April 29, 2019 | The Jerusalem Post

Wiesenthal Center Urges Antisemitic Finnish MP To Resign

Al-Taee also compared Israel to the Islamic State and denigrated Sunni Muslims, gays, Somalis and other groups.

After the pro-Iranian regime Finnish MP Hussein al-Taee admitted on Monday to writing antisemitic, racist and anti-gay Facebook posts, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal center, called on al-Taee to resign.

Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post if al-Taee is sincere about his apology he “should take responsibility and resign.”

According to a screenshot viewed by the Post, al-Taee wrote about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2012: “Jew doing what a Jew does best. F***s up everybody to gain everything.

Al-Taee also compared Israel to the Islamic State and denigrated Sunni Muslims, gays, Somalis and other groups.

Writing on his blog on Monday, al-Taee said he felt “shame” about his attacks on minority groups and issued a lengthy apologize.

The Finnish-Kurdish blogger and civil rights activist Anter Yasa, who first exposed al-Taee’s Facebook posts, told the Post he agrees with Zuroff that al-Taee should resign from parliament.

Speaking on the phone from Helsinki, Yasa said al-Taee is a ”natural security issue” for Finland because of his pro-Russia and pro-Iranian regime views.

Yasa’s groundbreaking blog exposé on April 15 on al-Taee triggered coverage in Finnish media outlets. However, Yasa criticized the media coverage that has depicted “al-Taee as a savior of peace work in Finland. It is absolutely bonkers.” Yasa took the Finnish tabloid Iltalehti to task for writing a Sunday defamatory article about his revelations of al-Taee. Iltalehti falsely alleged connections between Yasa and Russia when al-Taee is promoting a pro-Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, said Yasa. Iltalehti failed to contact Yasa for an interview.

Yasa wrote on Twitter: “This is a living nightmare. It feels like I live in an upside down world. The Finnish media has me on a total blacklist and now starts to paint me as a Russian troll. This is ludicrous. Not one journalist has been in contact.”

Al-Taee was listed as employee of the Crisis Management Initiative, a largely Finish government-funded NGO “that works to prevent and resolve conflict through informal dialogue and mediation,” according to its website. After the Post contacted CMI on Sunday, al-Taee’s name was scrubbed from the site and instructed him to remove his CMI connection on his Twitter feed. Yasa told the Post that CMI’s management team previously denied the existence of the antisemitic and racist screenshots from al-Taee. “CMI lied, firstly. Secondly, they write on Twitter they are proud of al-Taee,” said Yasa. He asked, “How can an organization like CMI cover up this information?”

Martti Ahtisaari, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of Finland, founded CMI in 2000.

The president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, Professor Gerald Steinberg, called for an independent inquiry into alleged CMI misconduct and the antisemitism, homophobic and racism scandal surrounding al-Taee.

The Post sent a press query to CMI’s communication manager Antti Ämmälä.

Antton Rönnholm, Secretary-General of the Social Democrats did not immediately respond to a Post query regarding whether al-Taee should resign.

Benjamin Weinthal is a European correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

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