City of Ylivieska in Finland awards anti-Semite with distinction

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Juha Kärkkäinen, who was fined by a Finnish court in the fall of 2013 45,000 euros for publishing anti-Semitic writings of the likes of David Duke and others, was awarded a distinction from the city of Ylivieska, according to Oulu-based Kaleva. Dan Kantor, executive director of the Jewish Community of Helsinki, told Migrant Tales that he was “surprised that in this century” such things happen in Finland today.

Kärkkäinen is owner of  a company  based in Ylivieska that owns shopping centers in the cities of Lahti and Oulu.

The Pro Ylivieska distinction is awarded to a person or association who has distinguished himself or herself in the community and nationally.

A Ylivieska city official whom Migrant Tales spoke to said that the award was given only for Kärkkäinen’s accomplishments as a businessman. “What he thinks (about Jews) is his personal opinion and we have nothing to do with that,” the official said.

Even if Kärkkäinen isn’t editor of Magneettimedia, the publication is still owned by J. Kärkkänen Oy.

Näyttökuva 2014-9-24 kello 0.55.06
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

Kärkkäinen appealed the sentence and 45,000 fine he got in the fall to a the court of appeal, which is expected to give legal validity to the lower-court ruling in the next two months.

“In the meantime Kärkkäinen has been able to publish his anti-Semitism on Magneettimedia (which is today an online publication),” said Kantor.

The decision to give Kärkkäinen a distinction by the city of Ylivieksa reveals a lot of matters, according to the executive director of the Jewish Community of Helsinki .

“First: That Finland’s laws are helpless and that such a thing (publish anti-Semitic stories on Magneettimedia) can continue to happen for such a long time (even if Kärkkäinen got sentenced by a lower court for ethnic agitation),” he said. “Second: Even if we’re waiting for the court of appeals ruling, anyone with a little common sense could tell that what was (and continues to be) published is wrong.”

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    • Enrique Tessieri

      Hi Brantaleucopsis, good suggestion but isn’t this sad? It reveals, in my opinion, why we’ve done so little, and why this country has so little will, to tackle social ills like intolerance, in which anti-Semitism is included.

      The question we should try to study is how to change matters.

      What do you think?