Forget all the nonsense that you may have heard about Kosovo being "the Jerusalem" of Serbia. It may contain some beautiful and ancient Serbian and Serbian Orthodox cultural sites, but it is much more like Serbia's West Bank or Gaza, with a sweltering, penned-up, subject population who were for generations treated as if they were human refuse in the land of their own birth. ~ Christopher Hitchens
Kosovo (Albanian: Kosovë, Kosova; Serbian: Косово or Косово и Метохија, Kosovo or Kosovo i Metohija) is a disputed territory following the collapse of Tito's Yugoslavia.
The Yugoslavs accuse us of allegedly being chauvinists, of interfering in their internal affairs, and of demanding a rectification of the Albanian -Yugoslav borders. A number of our friends think and imply that we Albanian communists swim in such waters. We tell our friends who think thus that they are grossly mistaken. We are not chauvinists, we have neither demanded nor demand rectification of boundaries. But what we demand and will continually demand from the Titoites, and we will expose them to the end for this, is that they give up perpetrating the crime of genocide against the Albanian minority in Kosova and Metohia, that they give up the white terror against the Albanians of Kosova, that they give up driving the Albanians from their native soil and deporting them 'en masse' to Turkey. We demand that the rights of the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia should be recognized according to the Constitution of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Is this chauvinist or Marxist?
The Serbs do not want to renounce Kosovo and they remember how, by the late 13th century, the plain was conquered by Prince Štefan Nemanja and that there are no records of an Albanian presence [there]. [The Albanians], on the other hand, declare themselves to be descendants of the Illyrians, thus indigenous for thousands of years, when the Serbs were God knows where. All places in Kosovo have Slavic names. Of the Albanians, who at that period had already converted to Islam, one hears of them only after the Turkish occupation, when they became its masters.
Demetriu Volcic (1993) Sarajevo: Quando la Storia Uccide, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, pages 208-209
When Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito took over in 1945, he attempted to quash Serbian nationalism. He preached that there was no room for ethnic differences in the class struggle. But Serbs, suspicious of Tito's Croatian and Slovenian background, said he was giving them short shrift. To allay fears of anti-Serb chauvinism, Tito prohibited Albanian-language publications and gave Kosovo's most desirable jobs to Serbs. When Albanians staged protests in the late '60s, Tito attempted to pacify them by strengthening local government (largely dominated by Albanians) over local affairs and by restoring jobs. This satisfied no one: It was not enough to dent Albanian unemployment and just enough to rile Serbs. Following Tito's death in 1980, malcontents on both sides rioted.
Forget all the nonsense that you may have heard about Kosovo being "the Jerusalem" of Serbia. It may contain some beautiful and ancient Serbian and Serbian Orthodox cultural sites, but it is much more like Serbia's West Bank or Gaza, with a sweltering, penned-up, subject population who were for generations treated as if they were human refuse in the land of their own birth. Nobody who has spent any time in the territory, as I did during and after the eviction of the Serb militias, can believe for a single second that any Kosovar would ever again submit to rule from Belgrade. It's over.
Christopher Hitchens, The Serbs' Self-Inflicted Wounds: With Kosovo independent, Yugoslavia is finally dead, Slate, Feb. 22, 2008