Exposing white Finnish privilege #74: The anti-Semitic beast inside Jussi Halla-aho

by , under Enrique Tessieri


In a recent debate with Center Party chairperson Annika Saariko, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party head, Jussi Halla-aho, was put on the hot seat after asked about his anti-Semitic blog writings.

He denied being an anti-Semite and said that the claim was a popularity stunt by Lauri Nurmi, who recently published an unofficial biography of him and made such an observation.

Why didn’t the reporter at the debate ask two questions: “Are you, Halla-aho, an anti-Semite and an Islamophobe.”

The PS and how it treats minorities, especially Muslims, expose the power and privilege white Finns have. It is like living in a near-perfect world. You can eat your racist cake with impunity and have it at the same time.

While Finland’s 100,000-120,000-strong Muslim community has little to no political power and is constantly reminded that they can never be equal members of society, the smaller Jewish community is a different story.

The Jewish community in Finland has historically suffered from anti-Semitism. A characteristic of this form of racism is that you silence the victim and plug your ears to their objections.

Matias Turkkila is the editor of the PS party’s newspaper who confirmed Halla-aho’s anti-Semitism and that of the party’s as well.

Turkkila claims that the “fierce” attack made by Yle against Kärkkäinen is part of a plan to destroy Juha Kärkkäinen’s businesses. He claims that one of the journalists that did the radio program is a member of the Left Alliance. Turkkila asks in the tweet: “@yleuutiset why do you allow a Left Alliance activist to use your platform to aim [at Kärkkäinen]?” He adds that Yle should follow its own rules and not publish material to advance the world view of others. Source: Twitter.

In the tweet, Turkkila overlooks or believes that we do not know who Juha Kärkkäinen is. For starters, he was fined in 2014 for publishing anti-Semitic writings of Adrian Salbuch, Ted Pike, David Duke, and others, as well as cartoons that bear a striking resemblance to the former Nazi tabloid, Der Strümer (1923-45).

The anti-Semitic writings were published in Magneettimedia, a publication of his stores that continues to be rife with anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and Nazi glorification. It is today no longer edited by Kärkkäinen but by neo-Nazis.

Some PS politicians give to the Jews and Israel is disingenuous because it is based on hatred towards Muslims, like the video clip below of Halla-aho speaking to a session of the European Parliament in 2017.

Finnish historians are well aware of Halla-aho’s anti-Semitic writings. Below are some quotes that expose the PS leader’s racism against Jews and how he is a Holocaust denier.

Retroactively opposing the Holocaust is nicer and easier than getting involved in solving present-day problems. It is nice to accuse the Germans because cosi fan tutti. Armenians are irrelevant, because Armenians don’t own Hollywood and the American media.

Published in the blog Scripta Kansanmurhista ja niiden muistamisesta, January 28, 2004. See Wikiquote.

It is justified to consider the Nürnberg trials a farce. Guilt was decided in advance, and the justifications for the sentences were absurd. For an example Alber Speer (an architect) got a long sentence since he knew about the holocaust but didn’t try to prevent it. As if a person living in a dictatorship should fight against the dictatorship even if it costs his life.

Hommaforum, November 16, 2010. See Wikiquote.

Five PS MPs are members of the far-right Suomen Sisu association. Even Halla-aho was a member in 2000 and admitted in a Helsingin Sanomat interview last year that he was no longer a member of such an association. Suomen Sisu’s reading list recommendations include anti-Semites like David Duke and Alfred Rosenberg, a Nazi war criminal hanged after the Nuremberg trials.


Considering that Yaron Nadbornik, president of the 1,100-strong Jewish Community of Helsinki, the Finnish authorities acknowledge that anti-Semitism is a problem. It was only until in 2018-2019 when it was acknowledged by the authorities, according to him.

While this is a positive sign, the Muslim community of Finland and some other minorities like the Roma still have a lot of catching up to do. If the authorities are starting to acknowledge anti-Semitism, they still do not see the elephant in the room regarding Islamophobia.

The PS is an example of how power and privilege can blind you from your own racism and use it opportunistically to attract voters and get power. Apart from being an Islamophobic party, it is also anti-Semitic.

I am certain that politicians like Halla-aho do not look at themselves in the mirror every morning and exclaim “what a racist I am.”

The best we can do, then, is to strive for a society that is vigilant about enforcing laws against all forms of racism and for the media to expose such acts as shameful and unacceptable.

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