Finish Foreign Minister strongly Condemns Israel
Palestine Media Center PMC, 30 August 2001
Finish Foreign Minister, Mr. Errki Tuomioja was reported to have said that it was rather shocking that the Jews are pursuing the same policies toward the Palestinians that they themselves were forced to suffer in the 1930s. The Minister was quoted in a Finnish newspaper on Thursday 30 August.

Mr. Tuomioja, who is a member of the ruling Social-Democratic party, defended his quote against the criticism it received. He stressed that they were in line with the European Union decision to take a tougher stance with Israel.

I am shocked that Israel's policy is to humiliate, to hurt, and to impoverish the Palestinians, Minister Tuomioja said. What could be the result of this except eternal hatred? Israel's actions are especially difficult to accept because the Jews, more than anyone else should know how horrible it is for a whole nation to be persecuted. It is very troubling that the policies of the Israelis against the Palestinians are similar to those which victimized them in the 1930s, the Minister added.

Minister Tuomioja was also reported to have discussed the legal case in Belgium against the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his responsibility for the Sabra and Chatilla massacres. He also commented on the protests in Denmark against the appointment of Carmi Gilon, the former General Security Services (Shin Bet) chief as Israel's ambassador to Denmark.

Both [Sharon and Gilon] are getting what they deserve, Minister Tuomioja said. Luckily the world is changing so that dictators and violators of human rights will no longer be able to live safely in any place, the Minister asserted. He added that Gilon had worsened the situation when he asserted that Israel should resume torturing Palestinian detainees. The civilized world cannot come to terms with such behavior, The Minister said.

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