Lauder: The lesson from Srebrenica is that we can't stand by when people are butchered

09 Jul 2015 Facebook Created with Sketch. Twitter Created with Sketch. Email Print
Lauder: The lesson from Srebrenica is that we can't stand by when people are butchered

On the 20th anniversary of the massacre of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder has called on the world to do more against the on-going slaughter of innocent people in many countries, notably in the Middle East. 

Mass grave with the remains of people killed near Srebrenica

Lauder declared: “Today, the Jewish people are mourning the victims of the massacre in Srebrenica in 1995, the senseless murder of thousands and thousands of men and boys who were killed just because they were Bosnian Muslims. As all of this happened right under the eyes of United Nations soldiers, it should have been a defining moment for the international community. However, given the events we are witnessing today in so many places, I am wondering if the world has really learnt the lessons of this event.

“What took place 20 years ago in Srebrenica is taking place again today, in places such as Syria, Iraq, or Nigeria. The world knows of all those atrocities, but all too often, it remains silent or moves on quickly - until the next massacre happens. 

“The lesson from Srebrenica is that we cannot just stand by when people are butchered by genocidal forces. It is important to bring the perpetrators to justice, as was done after Srebrenica with some success. But it is even more important to prevent such genocidal massacres in the first place. There is a moral obligation to intervene in time and to use robust force against those who plan or commit genocide.”

“Today, we mourn the thousands of men and boys who were so callously murdered in Srebrenica in July 1995, and all the other 200,000 victims of the Yugoslav civil war in the 1990s. May they rest in peace,” said Lauder.

In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the area around Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, despite its status as a United Nations "safe area". More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were first separated from women and girls and then systematically slaughtered in a series of massacres. Their bodies were dumped into mass graves. It was the worst mass murder on European soil since the end of World War II.

“There can be no doubt that the crimes committed in Srebrenica were genocidal in nature, and it is irritating that not all permanent members on the United Nations Security Council seem willing to state the obvious,” the WJC president added

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