|November 30, 2012 |
The Simon Wiesenthal center today urged the Finnish government to officially condemn remarks on Finnish television made by Pertti Salolainen (pictured), co-chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Finnish Parliament, which the Center says “parroted the anti-Semitic canard that an evil cabal of Jews control the media and the US government….” Speaking on the United States’ disapproval of yesterday’s vote for Palestine’s U.N. observer status, PM Salolainen accused the U.S. of being unable to remain neutral on Mideast matters, “…because they have a large Jewish population who have a significant control of the money and the media. The U.S. for internal political reasons is afraid to become adequately involved. This is a sad truth about U.S. politics.”*
In a letter to Ritva Koukku-Ronde, the Finnish Ambassador to the U.S., Mark Weitzman, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Government Affairs, wrote, “That such remarks can come from a pillar of the political elite in Finland is dismaying and astonishing; but that this remark was unchallenged makes it appear that such ideas are part of acceptable discourse in Finland.” Weitzman also reminded the Ambassador that in 2010, her country joined the International Task Force for Holocaust Education, Research and Remembrance. “At this point, Finland must immediately act to show that it remains committed to these ideals,” by officially condemning and repudiating Salolainen’s remarks said Weitzman, who also urged that the government take steps to remove the parliamentarian from any official position.
*Original quote in Finnish: “Yhdysvaltojen on vaikea ottaa neutraalimpaa kantaa tässä Israel-Palestiina-asiassa, koska heillä on niin vaikutusvaltainen juutalaisväestö, jolla on sekä rahat että media käsissä. Yhdysvaltain hallinto ei ole oikein uskaltanut lähteä sisäpoliittisista syistä tekemään riittävästi tämän asian kanssa. Tämä on surkea totuus Yhdysvaltojen politiikasta”
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