Hard to believe that in 2019 we have a societal problem with a return of institutional anti-semitism, as well as anti-Muslim and other forms of racism and intolerance.
Tomorrow evening the BBC Panorama programme is set to expose the scale of the anti-semitism problem in the Labour Party. Meanwhile, Tory leadership candidates have committed to an independent investigation into anti-Muslim behaviour within the Conservative Party. This week we are reminded where intolerance leads, as hundreds of events take place across the UK and in Bosnia-Herzegovina to mark the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica.
The theme of this year’s commemorations is ‘Bridging the Divide: Confronting Hate’, inspired by the famous Stari Most Bridge in Mostar — a rebuilt 16th century Ottoman bridge that stood for over 400 years before being destroyed during the genocide and ethnic “cleansing” of the war in the former Yugoslavia.
The inspirational UK charity Remembering Srebrenica has warned against the rise of dangerous hate speech: “The global rise of those promoting hate has been accompanied by divisive political rhetoric that has characterised asylum seekers, Muslims, Jews and many other communities as ‘the other’ once again.”
This Thursday, July 11 is the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide when 8,372 Bosnian men and boys were systematically murdered. If ever we needed reminding that hatred and extreme language has deadly consequences, we should pause to remember the victims of the Bosnian genocide which took place less than 50 years after the previous genocide in Europe: the Holocaust.