We demand that the Finnish Government make every possible effort to implement a ceasefire in Gaza and to secure human rights for people in Israel and Gaza as well as other Palestinian territories.

We do not condone islamophobia or antisemitism, and we demand that Finland takes more decisive action against violence, oppression and hate speech.

When the Hamas organization attacked Israel on 7 October 2023, Finland’s reaction was immediate condemnation of especially violence targeted at civilians. That is a good start, but not sufficient enough.

In addition:


Finland must condemn Israeli armed forces’ attack on Gaza, because it is a violation against international law and targeted mainly against civilians. Collective punishment cannot be accepted and turned a blind eye to. Killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians and destruction of a city is not justifiable by any means. Not by revenge, not by attempts to release hostages kidnapped by Hamas, not by efforts to improve the safety situation in Israel.


Finland must demand Hamas to release the hostages it has taken, and Finland must also demand Israel to release the Palestinian political prisoners it holds in its prison in violation to international law.


Finland must proactively pursue to bring all human rights violations in Israel and the Palestinian territories to be reviewed by the international court of law.


Finland must demand Israel to end the siege of Gaza, which it has upheld since 2007.


Finland must demand Israel to withdraw from those Palestinian territories (the largest of which is the West Bank) that it has occupied since 1967 against international law and the will of the UN.


Finland must demand Israel to stop building new Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories, and to demolish existing settlements because they also violate international law.


Finland must condemn the oppression Israel imposes against Palestinians. This oppression meets the definition of apartheid, as pointed out for example by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.


Finland must end arms trade and military cooperation with Israel, because they support apartheid policy.


Finland must ban importation of goods manufactured in Israel’s illegal settlements, because it is a violation of international law.

Year after year, Finland’s official stance has been as follows: “Finland supports a two-state solution achieved through negotiations carried out by the parties in an equal manner. […] Israel’s settlement activity is illegal under international law and undermines prospects for a two-state solution.” (Statement by Finland’s Foreign Ministry 12 May, 2021.) Regardless of this principal stance, Finland has not made any practical efforts to stop Israel’s illegal activities; instead, Finland has supported them by, for example, assiduously trading arms with an occupying state that practices apartheid policy. It is time Finland kept its word and changed its policy. The above-mentioned nine measures are aimed to do just that.

In addition, one more measure is required.


Finland must defend freedom of speech in Finland and elsewhere. Freedom of speech is a basic right for all people, citizens and artists. Based on that, anyone has the right to express their support to Palestinians and to defend the human rights of Palestinians. Recently, it has become more prevalent in many European countries to stigmatize all talk and action in support of Palestinians as antisemitic and to aim to sanction it. Artists’ projects have been cancelled and funding for future projects has been declined. University employees have been silenced or they have been sacked. Demonstrations have been forbidden. Finland must not slide in this direction but instead demand other European countries to end measures that erode freedom of speech.

In Helsinki and Turku
24 December 2023

Critical Gallery founders,

Minna Havukainen
Teemu Mäki
Susanna Vuorio


SUMUD — The Finnish Palestine Network

On the Finnish ”Tulitauko Gazaan nyt” site there are links to many petitions (in Finnish). One of them is a petition by art and culture professionals in Finland. That petition also includes informative and concise reasoning: ”An open letter to the Finnish government”


Amnesty International: “Israel must end its occupation of Palestine to stop fuelling apartheid and systematic human rights violations”. 19.2.2024

Amnesty International: ”The escalating conflict in Gaza and Israel”. 15.10.2023.

Amnesty International: ”Israel’s Occupation: 50 Years of Dispossession”. 7.6.2017.

B’Tselem — The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories: ”A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”. 12.1.2021.

Finland Against Apartheid

n + 1 magazine: ”Freedom for the One Who Thinks Differently. An open letter from a group of Jewish artists, writers, and scholars in Germany”. 25.10.2023.

ICAHD Finland (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions)

Jewish Voice for Peace

Juhani Lohikoski: ”Kuristava miehitys ruokkii väkivaltaa – vain poliittinen ratkaisu voi tuoda rauhan Palestiinaan”. Voima. 10.11.2023.

Näyttelijäliitto / Finnish Actors Union: “Vaatimus humanitaarisesta tulitauosta Gazaan” 8.11.2023.


Suomen Taiteilijaseura / Artists’ Association of Finland: ”Peace in Palestine and Israel”

United Nations’ position on Palestine: The Question of Palestine

UN: ”Secretary-General Urges Security Council to Call for Ceasefire in Gaza, Declaring That Humanitarian Situation Is Now At ‘Breaking Point’”. 8.12.2023.

UN: ”UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements”. 19.11.2019.

UN: ”Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity, Constitute Flagrant Violation of International Law, Security Council Reaffirms”. 23.12.2016.

Wendy Pearlman. ”Collective Punishment in Gaza Will Not Bring Israel Security”. New Lines Magazine. 30.10.2023.