Friday, October 12, 2007

The Forward: Divided Bosnia Puts Forward a Jewish Face

From The Forward about a country where we still have troops,
More than a decade after the end of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s vicious civil war, ethnic and religious divisions in the country remain stark. The Balkan nation effectively exists as two autonomous mini-states, one for Christian Orthodox Serbs and one for Muslim Bosniaks and Roman Catholic Croats.

The hybrid form of government has been a hindrance to national unity and made Bosnia’s aspirations to membership in NATO and the European Union all the more difficult to realize. So it is perhaps surprising that in a country divided strictly along ethnic lines, particularly one where Muslims have the greatest numbers, the international face of the government is a Jewish one.

Sven Alkalaj, one of only 600 or so Jews remaining in Bosnia, was appointed foreign minister earlier this year, putting him in the select company of Israel’s Tzipi Livni and England’s David Miliband.

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