Jewish politician fell victim to antisemitism in Finland

A Jewish Member of Parliament was allegedly the victim of a hate crime in Helsinki, Finland.

A Jewish member of Finland’s conservative-leaning National Coalition Party, Ben Berl Zyskowicz, claims that he was assaulted in a Helsinki subway station on March 25, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Zyskowicz said the assailant punched him in the face, hurled antisemitic slurs, and blamed him for Finland’s recent attempts to join the NATO alliance. According to the Finnish police, the assailant was caught the same day.

According to Finnish media, Zyskowicz said, „Physically attacking candidates must under no circumstances become part of Finnish society, even as a completely marginal phenomenon.”

President Sauli Niinisto strongly condemned the assault, saying it was an „offence against the people’s power.”

According to the World Jewish Congress, fewer than 2,000 Jews live in Finland, but in 2021, the Helsinki Jewish Community reported they spend nearly half a million euros on security annually. Last year, the European Union’s antisemitism commissioner Katharina von Schnurbein criticised the country for not having an official framework to combat antisemitism.