(Brussels, 16 January 2020) – The European Jewish Congress stands in solidarity with our affiliate, the Central Council of Jewish Communities of Finland following the appalling remarks by MP Anna Kontula against the Jewish community of Helsinki.
Ms. Kontula, a Member of Parliament for the Left Alliance party was arrested in Israel on Tuesday, 15 January 2020 alongside other members of an activist group after attempting to cut through the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
After the Jewish community of Helsinki expressed concerns about her malicious intent and double standards against Israel, Kontula absurdly replied that “any group or institution that equates Judaism with Israel is essentially antisemitic”, effectively accusing the Finnish Jewish community of antisemitism.
Whilst criticism of the State of Israel, like of any other country is legitimate, applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is antisemitic. Consequently, we share the concerns of the Jewish community of Finland about the intentions behind MP Kontula’s statements and actions.
It is deeply regrettable that MP Kontula opted to break Israeli law and international protocol and we call on the Parliament of Finland to condemn her conduct and to take appropriate disciplinary action.