It’s election time in Finland. There’s been a series of debates between the leaders of the various parties over the past few weeks. Last night’s debate between the top four parties (seated from left to right), Jutta Urpilainen (SDP), Jyrki Katainen (Kok), Timo Soini (True Finns) and Mari Kiviniemi (PM Center Party) revealed an interesting statement. H/T Vasarahammer.
Towards the very end of the debate which focused exclusively on Finnish domestic issues as well as the EU financial mess, the very last question to the debating panel was by a Leftist concerning the Libyan question. There’s been a lot of talk about whether Finland needs to involve itself by offering some of it’s F-16’s especially since Sweden has went along with the coalition.
Question: “Now that the West has decided to go into Libya to bring democracy with the barrel of a gun, what should we do in your opinion with some of EU’s allies, like for example, Saudi Arabia where there are hardly any kind of human rights there at all? I’m also interested in how are you going to defend the implemtation of human rights, for example in the Palestinian areas.”
Actually, It’s great that the issue of Saudi Arabia came up, and identified by this leftist as a country which doesn’t respect human rights for its citizens. The Tundra Tabloids suspects however, that the sole intention of the question was sling an arrow more than to highlight Saudi Arabia’ deplorable HR record.
But what came next was a wonderful surprise:
Timo Soini: “I don’t want to take Finland to war anywhere. This is an extremely grave reminder of the development that’s happened in different Arab countries, but when Mubarak left there wasn’t a democracy that materialized, there is a 75 year old general currently in power, that’s what has happened.
Where the Middle East is concerned, I am a friend of Israel I dare to say, which is surrounded by hostile Arab states. It has (Israel) the right to live and to exist.
Great to see a Finnish politician of great influence who’s a friend of Israel, and who by the way, was the only one sitting there who offered Israel support. You can interpret what Timo Soini said as a direct answer to the leftist who asked the question. KGS
NOTE: The debate (in Finnish) can be seen here
UPDATE: The Hell-singing Sanomat has an article about last night’s debate. No mention of Soini’s support for Israel, which is par for the course, as well as a good indicator that his pro-Israel views are not a negative factor, otherwise they would have filled their headlines with it. The state funded news org. YLE has its report here, with no mention of Soini’s pro-Israel views either.