The world has an odd habit, alert readers have noticed, of exploding in springtime, smack in the middle of the Season of our Liberation. Sometimes these explosions disrupt those carefully laid Passover plans in the most annoying way. At other times, Passover just gains new meaning.
Having endured 10 years of oppression and the largest expulsion in Europe since the Holocaust, it is not uncommon to hear the Albanians of Kosovo draw parallels between themselves and Jews.
So it was little surprise to Greta Kacinari that Jews would be among those lending a hand in Kosovo, the war-torn southern province of Yugoslavia.
During my visit to a refugee camp in Macedonia with a group of 16 American Jews last week, a waif-like girl wearing a dusty black-and-red parka stood on her toes to peer into my notebook.
On May 3, filmmaker Daphna Edwards Ziman accompanied a delegation from United Jewish Communities on a humanitarian mission to help the Kosovar refugees. The group brought food and medical supplies to the refugees and airlifted mothers and children from the camps in Albania and Hungary to absorption centers in Israel. This is her account:
Soaring above the sea of green and white canvas tents in the dusty, wind-swept Stenkovec refugee camp in Macedonia are a handful of Israeli flags. It is a jarring sight whose incongruity is compounded by the fact that just a stone's throw away are the Germans.
With echoes of the Holocaust and pogroms haunting a collective conscience, the Jewish community in Los Angeles has mobilized forces to come to the aid of Kosovar refugees left homeless and hungry by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.
In other circumstances, there would be nothing unusual about busloads of Yugoslavs visiting the capital of their northern neighbor, Hungary.