The Corner

Moral Equivalence Watch

On Monday morning, a gunman opened fire in Toulouse as children were arriving at a Jewish school for the start of classes. Two boys and a girl (all under eight) and a teacher died. Baroness Ashton, the Browno-Blairite hack who serves as “Europe”’s “High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,” was sympathetic but decided to place the event within the broader picture:

At an event in Brussels on Monday organized for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, Ms. Ashton paid tribute to children around the world, including the fatal coach crash in Switzerland which killed more than 20 Belgian children, the Syrian conflict, the Toulouse shooting and “what’s happened in Gaza.”

Lady Ashton now says her remarks were “taken out of context.” The context that matters is that Jewish life in Europe now takes place only behind increasingly heavy security — at synagogues, at schools, at community centers. That leaves the journeys in between, which many Jews now make without identifying marks of their faith: in the streets, for example, the son of Amsterdam’s chief rabbi wears his yarmulke under a baseball cap. As I wrote here three years ago:

In Toulouse, a synagogue is firebombed; in Bordeaux, two kosher butchers are attacked; at the Auber RER train station, a Jewish man is savagely assaulted by 20 youths taunting, “Palestine will kill the Jews;” in Villiers-le-Bel, a Jewish schoolgirl is brutally beaten by a gang jeering, “Jews must die.”

In Helsingborg, the congregation at a Swedish synagogue takes shelter as a window is broken and burning cloths thrown in; in Odense, principal Olav Nielsen announces that he will no longer admit Jewish children to the local school after a Dane of Lebanese extraction goes to the shopping mall and shoots two men working at the Dead Sea Products store; in Brussels, a Molotov cocktail is hurled at a Belgian synagogue; in Antwerp, lit rags are pushed through the mail flap of a Jewish home; and, across the Channel, “youths” attempt to burn the Brondesbury Park Synagogue.

This roll call and much else in the years since ought to be a source of shame, even to a posturing buffoon like Catherine Ashton. Before moving on to heal the Middle East, maybe she and her fellow Eurocrats could try applying their magic touch to the jurisdiction for which they’re actually responsible.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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