By MICHAEL FREUND
Excerpts from the article:
“If you think this is naïve, just take a look at Greece, which recently stared down the entire Western alliance over an issue of semantics.
EARLIER THIS month, at a NATO summit in Bucharest, Greece singlehandedly caused a major diplomatic imbroglio, scuttling the expansion of NATO and defying the will of nearly all of its friends and allies, for the simple reason that it objected to the name of its neighbor, Macedonia.
Macedonia, which used to be part of Yugoslavia, had been hoping to receive a formal invitation to join the trans-Atlantic coalition, as a means of further deepening its integration into the West.
“In other words, Greece is willing to risk the wrath of the United States, Britain and the rest of the NATO coalition, merely because they believe that Macedonia’s choice of name masks expansionist ambitions that threaten to undermine their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The boldness of Athens’s position becomes even more apparent when one considers that over 100 countries formally recognize Macedonia as Macedonia. Nonetheless, Greece stubbornly continues to insist that it be referred to as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” or FYROM.”
There are those who will look at the Greek position with raised eyebrows, wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, who cares about names?
But I applaud their resolute determination to stand firm and defend what they consider to be their national interests, even at the risk of international opprobrium.
“Imagine that. A country that is prepared to stand up for itself and proudly declare its willingness to be “an insuperable obstacle” over a matter of principle!
If only Israel and its leadership would learn from Greece’s example.”
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