Far-right Polish MP uses fire extinguisher to put out Hanukah candles | Poland #Farright #Polish #fire #extinguisher #put #Hanukah #candles #Poland

A far-right MP in Poland has used a fire extinguisher to put out a candle on a menorah that was lit for Hanukah, disrupting parliamentary proceedings before a planned vote of confidence in a new government.

Donald Tusk, the new prime minister, who earlier on Tuesday vowed to reform Poland after eight years of rule by the rightwing nationalist Law & Justice party, said the incident was “a disgrace”.

“This is unacceptable. This can’t happen again. This is a disgrace,” he said.

His condemnation was echoed by Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, who posted on X: “SHAME. A Polish parliament member just did this. Few minutes after we celebrated Chanukah there.”

The parliament, or Sejm, took a break to deal with the incident, carried out by Grzegorz Braun, who was shown on television putting out the candle with a fire extinguisher and causing smoke or haze to fill the area.

Asked just after the incident if he was ashamed, Braun replied: “Those who take part in acts of Satanic worship should be ashamed.”

Braun left the chamber, shaking hands with other far-right lawmakers.

The speaker of the parliament, Szymon Hołownia, denounced Braun’s actions.

“There will be no tolerance for racism, xenophobia, antisemitism … as long as I am the speaker of parliament,” Hołownia told reporters.

Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, said Braun’s actions were not representative of the country and that he was “embarrassed” by them.

“Someone extinguished the Hanukah candles and a few minutes later we relit them,” he told Reuters. “For thousands of years our enemies have been trying to extinguish us … But our enemies should learn, they cannot extinguish us.”

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Cardinal Grzegorz Ryś of Poland’s Catholic church said in a statement posted on X that he was ashamed of Braun’s actions. “(I) apologise to the entire Jewish community in Poland,” he wrote.

Braun, a pro-Russian member of the far-right Confederation party, has in the past falsely claimed that there is a plot to turn Poland into “a Jewish state”.

Later on Tuesday he appeared to double-down on his action, re-posting a post on X complaining about the presence of Jewish symbols in the Polish parliament building and using an antisemitic trope, saying that Poland is “ruled” by people serving other nations.

Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

#Farright #Polish #fire #extinguisher #put #Hanukah #candles #Poland

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