Friday, September 04, 2009

Solana hated Mohammed cartoons, no problem with antisemitism

A comment from Brad prompted me to look up, after Javier Solana's passionate defense of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in context of bald-faced slanderous lies by Aftonbladet, what he thought after the Mohammed cartoon kerfuffle.

As could be expected, freedom of expression was the furthest thing from his mind then, much to the consternation of the Dutch:
The Netherlands has sharply criticised EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana for the allegedly apologetic tone he has used when facing Muslim countries in the row over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

Dutch foreign minister Bernard Bot has put in a protest to Mr Solana objecting to remarks he made last week during his tour around Muslim countries, a Dutch spokesman confirmed.

Among other things, the EU's top foreign policy official said after meeting the leader of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIS), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu "I expressed our sincere regret that religious feelings have been hurt", vowing "to reach out...to make sure that people’s hearts and minds are not hurt again."

Dutch daily De Telegraaf quotes the Dutch state secretary for European Affairs Atzo Nicolai as characterising the tone used by Mr Solana as "shocking."

Speaking at a political debate on Monday (20 February) Mr Nicolai said "He has toured around in order to offer apologies. On behalf of whom, I ask. You and me? We haven't drawn those cartoons."

The Netherlands is also deeply unhappy with a joint statement issued on 7 February by Mr Solana on behalf of the EU together with the OIS leader and UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

One passage of the statement says that "The anguish in the Muslim world at the publication of these offensive caricatures is shared by all individuals and communities who recognise the sensitivity of deeply held religious belief."
I'm trying to find some consistency in Solana's positions.

Does he believe that satire is more hurtful than a straight-out fabrication that recalls the worst anti-semitism of the past five centuries?

Or does his care about people's feelings only extend to their religious feelings, as somehow being more fragile than other types of feelings?

Perhaps he considers crudely drawn cartoons inherently more offensive than a two-page photo spread screaming that Jews like to kill people to profit from their organs?

Or, possibly he knows that no Jews threaten anyone's lives when they are slandered, while Muslims will murder people for the slightest provocation, thus proving that Muslims must be pandered to at all costs - even at the cost of the freedom of expression that Solana pretends to care so much about?

Hmmm...tough choice.