Elections in Finland and rise of nationalism all over Europe

Pyotr Iskenderov
Strategic Culture Foundation

The parliamentary elections, held in Finland on April 17, were marked by an unprecedented success of the True Finns, which is regarded as a nationalist party.According to the preliminary results, the True Finns have received 19% of votes and increased their representation at the parliament to 39 from only 5 seats in comparison with 2007. Considering that, the right wing conservative National Coalition, which won the elections, received slightly more than 20% and the Social Democrats of the current president Tarja Halonen was ahead of the True Finns by only 0.1% we can say that the party of the charismatic Timo Soini is one of the three leading political parties in Finland.

The discussion on the formation of the ruling coalition, in which the True Finns are going to play a significant role, may last for several weeks. But it is already clear that this party, which protects the national values and opposes the uncontrolled flow of refugees and illegal immigrants, the single European currency and the bureaucracy of the EU, is enjoying a growing support in Finland.

The positions of other leading parties (including the Centre Party of the former Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi) have weakened – they have lost from 3 to 16% of votes. "This is a big, big bang in Finnish politics. This is a big, big change. This will change the content of Finnish politics." Jan Sundberg, professor with University of Helsinki says.

The Israeli Lobby's Poisonous Influence on US Policy

Stephen Lendman

In his powerful 2006 book titled, "The Power of Israel in the United States," James Petras explained the enormous Jewish Lobby influence on US Middle East policies. Often harming American interests, they're pursued anyway because of its grassroots and high-level control over government, business leaders, academia, the clergy and mass media since at least the 1960s.

As a result, anyone challenging Israeli policy risks being intimidated, blackmailed, smeared, pressured, removed from positions of authority, or called a national security or terrorist threat, leaving them vulnerable to unprincipled ostracization, persecution or worse.

Among America's 52 Conference of Major American Jewish Organization(s) (CPMAJO), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest, founded in 1897.

Established by B'nai Brith in 1913, perhaps the Anti-Definition League is best known.

However, in terms of its influence over US Middle East policies, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) stands out. Calling itself "America's Pro-Israel Lobby," it's represented Israeli interests since founded in 1953, then incorporated in 1963 as a division of the American Zionist Council (AZC), its precursor.

Remembering Vittorio Arrigoni

Stephen Lendman

On April 15, International Solidarity Movement (ISM) members grieved for one of their own, their press release headlining, "Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank unite in mourning of slain activist Vittorio Arrigoni," saying:

"People will gather in Al Manara square in Ramallah and at Al Jundi al Majhull, (Gaza's) unknown soldier park," honoring the death of their comrade, slain and abandoned in a house north of Gaza. More on his death below.

Other events took place throughout Palestine, including protests following Friday's prayers across from the UN's Gaza headquarters. Bil'in and Al Masara also dedicated their weekly demonstrations to Vittorio, Vic to his friends.

On Saturday, the Popular Committee in Nablus held a commemoration with political parties in Nablus center, celebrating his work and condemning his killing.

ISM explained his activism for Palestinian liberation and justice for almost 10 years, including the past two and a half years in Gaza with ISM:

monitoring Israeli human rights violations;
supporting Palestinian resistance against occupation, and siege; and
daily violations of international law and democratic values.

Moreover, as a journalist, he wrote for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto and Peacereporter, providing information about Gaza to a worldwide audience. The next Freedom Flotilla was renamed "Stay Human," honoring him and his book titled, "Gaza Stay Human."

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