You remember Baroness Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy? She’s the one who just can’t stop smiling at Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif. Here they are in Geneva together last October, beaming at each other as they prepare for Iran nuclear talks (from which Tehran’s rulers emerged celebrating the surrender to Iran of world powers and claiming they had an “inalienable right” to enrich uranium).
This week a friend sends news of Ashton’s latest performance. It seems that on Monday Her Ladyship issued a statement marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, in which she managed to make no mention whatsoever of the Jews. As the Jerusalem Post reports, in an editorial headlined “Ashton’s Lapse,” Ashton referred to the Jews who died — six million of them murdered by the Nazis quite specifically because they were Jews — as “victims” and “fellow citizens.” But not as Jews. The Jerusalem Post calls this a “mind-boggling omission,” quite likely pleasing to the likes of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but a watering-down of history.
Quite right. Here’s Ashton’s statement, all 121 words of it — a tribute to generic victims of yesteryear, sanitized of any reference that might offend anti-Semites by reminding the world of the mass atrocities committed in the name of their particular brand of bigotry. It’s hard to know whether Ashton did this deliberately, or is simply such an inept and banal functionary that by sheer accident she ends up sounding like a sly anti-Semite. Either way, is this really the face the EU wishes to present to the world? How horrifying.