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American Chronicle 11/12/08

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Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC)

A Non-Profit Organization Registered in the US

with 37,000 Hellenes as members and 36 Hellenic

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November 3, 2008

In his attack on the Austalian Macedonian Advisory Council (November 3)
Risto Stefov continues behaving like a zealot. Attesting to the intellectually corrupt nature of his
racist anti-Hellenic attacks are his very selective citations which he proceeds to list without any
serious elaboration on his part. Mr. Stefov quite clearly cannot make an argument based on his
own knowledge which is why in this most recent attack on the Australian Macedonian Advisory
Council he puts fourth several statements as if they were factual without actually elaborating on
them. The emotional tone of his writings over the past several weeks indicate the lack of thoughtful or
objective analysis with regard to his attitude toward Greece and Greeks throughout the world.
His inability to elaborate demonstrates his own lack of knowledge and the manner and tone of his
writings serve witness to the pattern of blatant anti-Greek bigotry. Mr. Stefov has continued to deny
not only the proven Hellenism of Macedonia, but the very existence of the Greek people and their
language throughout the collection of writings that he has posted on the American Chronicle's forum.
The fact remains the Greek Case for Macedonia is solid, and this can be seen by the international
support that Greece has built based on the merits of historical evidence and documentation.
First, France, Italy, and others supported the Greek position when Athens blocked Skopje from
entering the NATO alliance. Other countries such as Hungary and Germany expressed "understanding"
for the Greek position. In 1995, the United States and United Nations pressured Skopje to remove the
ancient Macedonian Sun of Vergina from its flag. Why would they have pressured Skopje to make this
concession were it not for the fact that the evidence for Macedonia's Hellenic heritage is beyond dispute?
Even critics of Greece's opposition to Skopje's membership in NATO do not question the substantive
points raised by Greece in its opposition to Skopjan membership. The Skopjan cause owes its life only
to the fact that its lobby has successfully misrepresented Skopje as a potential victim in the Balkans during
the period of the Yugoslav wars during the 1990's, thus leading a variety of western commentators to adopt
a pro-Skopjan stance. Regardless of these public positions, few supporters of Skopje in any government or
media organization has ever questioned the historical facts as put forward by the Greek government on the
question of ancient Macedonia.
In fact when Slavs emanating from Skopje have been publicly pressed on the matter of Macedonia, they
have made a clear departure from their own propaganda. Former President Gligorov denied any connection
between the Slavs of Skopje and the ancient Macedonian Greeks. When asked by a prominent American
film critic about Greece's objection to the use of the name Macedonia by Skopje, filmmaker Milcho
Manchevski (Before the Rain) did not deny the Hellenism of Macedonia, nor did he put forward any of
the preposterous theories disseminated by Mr. Stefov. Indeed, prominent citizens of Skopje seem to have been very careful about disseminating their anti-Hellenic propaganda outside Skopje and in forums where
their theories are bound to attract attention and raise serious questions.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has stated that he agrees with Greece on the issue of
Macedonia. Journalists such as Christopher Hitchens (recently honored by Foreign Policy Magazine
as one of the top intellectuals in the World) have supported Greece on the issue of Macedonia. Even
Misha Glenny, whom Mr, Stefov recently cited in one of his commentaries has expressed sharp criticism
of the Skopjans in his book, "The Fall of Yugoslavia" by pointing out there were no Slavs in the Balkans
during the time of Alexander the Great. In a later edition of the same book, Mr. Glenny expressed sympathy
for the interim pact between Greece and Skopje in 1995 which saw the latter remove the Macedonian Sun
of Vergina from its flag.
Mr. Stefov's extremism can be seen by his overall denigration of historic Greek figures from Alexander
the Great up to Saints Cyril and Methodios, and by his attempt to denigrate the Greek language which has
been in continuous use from the classical period. It is this sort of ignorance and bigotry that has fueled the
dispute between Greece and Skopje. Ordinary Greeks have shown a dignified respect for Skopje by investing
in that country and supporting it economically. The Greek government opened diplomatic relations with
Skopje, a profound gesture that demonstrates a desire for friendship on the part of the Greece.
Mr. Stefov and his writings contribute nothing to the advancement of friendship between the two countries,
but continue to promote hatred and division.

Theodore G. Karakostas This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Member of HEC Executive Council


Last Updated on Monday, 01 March 2010 13:38  
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