Jussi Halla-aho’s anti-Semitism has come to haunt him, more blow to credibility

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Attacking Finland’s Muslim community is not hard for the likes of Jussi Halla-aho and the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party. It is, however, a different story when anti-Semitic rhetoric comes to play.

Halla-aho’s racism and, in particular, his anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and Afrophobia are well known. Of these three, anti-Semitism is the biggest threat to his political future.

The PS chairperson’s racism has long roots, and therefore we should do everything possible to prevent a politician who built his political career on racism and becoming prime minister.

The Jews have political power and resources to counter anti-Semitism. This is not the case for Muslims and people of color. It explains why Halla-aho prefers to be quiet about his anti-Semitic writings.

About two weeks ago, Halla-aho was confronted about his anti-Semitic writings. The PS head naturally denied being an anti-Semite and dismissed the claim by Lauri Nurmi, who recently published an unofficial biography of him and made such an observation. He called it a publicity stunt.

Gideon Bolotowsky had a straightforward opinion about Halla-aho’s anti-Semitic writings. The well-known representative of Finland’s Jewish community was quoted as saying in Uusi Suomi: “Based on these [Halla-aho’s] texts, he is definitely an anti-Semite and an anti-Judaist.”

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

So what has Halla-aho written about the Holocaust and the Jews?

For starters, he has demeaned the memory of the victims of the Holocaust as “holo nonsense.”

He peddled stereotypes of Jews.

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

In 2010, he stated that the Nuremberg trials were “a farce” and the sentences “absurd.”

“Guilt [at the Nuremberg trials] was decided in advance, and the justifications for the sentences were absurd. For 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.”

Halla-aho’s Islamophobia has overshadowed his anti-Semitism, which has come to haunt him and his party.