HRH Crown Prince Alexander strongly condemns the desecration of the Jewish Sephardic cemetery in Belgrade by antisemitic graffiti and sends the following statement:
“I most strongly condemn the mindless, barbaric act of the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Belgrade. Every decent person in Serbia is disgusted with the vandalism, fascist hate that drives those who have stepped on all sublime values of our people with this disgusting act. Racial intolerance and hate must always be condemned in the strongest possible way, they cannot be tolerated, and nobody can look away and remain silent. The symbols of the totalitarian ideology that brought unimaginable pain and suffering have no place in Serbia!
The people of Serbia have always been well known for their tolerance, acceptance, and respect toward all nations and religions. Through our restless past, Jews who lived here and shared all the difficulties and challenges of the Serbian people, as well as the times of glory and happiness. We were always together, in good as well as in evil.
The Kingdom of Serbia was one of the first countries that supported the Balfour Declaration which announced the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine in December 1917, a month after its adoption. For their support and friendship with Jews, both King Peter I and King Alexander I have had memorial forests planted in Israel, which exist today. In the foundations of the Belgrade Synagogue, a bilingual, Hebrew-Serbian charter was built, signed by the Jewish Rabbi, King Alexander I, and Queen Maria. I am not pointing these examples out only as their grandson, but to show that relations between Jews and Serbs were always remarkable, including the highest level of the state.
Senseless acts like this that occurred yesterday, can never break the bonds and friendship that exist between Jews and Serbs. The majority of people of Serbia are disgusted with intolerance, and we all must raise our voices against hatred, which has no place in our society. We owe it to ourselves, but also to the millions of innocent Jews and Serbs who have jointly fallen as victims of the totalitarian madness.”