For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Murray - How do you solve a problem like Baroness Ashton?
The Spectator Blog..
20 March '12..
Baroness Ashton has managed a return to diplomatic form by comparing the murder yesterday of three children and a Rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse with ‘what is happening in Gaza.’ Plenty of people have already deplored her comments. But they present an opportunity to address one of the underlying and too infrequently asked questions of our time: if you do not think Ashton is a very good politician, what can you do about it?
Ordinarily if a politician says or does something you do not like we, the electorate, are at some point given the opportunity to vote them out. There used to be considerable pride in this arrangement. But Catherine Ashton is part of a new class of people who pretend to be politicians while never having to face the electorate on whose behalf they claim to speak. Though Ashton is the European Union’s High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (EU Foreign Minister) she has herself never been elected to this — or any — role. She was appointed to it in a closed room in Brussels by a group of people who are also, like her, not accountable to any electorate. Just as we did not vote her in, so we cannot vote her out. If anybody can explain why this is a good arrangement I honestly would like to hear it.
It may be that there exists someone, somewhere, who thinks that Catherine Ashton is a Foreign Minister of whom we can be proud. But even that person should wonder what they would think if sometime in the future we were unfortunate enough to have forced upon us a Foreign Minister who lacked Ashton’s political and diplomatic skills.
In other words, the problem is not simply the occupant — the problem is the role. Even if every citizen of every EU country disliked Catherine Ashton intensely, and found her unimaginably embarrassing and inept, she would remain our ‘representative’ on Foreign Affairs. This seems to me a democratic problem which is worth addressing.
(Incidentally, for me the problem was crystallised when I bumped into Ashton while holidaying in Ramallah last summer. As I returned to the forecourt of my hotel I saw a cavalcade of ten to fifteen identical armour-plated vehicles. It looked like President Obama was visiting, possibly with the Queen and Pope in tow. The whole area was brought to a standstill when down the steps, flanked by scores of security personnel and advisors stepped Catherine Ashton and her entourage. I stepped out of the way and watched first with curiosity then with sadness as they climbed into their convoy and roared past. Three questions lodged, and stayed, in my head: who on earth is she going to see? What on earth is she going to tell them? And on whose behalf will they believe her to be speaking?)
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"