MORE ON FINLAND’S ”SCUM GATE”:
“I decided to take down my blog because I appreciate that my comments were ill-judged and appear all the more so when taken out of context, and have obviously caused offence to many people although it was not my intention, at all, to cause such offence.”
Johansson had the chance during the Weinthal interview to distance himself from the translation of the word he used, “scum state”, throughout the interview, he’s now saying after the fact that it was taken out of context, with the design to blow things out of proportion. But (a) he refused to challenge the journalist who used the term more than once when questioning about it (I hear it was around 10 times) and (b) spoke of using similar highly charged wording when directing it against GWBush and others to prove he’s used vitriolic statements before while (c) then claiming later on that he hadn’t meant to offend anyone by the term.
He’s a disingenuous liar and anti-Israel bigot who issues anti-Semitic blurbs when he thinks the coast is clear and no one is looking (meaning anyone outside of Finland). He was caught red handed, and now is trying to back peddle without issuing an apology. How can such an organization expect to be recognized as credible, while they have such people at the helm? This is going to get even more interesting. KGS
Here links to all of the post thus far. Here
NOTE: The fact that AI London employed the term “scum state” in Benny Weinthal’s latest report shows that AI agrees with the translation or at least understands that the phrase carries that meaning.
‘Israel is a scum state’ removed from Finnish paper’s site
Amnesty International disassociates itself from branch head’s blog.
BERLIN – A blog entry in a Finnish newspaper’s Web site by the head of country’s Amnesty International branch, Frank Johansson, which termed Israel a “scum state,” is no longer online following an inquiry into the matter by The Jerusalem Post.
Speaking from Helsinki, Asmo Halinnen, head of Iltalehti’s Web section, told the Post Wednesday that “he [Johansson] removed the blog post,” adding that “All of the blog writings on our site are the opinion of the writer.”
When asked if there is a policy barring anti-Semitic and racist blogs, Halinnen referred the query to Iltalehti’s editor-in-chief, Kari Kivelä . The top editor did not immediately reply to an e-mail query and telephone call.
The Post reported Wednesday about the blog, which prompted a flurry of activity at AI’s headquarters in London.
In an e-mail to the Post on Wednesday, Johansson wrote, “I decided to take down my blog because I appreciate that my comments were ill-judged and appear all the more so when taken out of context, and have obviously caused offence to many people although it was not my intention, at all, to cause such offence.”
He added “I am especially conscious, and regret that my ill-judged action may be detrimental to Amnesty International’s work on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the valiant human rights work being undertaken by my colleagues working for Amnesty International in Israel.”
Amnesty spokeswoman Susanna Flood said, “Johansson remains as the director of Amnesty International in Finland.
“Obviously, we regret it if such a term was used by an individual whose personal views could be misunderstood as reflecting those of Amnesty International, and we disassociate Amnesty International fully and clearly from such comments and we are making this clear to Mr Johansson,” Flood told the Post. “Amnesty International has never described Israel as a ‘scum state’ or used any such terms to describe Israel,” she added.
Finnish media watchdog site, Tundra Tabloids, which exposed the blog on Monday, said that the post’s removal was “not good enough, there needs to be a full apology coming from AI chairman Frank Johansson.”
NOTE: Special thanks to Brian of London for the special graphic.