|Today's Jerusalem Post online|
Some of you may have known people who grew up speaking a few languages, because of shifting borders and consequently the need to speak the language of the rulers. Yes, in many parts of the world, borders between countries are rather fluid, shifting like sand on the seashore, or so it seems from far away.
There's an old Jewish joke*:
Just after World War One, when Poland gained its freedom from Russia and even took over parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, two Jews meet near Lvov.
One says, "isn't it wonderful we're no longer in Russia?"
The Second Jews replies, "what difference does it make? Russia is antisemitic, and so is Poland."
"Ah," responds the first Jew. "True. But I can't stand those Russian winters."
There was a time when other countries barely cared or noticed changing borders. Some border changes are the results of targeted invasions or aggression by a neighboring country. Other times, it was the results of war, either foreigners played god drawing borders, like after World Wars One and Two, or after after the "dust settled," OK the shooting stopped like Israel's victories in 1949, 1967** and 1973.
This is what I wrote on Facebook:
I know that a lot of people will think that I'm totally insane and disagree without really thinking about what I'm saying. But before I say it, please understand that I've been a "student" of politics and history pretty much all my life, and I'm over 70 years old. I've always seen things differently. That's how I ended up living the life I now live. And I've never been shy about voicing my opinions. They are my opinions, and I have a right to them. I don't trash/insult others for their opinions when they disagree with me and I expect the same manners, behavior.So about what's going on between Russia and Ukraine...That whole area is under flux and has been pretty much forever. Barely a hundred years since communists made USSR, and it didn't last long. Honestly, not all of the countries that resulted when the USSR broke up can really exist independently. I'd butt out.
The area of the FSU Former Soviet Union certainly hasn't "settled" into secure viable borders. Many of the countries won't remain viable independent states. That's the way it is, sort of like yin/yang. International organizations and foreign countries just can't legislate true sovereignty. That doesn't mean they don't try, but it's ineffective. And just because the Ukraine is humongous doesn't mean that it can defend its independence. Size isn't everything.
*thanks to my husband, Yisrael Medad, for the text of the joke
**For some peculiar reason, many countries and international organizations have condemned Israel for the 1967 Six Days War's resulting border changes, even though it was a defensive war. Losing the war would have meant the end of the State of Israel, and the post-war borders make much more sense, as they are easier to defend, more suited to the topography and allows Israelis access to the key locations of ancient Jewish history.