THIS DOESN’T PASS THE SMELL TEST
Antti Pentikäinen says he was threatened by Christians, but he can’t tell you the what, the when, the where, and how of it.
The Tundra Tabloids spoke today (19.03.10) with Antti Pentikäinen, director of Finn Church Aid, (FCA) which is a “partner organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland and part of the international aid network”.
Pentikäinen has been in the news lately, and thanks to both Kumitonttu and Vasarahammer, who informed the TT this past Wednesday, about the article in which Pentikäinen makes the claim that Finnish Christians who support the Jewish state of Israel, have made threats against not only himself, but against others in his FCA organization, as well as promoting hatred of an ethnic group and supporting violence against them.
Knowing many of the people from these various church based pro-Israel organizations, the Tundra Tabloids finds Antti Pentikäinen’s story, to be totally out of character with the people who belong to these groups. The claims being made just doesn’t sit right, so the TT gave him a call to help clarify what the media reported, and here is his version once again, with permission to quote.
You were quoted by the Finnish STT news agency earlier this week, concerning Christians in Finland making threats against you as well as supporting violence against the Palestinians while holding meetings in Lutheran Church facilities, and this story has been picked up by various news media in Finland. These are very highly charged claims. Have any of these threats you mentioned included acts of violence against you and are they being investigated by the Finnish police?
— Well the threats could be interpreted to be threats of violence, but I’m not going to say what they were or whether they are being investigated or not.
What about the threats, were they of actual violence directed against you, or against other people, what were these instances of threats against you?
— Well I don’t want to publicize the threats, in order to keep other people from being encouraged to offer even more similar threats of violence. I don’t want to enlargen the problem.
So let me get this straight, you’re saying that Finnish Christian supporters of Israel are threatening you with violence, and that you can’t say what these threats are, neither can you divulge whether even the Finnish police are even investigating these alleged threats? Right?
Why are you being threatened?
— Well, due to our call (Finn Church Aid) for aid in helping with the Palestinians, many pro-Israel Christians don’t like it. Many journalists in Finland have even said that they get negative letters and responses from these people that can be interpreted as being threats.
Have you any examples of these threats?
What are the examples of Finnish Christians who support Israel, actually taking part in the inciment to hatred against an ethnic group, and supporting violence?
— Well, there have been events that have taken place on Church grounds were it can be interpreted as being so.
Hatred of Arabs and calling for their being killed?
— No., but, well you can interpret their message as being anti-Arab.
So are you actually saying that their support for Israeli policies can be grounds for challenging them as being in support of violence against the Arabs?
— Well, not all Israeli policies are bad, but there are a lot of these policies that are a part of the conflict and Christians shouldn’t be supporting them.
This just doesn’t sound credible by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone making such a claim would have ready evidence available, with the time and the place and the person(s) in charge of the group meeting in a Lutheran church facility, where calls of incitement to violence were made.
This sounds more like an attempt by the Finnish ‘Christian’ Left to erode the base of Christian support for Israel, that has them irked. The people Antti Pentikäinen represents, are those who would like nothing better than to force a political settlement upon the Jewish state, regardless of the outcome (which they haven’t apparently given too much thought about), all out war and the death of yet more Jews, let alone the Arabs caught in the crossfire.
To make such highly charged statements of incitement to violence, and hatred of a racial group, and yet not divulge one scintilla of evidence to the contrary, says more about the claims and Pentikäinen, than about the Finnish Christians who stand up for Israel. Perhaps if Pentikäinen actually honestly mulled things over a bit, he would realize why many Christians are against much of the aid that goes to the Arabs. Any increase of aid, directly translates into funding for terrorism, meaning more dead Jews.
The only honest conclusion one can come to is that Antti Pentikäinen is responding to the politics of his faction of pro-Palestinian supporters that’s pissed off over the solid Lutheran Christian support for Israel in Finland, that is something of an anomaly here in Europe. That’s what’s at play here, and why he’s being so ambiguous in his statements.
Strong support for Israel by these groups in the West are one of the reasons for the continuing crisis in the Middle East, says Finnchurchaid Director Antti Pentikäinen. Finland is no exception.
– Similarly, in our churches and in Christian gatherins occurs speech, which can be interpreted as hate speech and incitement to violence. I have experienced such myself Pentikäinen said on Wednesday in Helsinki.
According to him, it’s a case of extremist defenders of Israel, whose message is not received much public attention, but it is still worrying.
– Churches should intervene in that more clearly. Should be recognized that the church facilities were used and that its employees participate in events where hatred one group of people (the Palestinians), are authorized to the point of violence, Pentikäinen claims.
– This is a place for taking inventory of ourselves: how this could be possible.
Pentikäinen doesn’t know the exact scope of the phenomenon, but in his view, it’s not a question of individual cases but rather a very active group.
Pentikainen recognizes the church’s spiritual and biblical basis for the support of Israel and Jews – and appreciates it. But according to him, however, it has gone too far, when support is embodied in the acceptance of everything approved by the Israeli government.
– Extreme-conservative and Christian groups in the area of the EU and the U.S. are part of this (Middle East) problem.
Criticism, even threats
In journalist circles it’s well known that the writing on the Middle East, is often followed by immediate email with the media accused of condemning Israel and closing its eyes to the Palestinians’ crimes.
Aid workers do not seem to get a pass in that respect either. Feedback is immediate as assistance on the Palestinians’ behalf has been talked about.
– We have received criticism, and direct personal threats, “says Pentikäinen.
– These messages indicates that not all is healthy in these groups.
NOTE: Dennis Mitzner tells the TT that: “These kirkon ulkomaanapu (Finn Church Aid) people are hard core leftists, I worked with them when i was working for unicef. This also reflects Pentikäinen’s own racism, that arabs are mindless monkeys who can be provoked easily therefore they are not accountable, he is masquaradeing his own anti-israel bias by placing the blame on these “crazy christians”.