Nik S. Bozic
Nik S. Bozic

A Tale of Two Towers

Ruins of the Radio Television of Serbia, destroyed during 1999 NATO bombing of Belgrade, Serbia, FR Yugoslavia. Wikimedia Commons.
Ruins of the Radio Television of Serbia, destroyed during 1999 NATO bombing in Belgrade, Serbia, FR Yugoslavia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Last May, when Israel targeted the al-Jalaa building in Gaza, which housed a Hamas communications centre as well as the AP offices, there was an almost unanimous chorus of execration from Western countries: politicians, media, celebs, etc. Not just the far left politicians in the mold of Corbyn or the usual suspects of Roger Waters or the Hadid sisters. The Biden administration itself rebuked Israel after the attack and demanded an explanation. 

Even IDF Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, last month condemned it, saying that it ‘did more harm than good,’ and that ‘bringing down the tower with the AP offices was equivalent to a self-inflicted ‘public relations terror attack’’.

What Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon may not be aware of is that the Western powers themselves bombed another tower housing journalists not that long ago. On 24 April 1999, NATO bombed the main offices of Serbian state television in which there were 16 casualties. This was all done under the guise of humanitarian interventionism. 

 It was also done with the sponsorship and urging of a certain senator at time, a man who was co-sponsor of a resolution calling for ‘all necessary force’ to be used against Serbia and Montenegro. This certain senator was none other than Joe Biden. The very same Biden that condemned Israel for a targeted strike against a Hamas intelligence gathering centre in which there were 0 casualties. 

The hypocritical Western powers have no right to lecture Israel about what they deem to be a legitimate target or not. The RTS building in Belgrade targeted by NATO in ‘99, unlike the al-Jalaa building, was not a military target, but a part of the local civilian infrastructure; the attack served no purpose other than to impair the functionality of the state as a whole. 

The IDF clearly notified the residents and employees of the building and ensured it was evacuated before targeting it. NATO gave no such prior warning as to the timing of their attack. 

Perhaps the Western chattering classes and governments, who so bitterly condemn Israel, should reflect upon their own conduct from the not so distant past before they demand explanations of others.

About the Author
A London born history and geopolitics researcher. I am of Serbian and Israeli heritage.
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