Elliott Abrams

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The EU’s Mrs. Ashton and the Invisible Jews

by Elliott Abrams
January 30, 2014


It’s becoming a habit. The EU’s “foreign minister,” High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, cannot seem to see Jews or anti-Semitism or to pronounce the word “Jew.”

In 2012 a terrorist murdered three Jewish children at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France. Mrs. Ashton issued a statement saying that “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 Sderot and in different parts of the world, we remember young people and children who lose their lives.” It was beyond her to acknowledge what had just happened: the murder of Jewish children in Europe for the crime of being Jewish.

She has, amazingly enough, just done it again. Her statement this week on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews. That’s worth repeating: she puts out a statement to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day that does not mention Jews– thereby advancing the project of forgetting the Holocaust and robbing it of meaning. She said this:

Today the international community remembers the victims of the Holocaust. We honor every one of those brutally murdered in the darkest period of European history. We also want to pay a special tribute to all those who acted with courage and sacrifice to protect their fellow citizens against persecution.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we must keep alive the memory of this tragedy. It is an occasion to remind us all of the need to continue fighting prejudice and racism in our own time.

We must remain vigilant against the dangers of hate speech and redouble our commitment to prevent any form of intolerance. The respect of human rights and diversity lies at the heart of what the European Union stands for.

But if her statements are taken as evidence, the European Union “stands for” erasing the history and the reality of hatred of Jews in Europe. This is shameful, and it remains to be seen if one EU member state objects and demands that she stop making Jews invisible. For Jews in Europe, her conduct can only affirm that she is blind and deaf to the lessons of history– especially the history of Jews in Europe.




Post a Comment 13 Comments

  • Posted by Dan

    “making Jews invisible”

    Encore, encore. Job #1 for the new Europe, and the motive behind “the peace process.”

  • Posted by Aziz

    She did not say any things wrong and it was a clear cut statement referring to Jews and acknowledging the facts.

  • Posted by Emanuel

    We must remain vigilant against the dangers of indifference. Albert Einstein said: “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. ” Never has this been more true than today. If she meant Jews, what is preventing the word “Jew” from leaving her lips? It’s no different from when Antisemites say “Israel” and mean “Jews.”

  • Posted by Shlomo

    It’s obvious that Ashton has only a cold spot in her heart for the Jews. That must have been why they selected this poorly qualified woman for EU foreign minister. She should have at least referred to the essential Jewish dimension of the Shoah on her way to a platitudinous universalistic conclusion.

  • Posted by Julian Torontonesis

    Her comments (or lack thereof) are not out of line with what many Europeans seem to think is the lesson of the Second World War, including the Holocaust: It has much more to do with the evils of nationalism and racism than with the European tradition of hatred, slander, and murder of Jews. It shouldn’t be such a surprise to see anti-Semitism re-emerging in Europe, even among the politicians and intellectuals. It is they who are leading efforts to vilify not only individual Jews but the entire Jewish state.

  • Posted by Sheldon

    Aziz, it is not such a “clear cut statement.” The Holocaust singled out Jews more than others, and the fact that Ms. Ashton could not make the statement clearer speaks volumes. It’s not enough not to “say any things wrong.” This is very troubling if this is the way things are going.

  • Posted by Ashtonsucks

    Aziz is so wrong, he must be using his butt as a brain. She simply cannot say Jew. Why are you in denial?

  • Posted by Jak40

    Mrs Ashton is a mad and really ill person whose aknowledgment by european Council Commissions and so-called Government is not only a pure shame but a disturbing sign of the whole system’s failure. Europe is already dead, and the future seems to be on the verge of a general Civil War…At least in France I know much better…

  • Posted by Lilliana Torres

    What you don’t say is as important as what you do. Comparing the singling out for persecution of French children in a quintessential French town simply because they are Jewish IS NOT the same as the death of people in Siria or in Gaza. It is comparing apples with oranges. The former is the product of ethnic and religious hatred, the latter is the result of civil strife, like in many other parts of the world such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where there are attacks from both sides and it is hard to distinguish insurgents from civilians. That was not the case in Tolouse.. Treating unequal things as equal is prejudice. Ms. Ashton is unfit to occupy the position she holds in the EU.

  • Posted by Kalenda

    Millions died during WWII, from all walks of life, from many nations and for different reasons. That is the nature of war. But the Holocaust is something different. It is a Jewish phenomenon that aimed, not to dominate, but to exterminate an entire people. It was the culmination of almost two thousand years of antisemitism in Europe, of ghettos and pogroms, of blood libels, of forced conversions, of denial of basic civil rights, of the “Holy Inquisition”, of blaming the Jews for the plagues, for using the blood of Christian babies to prepare matzoh, for all the ills of the banking industry, for conspiring to take over the world and many other absurdities. No other people in the history of the world has been the focus of ethnic and religious hatred for so long by so many different peoples. No other. Period. That there are Holocaust deniers despite the overwhelming, uncontroverted evidence of such a hideous act perpetrated in Europe is appalling. That Ms. Ashton has difficulty calling it what it is is a shame. If she cannot divest her ethnic and political prejudices from her duties as a leader in the European Union, she should do the honourable thing: Resign.

  • Posted by Jassem Othman

    If you are a Jew and would like to know how exactly to feel to be an “hated Jew” just come HERE to live in Poland for a few years. You will see the true faces of Poles, their hate toward Jews is even more than their hate to Germans or Russians. It is not anti-Semitism it is (pure hatred against Jews and everything Jewish!). According to Holocaust survivor memoirs and testimonies, most stories have proved that the Polish nationals were horribly complicit in the Holocaust and still murder their Jews even after the war was over, they were turned against their Jewish neighbours and caught them like birds and then sold them to the Nazi in order to turn them into ash and fumes. Sad!

  • Posted by EMT

    It does not surprise me that Mrs. Ashton acted the way she did. First, Europe was never either friendly to Jews or even tolerant of Jews and always used to label them in very unpleasant ways. I’m sure that Mrs. Ashton just wanted to avoid using words that could stir up the emotions of Europeans, just as our president does, when he does not allow the use of words like “terrorists”, “Muslim”, and so forth. Baroness Ashton of Upholland was probably educated not to use certain words in society, but when it comes to warnings against Israel she is not short of words.

  • Posted by RJB

    Just a thought on this : out of over 1,150 documents that were generated by the 1998 EU Vienna summit, the document that created Mrs Ashton’s post of High Representative was number ‘666’.
    (source – http://www.fulfilledprophecy.com/page/overview/)

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