Tim Judah: Serbia’s Honest Apology





[Tim Judah is the Balkans correspondent for The Economist and the author of “The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia.”]

ON Tuesday, the Serbian Parliament passed a resolution condemning the massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995, soon after Bosnian Serb forces conquered the town.

The reactions to the resolution, however, have been shockingly churlish and cynical. Some, especially but not only Bosnian Muslims, have complained that the resolution was worthless because it talks only of a “crime” and a “tragedy,” not a “genocide.” Others say Serbia’s government pushed this resolution through merely to curry favor with the European Union, which it desperately wants to join.

Such responses, however, fail to account for the deep divisions in the Serbian Parliament and public, between the supporters of the resolution and those who deny any responsibility for the massacre. Indeed, in Serbia as anywhere else, politics is the art of the possible, and that the resolution was proposed at all is an achievement....

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