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Worrying messages from Scandinavia
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-11-10 08:27:14
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When I read that in the country that has for decades settler to all the hunted because of their democratic believes from all around the world there is a sniper that has terrorised for months exclusively immigrants I don’t think that this is an isolated and exceptional event with the accused acting alone, but I feel that there is something going wrong in Scandinavia, and I’m saying Scandinavia because hate crimes show an alarming rise in Finland, in Sweden even in isolated Norway.

I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to issues like that connected with Scandinavia not only because it happens that I live here but because back in 1960s and 1970s Sweden mainly saved a lot of Greek lives when they found settler in the Scandinavian country hunted from the murderous dictatorship of Athens. And it was Olof Palme with Willy Brandt the first European leaders who accused the Greek dictators for crimes stopping even diplomatic relations with the regime.

For us who lived that period Olof Palme was a comrade, who was sharing the love for democracy and the pain of exile, he was more than a brother and the Swedish people were more than brothers. Every Greek who lived that period in exile in Sweden – and there were a lot, including today’s Prime minister – remember how the simple Swedish people embraced not only the Greek people but their fight, their pain and their hopes. And Mr. Georgios Papandreou, the Greek Prime Minister and his father the historic Greek political figure Andreas Papandreou often remind this special connection with Scandinavia and not only with Sweden but also with Finland where both father and son had and still have a lot of personal friendships and connections.

And then Olof Palme was murdered. And then Anna Lindh was murdered. Both cases victims of …isolated and exceptional individual with the investigation leading to neo-Nazis and extreme right but non finding anything in the end. And now a sniper! Six proven victims. In the beginning it was the act of a madman, and then it was coincidence what is the third time? And that’s in the country with the highest percent of immigrants and second generation citizens in Europe. The country that had made tolerance and multiculturalism a way of life and was the model for every single European country.

In Finland there is a political party that grows dramatically with the name True Finns. What does true Finns means? Pure? Like pure were the Germans during Hitler’s era driving millions to consecrations camps? How it comes that no prosecutor hasn’t seen the contradiction of the name with the constitution that guards equality and justice to everybody who lives in this land? Freedom of speech? So paedophiles and rippers have demands in the name of freedom of speech?

I fell for this country from the beginning, I love the nature and I loved the effect of the people against nature; one of favourite books – and as I found out lately while moving I have a lot – is a Finnish book called “under the North star”, a book that shows the struggle of the man against nature and authority. The fight for equality and tolerance. What my logic side liked about this country from the very beginning was the feeling of safety I had. Well, I don’t have it anymore and been a European I am somehow “first class” foreigner; imagine the rest! And nowadays Jussi, the character of the book, is something you will not find anymore.

And the rest of the Finnish political world seems to dance on the rhythm the True Finns are drumming. Last example the pathetic Green League of Finland – only by name environmentalists – came with a blackmail to all immigrants, especially those with refugee backgrounds, to learn Finnish or Swedish—or risk reductions in income support subsidies. Instead asking why this people don’t learn and try to help they decided to follow the way that will protect their indignity next to the True Finns. They sold out for two ministerial seats and obviously this well has no bottom for the Finnish Greens.

And in Norway the “Role Model of the Year” is awarded to an immigrant with one small detail this immigrant is known for his homophobic views that he feels no shy to expose them. Norway has in general very low level crime rate but 130 incidents of hate crimes in the year 2007 have something to say and the bell that rings that something has change sounds loud and clear.

There is nothing isolated and exceptional about all these things, there are a lot of common issues and as I have often said in the past is not history that repeats herself but humans who repeat the same mistakes, humans that don’t want  to learn from their own mistakes despite the fact that they repeat them with catastrophic results.

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Emanuel Paparella2010-11-10 23:22:51
The above may come as a surprise to those who equate Scandinavia with humanitarian compassion and “moral superiority,” but not to those who think that original sin is a universal phenomenon valid for the Nordic races too, and are acquainted with the history of anti-Semitism in Europe in general and Scandinavia in particular. I believe that unless one examines entrenched anti-Semitism in Europe one will understand little of its present anti-immigration and anti-minorities phenomenon. It was long active before the Second World War, then briefly subdued by the Holocaust, but it has reappeared in the 1970s, wearing the humanitarian mask of sympathy for the victims of “Nazi” Zionism. That Scandinavian anti-Zionism is just old-fashioned Jew hatred in disguise is made painfully clear throughout the collected essays in a just-published book, Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews, edited by Manfred Gerstenfeld. A plethora of irrefutable data demonstrates in this book that none of the Scandinavian countries has properly confronted its history of anti-Semitism, or its complicity with Jewish genocide during the Holocaust. Sweden and Norway refused to prosecute Nazi war criminals.

Other troubling Holocaust-related facts emerge for the first time in this book from reluctantly opened archives. There are cartoons in the Norwegian press that rival pre-war Nazi propaganda.
Popular cartoonist Finn Graff specializes in them, for example that of depicting Israeli Prime Minister Olmert as a sadistic Nazi commandant. Yet he was awarded Norway’s equivalent of the Order of Canada because he is an “inspiration” to other illustrators. Another example is that of three years ago by the Norwegian “comedian” Otto Jespersen who tore pages from the Jewish Bible and burned them on TV. Then a year later he “joked” on camera: “I would like to take this opportunity to remember all the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in German gas chambers, without having done anything wrong other than settling on persons of Jewish background.” And this is just scratching the surface of the book’s surprising revelations.

Obviously comments like that have to do more with anti-Semitism than present day criticism of Israeli policy. It appears that Norway’s number one ranking amongst 121 countries on the Global Peace Index can co-exist in hypocritical harmony with the “civilized” world’s oldest, but still permissible hatred. Ought one be surprised at anti-immigrant hatred? Which brings one to a larger issue: the secular virtues of “egalitè, fraternitè, libertè” may look good on paper as secular virtue dismissive of religious needless religious virtues, but in practice I would personally opt any time for love of one’s brother under the fatherhood of a loving God. We have seen, beginning with the tyrant Napoleon, where all those vaunted morally superior virtues has landed Europe since the time of the French Revolution.

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