Amnesty in Finland says Israel is a "Scum State'....
Gee, my second Amnesty story today...
The head of Amnesty International’s Finnish branch, Frank Johansson, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he stands by his statement that Israel is a “scum state.”
Writing in his blog, which appears on the Web site of Finland’s third largest newspaper Iltalehti, Johansson wrote on Monday that “A friend of mine who works in Israel was visiting [and] while piling wood in the shed, we got to [talking about] his favourite topic. [After] several years of residence in the Holy Land, he has come to the conclusion that ‘Israel is a scum state.’ Based on my own visit[s], which occurred during the 1970s and for the last time in the 1990s, I agree.”
An English translation of Johansson’s blog first appeared Tuesday on the Web site Tundra Tabloids, a pro-Israel blog that monitors anti-Israeli sentiments in the Finnish media and blogosphere.
Speaking from Finland, Kenneth Sikorski, who runs the Web site and picked up Johansson’s remarks, told The Jerusalem Post that Johansson’s comments are “absolutely atrocious and indicative of a problem of systematic anti-Semitism.”
Asked why he termed Israel a “scum state,” Johansson told the Post in a telephone interview that it was because Israel has “repeatedly flouted international law,” and due to his “personal experiences inside and outside of Israel with meeting Israelis.”
Johansson said that his remarks were not anti-Semitic. “I actually praise Breaking the Silence,” he said, referring to an Israeli organization claiming to collect and share testimonies of former IDF soldiers over human rights violations they allegedly witnessed, while rarely providing names of troops, dates and locations of these incidents.
Asked whether there are other countries aside from Israel that, according to him, meet the definition of a “scum state,” Johansson did not specify any, but noted that there are “Russian officials” who meet the criteria.
The Amnesty International official said: “I have been on record on Finnish TV as saying George Bush is the biggest executioner in the Western Hemisphere, [I] use strong language... I am writing those [blogs] in my capacity as a private person, not as an Amnesty official.”
However, Iltalehti’s Web site clearly provides readers with his title as “director of the Finnish branch of Amnesty International,” which appears above his blog.