldwide, the new Serbian Right, pop culture and the issue of difference, and the incumbent Serbian authorities' attitude towards anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance.

The round table concluded that the causes of anti-Semitism should be tracked down in the growing radicalization of Serbia's political and social scenes, rather than have anti-Semitism interpreted as an isolated tendency. In this context, manifestations of anti-Semitism derive from predominant policy and ideological exclusiveness that negate and discriminate any difference - national, ethnic, religious, etc.

Anti-Semitism in Serbia - the intensity of which is diametrically opposed to the relatively small Jewish community - is the more so threatening since it is also being promoted by over 140 popular titles that incite hatred for "forever and always" different Jews.

When it came to promoters and advocates of such trend, the keynote speakers identified the supporters - acting in various groups that stand for the new Serbian right - of a part of the Serbian Orthodox Church's tradition that relies on Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic and his prominent anti-Semitism, specific groups present in pop culture, as well as the incumbent authorities that lack political will to adequately come to grips with the growing intolerance permeating the society.

The public debate to follow the round table will be held in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sombor and Cacak by June 2006.





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