There is no doubt in my mind that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman made political use of the statement made by the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton – getting back at her for her positions regarding the settlements and the peace process – but unlike Ami Kaufman (you can read those statements in his post), I think Ashton can only blame herself.
Saying that all children deserve to live is self-evident, and therefore meaningless as a political statement. Ashton is the Foreign Minister of the EU – so she represents the French as well, and also the community that suffered the losses at the attack. Those people deserved to hear more from their
elected appointed official. If Ashton didn’t want to go further when she spoke before a Palestinian audience on the issue of the refugees (that’s understandable, she is a political person), she should have picked another occasion for her statement, and refrain from mentioning the attack at that moment. But her general comments sounded hollow and not fully committed, and rightly made many people angry.
To be clear, I don’t feel that my commitment to ending the Israeli occupation lessens in any way the anger or shock I feel over the Toulouse murder. Ashton shouldn’t have made this connection as well: politically, it was stupid. Morally it was even worse, since it is the exact connection that the killer himself made.