Israeli Ambassador in Finland ‘Astonished’ by Ongoing Neo-Nazi Vandalism of Helsinki Embassy
Israel’s ambassador to Finland expressed frustration with local law enforcement agencies on Thursday in a media interview regarding a spate of antisemitic vandalism targeting the Israeli Embassy in Helsinki.
In an interview with local news outlet Ilta Sanomat, Dov Segev-Steinberg — who serves as Israel’s representative to both Finland and Estonia, neighbors on the Baltic Sea — spoke publicly about the stealth campaign of vandalism against the embassy carried out by white supremacists allied with the Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement.
Last weekend, the front door of the embassy building was smashed by as yet unidentified attackers who posted stickers bearing images of the Nazi swastika and a fist smashing the Star of David.
Segev-Steinberg said that the latest incident was the sixteenth in a period of 18 months. The ambassador was adamant that “this is related to the previous 15 cases.”
“There is evidence of that,” he noted. “The stickers have the same symbols.”
Added Segev-Steinberg: “We are concerned and astonished that this phenomenon has been going on for a year and a half and will not end.”
A spokesperson for the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that one of its diplomats in Tel Aviv had been summoned by Israeli Foreign Ministry officials who expressed concern over the continuing vandalism.
Segev-Steinberg said he “hoped that the Finnish authorities will investigate the issues and find ways to prevent similar cases in the future.”
The Finnish branch of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) — a far-right network that unites violent Neo-Nazi groups in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, as well as Finland — was banned by a district court in the Pirkanmaa region in 2017. The group’s offenses have ranged from sticker campaigns promoting Nazi symbols and slogans to physical assaults on anti-racist and LGBT+ political activists.
Finland’s Supreme Court temporarily upheld the ban on the NRM’s local affiliate in 2018, as it continues to deliberate on whether the group should be subjected to a permanent prohibition.