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Ashton Disgrace

Catherine Ashton Photo: AFP
Catherine Ashton Photo: AFP
 
 

The day Europe died

Op-ed: Europe’s deeply flawed morality, dying soul, evident in Gaza-Toulouse comparison

Yigal Walt
Published: 03.21.12, 10:44 / Israel Opinion

Monday, March 19th will be remembered as a dark day for Europe. That day, it crossed the “point of no return,” as long years of political correctness and currying favor with the Arab world prompted the final burial of the continent’s liberal discourse, which has become a twisted, meaningless absurdity.

 

The events of the day did not come from nowhere. After all, this is the same Europe where a German opposition leader slams “Israeli apartheid,” where officials call for boosting Arab control in Jerusalem and blacklisting settlers, and where Europe’s foreign policy chief expresses concern for a hunger-striking Islamic Jihad man but ignores the same plight of a Saudi human rights activist.

Out of Context?
Ashton: Toulouse remarks grossly distorted / Ynetnews
Office of EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner releases statement condemning terror attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse; blames news agencies for distorting Ashton's meaning
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And still, all records were broken Monday, with the slippery slope turning into a deep, dark pit; indeed, the time has come to say goodbye to the Europe we once knew.

 

At the heart of Europe, in Geneva, Hamas man Ismail al-Ashqar spoke before some members of the UN’s human rights commission. The mere mention of Hamas in the context of human rights is utterly ludicrous: After all, this is the group that took over Gaza violently while hurling foes from rooftops, and ever since has been most preoccupied with arms smuggling, imposing an “Islamic moral code,” and occasionally firing rockets at Israeli kindergartens.

 

The fact that a member of such group was invited to speak in Geneva, and moreover, that European capitals did not raise a hue and cry over such terrible distortion of the human rights discourse, blatantly attests to the moral abyss which Europeans have fallen into; a dark place where flattery for a murderous terrorist organization crushes any commitment to morality and truth.

 

Hamas praise for Ashton 

Yet while still overcoming the initial shock, a more painful blow arrived when four innocents, including three children, were murdered in cold blood outside a Jewish school in France. One of the most dreadful moments on that sad day soon followed, when her majesty Catherine Ashton, The EU’s foreign policy chief, condemned the massacre while making note of children dying in Gaza.

 

Such disgraceful equation reflects an incredibly twisted value system coupled with total blindness in the face of global and Mideastern reality. A member of the French Jewish community expressed this well when he told Ynet: “Where did she draw this comparison? How can you compare the despicable murder of a man who confirmed the kill of an eight-year-old girl to children killed in Gaza? How low have we reached?”

 

It is no wonder that Hamas rushed to praise Ashton for her statements, thereby highlighting Europe’s moral confusion. At the same time, a citation from Hamas may serve as a badge of honor in contemporary Europe.

 

The European Union’s embarrassing “clarification,” which did not deny Ashton’s remarks but merely claimed she did not mean to compare Toulouse to Gaza, made no difference. If anything, it further demonstrated Europe’s spinelessness and the tendency to shift positions and appease different groups, without adhering to a credible, enduring moral compass.

 

All that remains now is to watch the deterioration of the “old continent” into a new, murky horizon. On the one hand, Islamization trends are expected to grow, while on the other hand, radical nationalistic parties will continue to gain strength. Europe of the late 20th Century, which vowed to uphold the banner of tolerance and liberalism, will slowly turn into a chaotic, angry region where various groups are fighting each other while shunning genuine moral values.

 

In any case, Ms. Ashton need not apologize for or clarify her remarks. After all, her words accurately reflected the mood of her decayed, dying continent.

 

 

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