A leading Polish Member of the European Parliament, whose party is linked to David Cameron's Tories, has demanded the destruction of Poznan's historic synagogue. The MEP, Marcin Libicki, a member of Poland's ruling right-wing Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc - PiS) party, has a long history of involvement with far-right groups and of advocating controversial policies towards Jews and other minorities.

"The synagogue building has no aesthetic value," stated Libicki in an article he sent to a local edition of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza on 12 January 2006. He went on to claim that the early 20th construction of the Poznan synagogue had been "an openly anti-Polish act" and part of "a plan of Kulturkampf [cultural struggle] which provided for a cultural diminution of the architectural expressions of Polish and Catholic influence in the city". In conclusion, Libicki proposed the building's demolition. Alicja Kobus, leader of the Jewish community in Poznan, described Libicki's proposal as "shocking". The building, which currently serves as a swimming pool is widely regarded an architectural treasure and there are plans to renovate it and convert it into a Tolerance Centre with the support of the European Union.

Libicki's statement is clearly designed to prevent such a development. Libicki is notorious for his opposition to the restitution of property to former Jewish owners and, until not long ago, was a member of the National Right (Prawica Narodowa), official Polish sister group of Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National. In March 2001, he supported, on "humanitarian grounds", Henryk Mania, a man convicted by a Polish court for participation in the wartime mass murder Jews at the Chelmno death camp, and recently applied to the Polish public prosecutor for legal action to be taken against the website of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles for alleged "anti-Polish" content in its presentation of WWII history. He has also been involved in campaigns against gay rights in Poland in the recent years.

"The extremist activities of Marcin Libicki belong to the lunatic fringe, and yet he is an influential member of the ruling party," commented Marcin Kornak, editor of the Polish anti-fascist magazine Nigdy Wiecej.