The after shocks of the terrorist attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse are still being felt as French authorities seek the person or persons responsible for the murder of three children and a teacher. But for the European Union’s foreign policy chief, this anti-Semitic atrocity was just grist for the rhetorical mill in her ongoing campaign against the state of Israel. Baroness Catherine Ashton used the occasion of a speech to a Palestinian group in Brussels to compare the deliberate targeting of Jewish children to recent events in Gaza.
The idea that there is any moral equivalence between a person stalking and killing kids in cold blood at a school house door and casualties that were incurred when the Israel Defense Force responding to missile attacks on other Jewish children in Southern Israel is an outrageous slander. It reflects the view of European elites that while the killing of Jews may be regrettable, the spectacle of other Jews defending themselves is inadmissible.
Ashton is now claiming she was misunderstood but even when you read her remarks in context they are damning:
When we remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances — the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy, and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world — we remember young people and children who lose their lives.
Of course, the loss of all life is regrettable. One can certainly draw some sort of parallel between the Toulouse crime and the mass murder in Norway as well as the slaughter of civilians by the brutal Assad regime in Syria. But what has happened in Gaza is nothing like that.
The conflict in Gaza is the result of Israel’s total withdrawal from the territory in the hope of peace which led to the takeover of the strip by the Hamas terrorist group which, along with its Islamist competitors, now uses that area as a launching pad for missile attacks on Israeli territory. The Israeli army is forced to shoot back at the terrorists in order to suppress the fire and sometimes civilians are hurt since Hamas and the other groups use the people of Gaza as human shields. However, it should be noted that while 25 Palestinians were killed in the aftermath of the 200-missile barrage on Israel last week, virtually all were part of the terrorist groups launching the missiles. While the Palestinians claimed that the Israelis also killed a child, it turned out that the fatality was the result of Palestinian gunfire at a funeral for one of the terrorists.
During her tenure as the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ashton, a Labor Party politician, has been both a relentless critic of Israel while sparring the Palestinians and expressing neutrality about the prospect of Hamas joining the Palestinian Authority.
No matter which group carried out the Toulouse attack, it must be understood that the crime happened in an atmosphere in which the delegitimization of Israel by European elites has given some sanction for a new wave of anti-Semitism. Those who cannot condemn this crime without also attempting to draw a false analogy with Israeli actions are part of the problem, not the solution. Such canards are nothing less than a modern version of the medieval blood libel aimed at Jews.