from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

The EU’s Mrs. Ashton and the Invisible Jews

January 30, 2014

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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.

 

 

 

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