EUs utenriksansvarlige, Catherine Ashton, skulle si noe om barn som lider, men gjorde det på en klønete måte og greide å nevne Gaza og Toulouse i samme åndedrett.
Noen tolket henne til å dra en direkte sammenligning, som om mordene i Toulouse kan sammenlignes med hva israelerne gjør i Gaza. Det protesterte hun kraftig mot. Men selv hvis man fulgte den offisielle versjonen var sammenstillingen av Syria, Gaza og Toulouse uheldig.
In a speech to young Palestinian refugee activists on Monday, Lady Ashton was reported to made comments that deeply angered Israel, putting Gaza on a list of tragedies and atrocities where children have been killed.
«We remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances – the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world – we remember young people and children who lose their lives,» she said.
Over 20 hours after the row broke out, Lady Ashton’s office produced an amended transcript of her speech, showing that she had also made a reference to Israeli victims of Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza in the city of Sderot in southern Israel.
In the comments, Lady Ashton, the EU’s «high representative» for foreign policy, appeared to be referring to deaths of 23 people, including children, last week following Israel Defence Force (IDF) operations in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.
In a major diplomatic row between the EU and Israel, Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, demanded that Lady Ashton withdraw the comments.
«The comparison made by Ashton between events in Gaza, Toulouse and Syria is outrageous and disconnected from reality,» he said.
Ashton anklaget pressen for å ha forvrengt hennes uttalelser. I likhet med EU-president Barroso har Ashton en fortid som tilhørende ytterste venstre fløy. Det later til at det fortsatt preger hennes uttalelser.
Toulouse school shootings: Israel demands Baroness Ashton resign after she compares incident to Gaza
Israel has demanded that Baroness Ashton resign after the European Union foreign minister made an «outrageous comparison» of the Toulouse shooting to «what is happening in Gaza»