Anti-Semitism (illustration)
Anti-Semitism (illustration)Israel news photo: archive

A freely-distributed Finnish paper notorious for its anti-Semitic content has said it would tone down its editorial line after being criticized by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, AFP reported on Friday.

"The contents are to become more commercial and radical articles should be avoided," Juha Kaarkkaainen, editor-in-chief of the Magneettimedia paper, told the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper in remarks published Friday.

Magneettimedia is primarily distributed via a chain of department stores set up by Kaarkkaainen and is also available on the Internet, noted AFP.

The paper was indicted in May by the prosecutor general for inciting racial hatred in three separate articles, and it caused widespread consternation this summer when publishing the translation of an article entitled "The Great 'Raping Rabbis' Cover-up."

The U.S.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which hunts old Nazi criminals and aims to maintain awareness of the Holocaust, this week sent a letter to Finnish President Sauli Niinistoo, urging him to "vigorously condemn" Magneettimedia, according to AFP.

The paper carries "a mix of Holocaust denial and an increasingly poisonous anti-Semitism," the letter said, adding Kaarkkaainen's activities amounted to "fomenting a grassroots mass outreach campaign that may endanger your small Jewish community and Jewish visitors to Finland."

Finland's Jewish community has about 1,300 members.

J. Kaarkkaainen Oy, the chain store carrying the paper, denied any influence on its editorial choices, but said it had requested an end to contents stigmatizing any group of people.

"I apologise for any harm that these items have caused," said the chain's CEO, Riku Ilvesluoto, in a statement on the news website Kaleva.

In 2012, the co-chair of Finland’s Foreign Affairs Committee asserted on national television that American Jews hold vast control over the wealth and media in the United States, thus impeding the U.S.  government from remaining neutral in its stance in the Middle East.

Pertti Salolainen, discussing the United Nations General Assembly vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to non-member observer state, accused the U.S. of being unable to remain impartial on Mideast matters, “…because they have a large Jewish population who have a significant control of the money and the media. The U.S. for internal political reasons is afraid to become adequately involved. This is a sad truth about U.S. politics.”

The remarks sparked harsh criticism from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which said the comments “parroted the anti-Semitic canard that an evil cabal of Jews control the media and the U.S. government….”

For an Arutz Sheva op-ed on anti-Semitism in Finland, click here.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)