A far-right Polish lawmaker on Tuesday used a fire extinguisher to put out a Hanukkah menorah placed in the parliament lobby, a stunt that saw him ordered out of the assembly by the speaker of the lower chamber.
“This should have never happened,” Szymon Holownia told reporters after expelling the lawmaker, Grzegorz Braun, to leave the plenary, adding that he would call for an investigation into the incident.
The ceremony for lighting the nine-branched candelabrum was held in the Polish parliament to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights, and was attended by rabbis and a Jewish music band.
In videos circulating on Polish media sites, Braun, a lawmaker with the Confederation party, is seen dousing the menorah, filling the parliament’s main hall with fumes.
Prime minister-designate Donald Tusk denounced what he called an “unacceptable” act.
“It can’t happen again, it’s a disgrace,” Tusk said as he waited for the parliament to approve his pro-EU government, a vote now delayed amid the chaos triggered by the incident, which was condemned by all parties except for the Confederation.
“SHAME. A Polish Parliament member just did this. Few minutes after we celebrated Hanukkah there,” Israel‘s ambassador to Poland Yacov Livne said on social media, posting a video of the stunt.
Holownia, the parliament speaker, said he ordered Braun to be temporarily barred from proceedings and imposed financial fines on the ultranationalist lawmaker.
“What happened is just disgusting. This is a great Jewish holiday, these people were invited here,” Holownia said, adding that “there will be no tolerance of anti-Semitism” in the assembly.