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Gen. Mladic was arrested last year in Serbia and is on trial now at the tribunal in The Hague. He faces 11 charges, including genocide, for allegedly masterminding Serb atrocities throughout the war that left 100,000 dead, especially the Srebrenica massacre. He denies wrongdoing.

Many Serbs still deny the Srebrenica genocide, including Serbia’s newly inaugurated president, Tomislav Nikolic. Some of them view Gen. Mladic as a national hero.

“Serbs believe he is an honorable and fair man,” said Bosnian Serb Novica Kapuran from the town of Pale, near Sarajevo. “He is being blamed for something he has not done.”

Tired of political speeches every year, the families of the victims allowed only Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the Park East Synagogue in New York to address them during Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Shalom, Salam,” Rabbi Schneier, a Holocaust survivor, greeted the crowd, addressing them as “brothers and sisters.”

He said the Srebrenica genocide was a crime against humanity but also a crime allowed by the rest of humanity.

“Silence is not a solution — it only encourages the perpetrators, and ultimately it pays a heavy price in blood,” Rabbi Schneier said.

He reminded the audience that even today the Syrian regime was killing its own people.

“(It’s time) for humanity to say in one clear voice: These crimes against people will end!” the rabbi declared. “Here on this sacred day we say, ‘Never again!’ And we mean ‘Never again!”

The crowd greeted his words with “Allah Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic.