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Speech by prominent war-crimes denier Michael Parenti cancelled by U.S. peace group
May 2012


The San Jose Peace and Justice Center (California) scheduled a May 31 fund-raising event featuring a speech by Michael Parenti, who was the US chair of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic.

Parenti is a well-known Leftist denier of Serbian war crimes in Bosnia and Kosovo, repeating Serbian propaganda.

He minimizes the extent of the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 men and boys by Serbian forces.
He questions the fact that Serbian concentration camps in Bosnia were death camps.
He plays down the camps in Bosnia where rape was used as
an instrument of Serbian policy to demoralize the entire non-Serb population in the service of ethnic cleansing.

Dissidents in the peace group protested, forcing the group's officers and board to reconsider, but twice the board voted to go ahead with the event.

In the meantime, however, local Muslim and Bosniak groups mobilized to pressure the group to cancel Parenti. Supporters of the Bosniaks in at least 24 countries wrote over 500 letters to the peace group, expressing their feeling that Parenti's denial undermines peace and justice because the way to reconciliation is to acknowledge the truth and punish those responsible. Survivors of the Bosnia war met twice with representatives of the peace group, who were moved by their experiences.

The opposition from within and outside of the peace group, along with the group's meetings with the Bosniaks, led the group to cancel the Parenti event on May 14.

Following are some of the numerous letters sent to the organization.

Two letters from a member of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center

Congress of North American Bosniaks letter (PDF)

Letter signed by 73 Bosniak and Human Rights organizations (PDF)

Judith Armatta letter (PDF)

Daniel Simpson letter

Roger Lippman letter

Peter Lippman letter

Stephen Zunes statement


Parenti's book To Kill a Nation is
reviewed by Kirk Johnson, beginning June 2007. Twelve installments, linked from right sidebar, near the bottom of the cited page.

The book is also discussed in
Nothing Is Left, by Marko Hoare, Bosnia Report, October-December 2003,
and in
Dubious Sources, by David Walls, New Politics, summer 2002

More about war-crimes deniers


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