What they could be doing, instead, is preventing the forced name and identity change on Macedonia and Macedonians. Yes, the one initiated by Greece, and executed by the West. You see, the US, EU and other Western countries have forcibly changed the Republic of Macedonia’s name to “North Macedonia”, changed the identity of Macedonians to “North Macedonian” and forced the revision of Macedonian history – including the rewriting of textbooks and curricula – all in the name of appeasing Greece. The history changes even have to be “approved” by Greece, a country that publicly celebrates the eradication of Macedonians. This is all per the Western-celebrated, anti-Macedonian “Prespa Agreement”.
Macedonian schoolchildren will no longer be taught that Macedonian heroes are Macedonian. They will be told that they’re “Bulgarian”. They will be taught that ancient Macedonians were “Greek”. Both notions are tragically laughable. They are not permitted to be taught that all of Macedonia’s territory was partitioned in 1913 among Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and later, Albania and that each country executed campaigns of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Macedonian populations. The name Macedonia was denied and brutally suppressed. Greece, in particular, outlawed the use of it and only recently began claiming that the Macedonian name belongs to them.
But why? Greek leaders have admitted that the shocking propaganda switch was made to deny the mass persecution of the Macedonian minority within Greece’s territory. The idea is that if the oppressor owns the name of the oppressed, no oppression can possibly occur. And the West blindly follows along.
So why is the West so interested in supporting Greece’s cultural genocide? Greece had vowed to continue vetoing Macedonia’s NATO membership until it changed its name. The West has chosen imperialism through NATO, and cultural genocide via Greece – all at the expense of an entire ethnicity – Macedonians.
Watch this video (see below) of the annual Macedonian Ilinden festival in Ovcharani, Aegean Macedonia (the part of Macedonia annexed by Greece), where thousands of Macedonians gather every year to celebrate their Macedonian heritage and history. But, as per Article 7(2) of the illegal “Prespa Agreement”, these Macedonians are not permitted to exist as the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” were handed to Greece. Macedonians have endured over a century of persecution by Greece, simply for being Macedonian, and are not permitted to self-identify as such under Greek law. Now, the Western-supported “Prespa Agreement” has validated Greek anti-Macedonian racism.
Further, the West conveniently ignores the appalling irony that, when Greece annexed Aegean Macedonia, they changed the names of Macedonian people, villages and cities into Greek. But if Macedonia was “always Greek”, then these names would already have been Greek. Moreover, prior to 1913, all of Macedonia was under brutal Turkish occupation for 500 years, yet all Macedonian names remained MACEDONIAN.
Still, the argument has been accepted by the West that Greece’s claim to Macedonia is “old” while Macedonia’s claim to MACEDONIA is “new”. They’ve accepted Greece’s framing of cultural genocide as a “diplomatic dispute”. Ruthless Western hypocrisy on full display once again.
I’m asking you, what if this were happening to your ethnic group? Unlike Macedonians, you wouldn’t have to ask for support from the West because you would already have it. Actually, this wouldn’t be happening to you. Your ethnic identity wouldn’t be stripped from you and handed to your oppressors. Macedonians, on the other hand, are living the surreal in which the supposed defenders of human rights, the West, are aiding our oppressors in our demise.
So here we are. We’ve explained our existence. Sadly, we’ve had to justify it. We’ve asked for support, to no avail, so we’ve reached the unimaginable point in which the eradication of our ethnic group is being celebrated. We are not permitted to be who we are, and to call ourselves by our own name. Now, Macedonians are demanding your support to end the anti-Macedonian name and identity change. Without it, you are supporting racism and cultural genocide.
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Bill Nicholov is President of Macedonian Human Rights Movement International.