Was Mayor Karić scared of the Star of David at the Sarajevo City Hall?

Jurica GudeljPiše Jurica Gudelj  /  26.06.2023., 11:38h

A huge diplomatic scandal was caused by the mayor of Sarajevo, Benjamina Karić, by refusing to approve the projection of the Israeli flag on the Sarajevo City Hall and by banning fireworks above the Jajce barracks.

Namely, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, the Israeli embassy in Tirana, which also covers BiH, and the Chamber of Commerce of Israel in BiH, wanted to hold a ceremony in the Sarajevo City Hall. They asked the mayor of Sarajevo for permission to hold the ceremony and got it. But only partially.

As previously wrote, Mayor Karić approved that the ceremony be held in one of the halls of the City Hall, but without the projection of the Israeli flag on the facade of the City Hall and without fireworks. So, it seems that the mayor wanted the ceremony to take place, but without visible symbols of Israel in the public space of Sarajevo.


Veleposlanica Galit Peleg


The Embassy of Israel in Tirana was outraged by this decision, and said they were deeply disapointed bv Mayor Karić's  move and that they believed that something deeper than "technical obstacles" was behind her decision.

"After so many years of longing, after Israel was established, can you imagine us celebrating without waving our blue and white flag with pride? Since our reguest was not too extreme, and based on precedants from only last year, I have no choice but to believe there is something bigger behind these last-minute obstacles", wrot israeli ambassador in Tirana Ms. Galit Peleg to Sarajevo Mayor.

Although the mayor herself gave some kind of explanation as to why she decided on such a decision, it is clear that it is the ultimate hypocrisy, given that symbols, i.e. logos, even of private companies and numerous countries were projected on the facade of the Sarajevo City Hall. There was even a projection of the flag of Palestine, an internationally unrecognized state that is currently governed by the terrorist organization Hamas, which attacks civilian targets in Israel almost daily.


Palestinska zastava projicirana na sarajevsku Vijećnica


Sarajevska vijećnica


There were also speculations among the BiH public that Karić had banned the projection and fireworks so that "part of the citizens of Sarajevo would not be offended". Although this justification is unconfirmed, it is completely understandable that the mayor took care of her "voter base", which seems to be more like the SDA voter base than that of her parent party - the SDP.

Mayor Karić demonstrated earlier that she does not really like other religions and nations. Thus, at one time, in an attempt to congratulate Catholics on Christmas and New Year, she congratulated "holidays and the new calendar", while at the same time downplaying the threats and intimidation of Sarajevo's Catholics during the Christmas holidays.

One of the questions that arises in the whole story is whether the SDP supports the moves of Mayor Karić or whether it is her arbitrariness. Also, it seems that Karić belongs to a group of SDP members who are much closer to the radical policies of the SDA than the SDP. Among them are, for example, Bosniak member of the BiH Presidency Denis Bećirović and representative in the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament Irfan Čengić.

In addition, the question arises as to whether Jews are welcome in Sarajevo and which other nations are not welcome in the capital of BiH. For example, we can imagine that it would be very difficult to get approval for the projection of Croatian or Serbian flags, and certainly impossible for the flags of the Croatian and/or Serbian people in BiH.

Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina can draw a positive lesson from this whole scandal.

Namely, in the end, Israel held the ceremony it wanted and in the way it had planned. The ceremony on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel was held in the Ashkenazi synagogue, the facade of which was illuminated with the colors of Israel and the Star of David.

Therefore, Serbs and Croats should follow the same example and fight for their dignity and rights in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina in creative ways. If the official authorities do not want to cooperate, this does not mean that one should immediately give up on one's goals. On the contrary. This is exactly the reason for an even stronger and more creative engagement.

01. travanj 2024 22:36