Jewish Community of Helsinki: Hate speech is directly responsible for the rise of anti-Semitism in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Yaron Nadbornik, the president of the Jewish Community of Helsinki, said that the rise in online hate speech has caused great insecurity of Helsinki’s small Jewish community. The Jewish Community of Helsinki launched this week a campaign to raise 15,000 euros in 48 hours to finance increased security needs. 

The Jewish Community of Helsinki uses 200,000 euros for security annually.

Read the full story (in Finnish) by Helsingin Sanomat here.

“I will not say that it is only the extreme right that is directing this [online] hate speech against the Jewish community,” said Nadbornik.”Let’s just say that they are people from different ideologies that write online thousands of hate comments against Jews.”

Nadbornik said that Finland should do much more to clamp down on online hate speech, which is getting worse, according to him.

“At this moment the Information Act is deficient, greater power should be given to the authorities to deal with rising hate speech,” he continued. “As present things are going, matters are going to get worse.”

The president of the Jewish Community of Helsinki blamed the attitude of the government and Finland in general for not doing enough to clamp down on online hate speech. There have been plans to ban neo-Nazi groups like the Suomen Vastarintaliike before, but it has not led to anything concrete, according to him. 

Nadbornik cited Juha Kärkkäinen, who owns large shopping centers in Ylivieska, Oulu, and Lahti as another example of how little is done to stop anti-Semitism in Finland despite the owner’s ethnic agitation sentence in 2014.

“It’s due to the lack of effective laws and attitudes [of politicians and public officials] to acknowledge that there is a serious problem and that something should be done,” he concluded.