The Tundra Tabloids has met Mr.Zyskowicz on a number of occasions, he’s a real nice guy, very approachable and well liked across the political spectrum. The drunk (most violent altercations in Finland are alcohol related) called him the Finnish version of ‘kike’ and tried to hit him. Ben swerved out of the way and the police were summoned. Glad to hear he wasn’t injured, but make no mistake, this is a serious breach of Finnish tradition. KGS
Man tries to punch Jewish Finnish parliament speaker
A prominent Jewish politician in Finland was assaulted on Wednesday by a man shouting a racial epithet against Jews, according to a local newspaper.
Ben Zyskowicz, a member of the National Coalition Party who was recently appointed speaker of the Finnish parliament, was attacked by a middle-aged man in the capital Helsinki, Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reported.
“The situation was quite out of nowhere. He came directly to me and tried to hit in the face. However, I managed to swerve,” Zyskowicz was quoted as saying by Ilta-Sanomat.
According to Zyskowicz, the assailant had called him a “jutku,” a Finnish-language slur against Jews. He was not wounded in the incident.
Zyskowicz was born in Sweden to Jewish couple and grew up in his mother’s country of birth, Finland. He is first member of the country’s approximate 1,500 Jews to be elected to parliament.
“These attacks are rare,” Israeli-Finnish blogger Dennis Mitzner said on Thursday. “If you walk around Helsinki any time you’ll find Zyskowicz at a cafe having lunch. He’s one of the most visible politicians and is very accessible, perhaps the most popular politician in the country. I don’t remember last time a Jew was attacked in Finland.”
The incident was condemned by the Finnish president Tarja Halonen, who visited Israel last year, and Zyskowicz said he wouldn’t press charges.
Several phone calls and Emails on Thursday to Zyskowicz’s office went unanswered.