Czech politician resigns over anti-Semitic video

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A Czech politician withdrew his candidacy at the European Parliament elections over a video which showed him making Nazi, anti-Semitic statements.

Milan Zavada, 23, gave up his bid Tuesday, the Tyden weekly reported, in connection with the appearance of the film, which was taken several years ago when Zavada was a teenager.

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In the video, Zavada, a politician for the ANO 2011 center-right party, is seen holding an ax and a helmet while saying he needs to to “defend against Jews. It is an invasion of our country. This is worse than Palestine.” He also sang a Nazi anthem.

Lucie Kubovicova, a spokesperson for ANO 2011, told Czech media: “We learned of it over the weekend and we agreed that he would resign and he accepted it. He said he regretted it and that he had not intended to harm the movement.”

Last month, Czech Justice Minister Helena Valkova of the ANO 2011 party came under fire for saying nothing much happened during the Nazi occupation of her country.

Zavada said he considered his behavior “mischief.”

“I was simply a normal teenager. I was growing up at the time when everybody had already a mobile phone with a camera,” he told Barrandov TV, explaining the incident, Tyden reported.

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