ADL Outraged By E.U. Foreign Policy Chief's Remark Distorting Tragic Shooting At Jewish Day School In France

New York, NY, March 20, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage at a remark made by the European Union's foreign policy chief comparing the shooting at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France, with the tragic deaths of children in Gaza.

Baroness Catherine Ashton was quoted at a meeting of Palestinian youth in Brussels as saying, “…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...”

"It is disturbing that Baroness Ashton, in speaking to a group of Palestinian youth, evoked the deaths of children in Gaza and seemed to equate that with the deaths of innocent Jewish schoolchildren in a vicious and callous anti-Semitic attack in France," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The killing of children is deplorable in any circumstance, but it is wrong to start making comparisons between tragedies."

Baroness Ashton, the U.N.'s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, later claimed that her remark had been taken out of context.

On March 19, an attack at a Jewish day school in Toulouse left three children and the father of two of the victims dead, and one other victim gravely wounded. ADL expressed outrage and profound sadness for the loss of life and injuries sustained in the attack.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.