Check out “Mitzner’s Blitz” over at the J’lem Post. The subject of Dennis’ recent post is Finnish and Israeli relations in light of recent electoral win by the pro-Israel True Finns. KGS
NOTE: Finland remains a bastion of sanity in Scandinavia in regards to relations with Israel.
Finland: New government – new policy towards Israel?
The Finnish parliamentary elections resulted in a massive victory for the True Finns. The party managed to increase the number of its MP’s from a mere 5 to a whopping 39 making it the third largest party in the Parliament. The sabre-rattling party campaigned against the closed circle of the top three parties and will now undoubtedly use its mandate to change several aspects of the current political order. The changes will be felt across the board, but for those interested in monitoring the relations between Finland and Israel, the future is more interesting than ever.
Unlike its Nordic neighbors Norway and Sweden, Finland has traditionally been friendly towards Israel. Only during Erkki Tuomioja’s reign as foreign minister, Finland showed some unprecedented signs of hostility. In a famous interview in 2001, Tuomioja compared Israeli defensive actions to the Nazi persecution of European Jewry. As it looks now, Tuomioja’s Social Democratic Party will be part of the new government.
Tuomioja’s multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism run counter to True Finns’ world view. Tuomioja, who as foreign minister, seemed more like an Amnesty International appointed advocate, would have a hard time adjusting to a government led by the likes of Timo Soini, a friend of Israel and Jussi Halla-aho, whose views on immigration and foreign aid do not mix well with Tuomioja’s positions.
It seems unfathomable that the leadership of True Finns would allow Tuomioja back in the driver’s seat as far as Finland’s foreign policy is concerned. However, similarly to Tuomioja, True Finns opposes NATO membership, whereas the incumbent foreign minister, Alexander Stubb is an ardent advocate of Finland joining the organization.