Reacting to the murder of Jews in Toulouse yesterday, it didn’t take long for the Eurocracy to put its foot in it. But the statement by Baroness Ashton, the High Representative of the [European] Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (not to be confused with any of the other myriad, inane foreign affairs positions), is perhaps more revealing than intended:
When we think about what happened today in Toulouse, we remember what happened in Norway last year, we know what is happening in Syria, and we see what is happening in Gaza and other places.
Having never been elected to any of the various British and European roles she has filled in her inexplicable career, she is perfectly placed to speak for the EU. And, making the statement on the sidelines of a meeting in Brussels with Palestinian Arab youths, she went on to contend that they, ‘‘against all odds, continue to learn, work, dream and aspire to a better future.’’
Jonathan noted earlier the offensive comparison of the discriminate murder of Jews with the usually exaggerated (on the Palestinian Arabs’ part), usually welcomed (on the Palestinian Arabs’ part) and always inadvertent (on Israel’s part) collateral damage in Gaza. But there is more: the subtle equation of this killer – whom the Baroness, following one of the working theories, assumes to be a neo-Nazi (rather than, say, an Islamist) – and the far-Right Anders Breivik, who murdered children in Norway, as well as the autocratic slaughterer of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, with Israel, betrayed the EU’s perception of Israel as a fascistic state.
Having been condemned by Israel’s Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Interior Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition, Ashton’s office today released a quiet retraction, protesting the alleged distortion of her original statement. But in fact, Israel’s leaders were right to condemn this addition of insult to injury, these indefensible comparisons, and the EU’s pretension to honest brokerage in the Middle East. The EU has, once again, shown its hand.