Just when you thought Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative and Foreign Policy chief could not lose any more credibility on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, she has reached a new low with an unprecedented one-sided attack against Israel.
Responding to Israel’s decision to uproot five Israeli buildings and families in Ulpana and relocating them to the Beit El settlement, where Israel is planning on constructing as many as 300 units, plus an additional 551 units in Ariel, Maale Adumim, Adam, Efrat and Kiryat Arba, Ashton said she “deplores” this decision, adding that settlements “threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”
Taking aside for a moment there is broad consensus that these settlement blocs will remain part of Israel in any eventual peace agreement or the enormous political capital PM Netanyahu and the Government spent in uprooting the Ulpana homes, Ashton’s statement is singularly incredulous for the fact it does not even once mention Hamas, Palestinian terrorism, PA incitement or Abbas’s ongoing refusal to negotiate with Israel. Perhaps some of these issues ought to rank a little higher on the list of items that threaten to make a two-state solution “impossible”?
One might also be forgiven for asking where was Ashton last week, when the PA decided to honor the return of the bodies of 91 Palestinian terrorists, some of the most cold blooded killers of the Second Intifada, with a special ceremony attended by Abbas (and whom the official PA News Agency, WAFA, referred to as being “killed in action”). Was this not worthy enough for her to “deplore”?
Ashton was also conspicuously silent when only in March this year, at an event attended by three PA ministers, Abbas’s Minister of Social Affairs, Majida Al-Masri, stated that a unity deal with Hamas was needed in order to focus Palestinian efforts on the destruction of Israel, calling on Palestinians “to turn to the struggle for the liberation of Palestine — all of Palestine.”
According to the IDF, at least 275 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in the past five months alone. That’s an average of about two rockets a day. Though you’d be hard pressed to even find two statements from Ashton “deploring” these rocket attacks, or heaven forbid, suggest that perhaps Palestinian terrorism and refusal to negotiate with Israel threaten to make a two-state solution “impossible”.
Only in March this year, Ashton sickeningly compared the tragedy of the Toulouse terror attacks in which three young children and a Rabbi were murdered with “what is happening in Gaza”, thereby equating the deliberate targeting of innocent Jews with Israel’s actions taken in self-defence in response to Palestinian terrorists (who often use children as human shields).
Ashton’s seemingly blatant disregard for the lives of Israelis, while overlooking or whitewashing acts of Palestinian terror and intransigence, are as unmistakable as they serve to promote further terrorism and prevent the actual realization of a two-state solution.
If Europe wants to be a key-actor and play a greater role in promoting a peaceful agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, a good start would be to demonstrate it is able to do so in a balanced and impartial manner.
Sadly though, this latest (mis)statement from the Baroness is only but one example in a long list of many others demonstrating her deep seated bias against the Jewish state and inability to act with the due balance and impartiality required of a diplomat in her position.
Enough! Quite simply, Ashton is not fit for office and must resign her post. If she will not do so voluntarily, the EU must act immediately if it wishes to be considered a credible player in the peace process.