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October 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Finland Convicts Department Store Owner Kärkkäinen for Publishing Anti-Semitic Articles in Free Paper

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Free paper Magneetti Media. Photo: Screenshot.

A Finnish court convicted the high-profile owner of Helsinki’s Kärkkäinen department stores for publishing anti-Semitic articles in free paper Magneetti Media, which he also owns.

Juha Kärkkäinen was fined €45,000 for “inciting hatred against an ethnic group” and was ordered to take down the offensive articles from Magneetti Media’s website, according to Jewish human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center, which alerted Finnish authorities, including the country’s president, to the hate literature being published by Kärkkäinen and assisted local organizations in filing the lawsuit.

“The Wiesenthal Center congratulates all parties who have achieved a historic judgement that criminalizes concepts once current during the 1941-1944 Finish alliance with Nazi Germany,” SWC’s Rabbi Dr. Shimon Samuels said, in a statement.

Regarding the ruling directly, Dr. Samuels said, “In that the words ‘Jew ‘ and ‘ Zionist’ are used interchangeably in Magneetti Media, the Court’s decision is in line with the anti-discrimination provision of the European Union and implements its Fundamental Rights Agency 2004 Working Definition of Antisemitism.”

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The EU definition was used because anti-Semitism is not formally defined in Finnish law, making the case more difficult.

Reports from the trial painted an absurd picture.  Kärkkäinen and his department store had different lawyers, with the company defending the position that what was published went against what the department store’s board members wanted to publish, while Kärkkäinen’s defense was that all of the articles were accurate and he was just reporting the news.

According to favorable coverage of the trial published on the Magneetti Media website, Kärkkäinen’s side tried to prove his stories were accurate by presenting information about Jews who own U.S. media interests, reciting from the polemic, “The Israel Lobby,” and a book and video by former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke, and repeating quotes taken out of context from founding Israeli politicians, the Talmud and pop culture.

Afterward, Kärkkäinen accused Finnish media of ignoring the substance of the debate, by focusing on him personally and his split with the department store board.

On the Magneetti Media website, on Tuesday, Kärkkäinen’s newspaper continued with his Jew hate. On the front page, Magneetti Media republished a story from June that tried to tie Israel to the U.S. government’s NSA snooping scandal. Another front page post in the video section of the homepage is a YouTube clip of Brother Nathaniel, a man with a thick, New York accent dressed as an orthodox Christian priest peddling the “Jews control the media” trope. (On his own website, RealJewNews.com, Brother Nathienel, says he “grew up as a Jew” and is “now an orthodox Christian” who’s wish is “to warn how Jewry is destroying Christianity throughout the world.”)

The articles that were on focus during the trial, screeds about rabbis, the Rothschild family tree, Jews controlling the media, and other anti-Semitic story lines that The Algemeiner reported on in July, were still posted online at the Magneetti Media website on Tuesday.

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  • Amaya

    The Wiesenthal Center has done plenty of good, but I have no idea why they need to twist truth, or even downright lie to make news sound more “dramatic”? Finland has never been particularly anti-Semitic country, and anti-Semitic “concepts” were not particularly current in Finland during the continuation war. Finland’s contract with Germany was a very practical one – fighting against Russia, nothing more – nothing less, there was most certainly no ideological sympathy behind it (and Jewish Finns fought alongside the rest of Finns).

    As for this particular case, Magneetti Media was a peculiar fringe publication that most people aren’t familiar with and the owner made himself mainly look like a tin-foil hat-loonie with some of his stuff.

  • Jenny P

    I’m glad they convicted him. I wish they’d see to it that the tirades be removed from the website.

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