THE HAGUE, the Netherlands (JTA) — More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition seeking the impeachment of a Belgian lawmaker who trampled the Israeli flag at a Brussels rally for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Laurent Louis, an independent member of the lower house of Belgium’s Federal Parliament, posed for pictures while standing on the flag at the June 2 demonstration outside Israel’s embassy. The flag was later set on fire.
By Wednesday, the online petition seeking Louis’ impeachment was up to some 2,200 signatures.
Louis, wearing a ceremonial ribbon in the colors of the Belgian flag, is seen in one picture holding up a portrait of Assad and a Hezbollah flag. The approximately 100 demonstrators also waved Russian and Chinese flags.
In an interview at the demonstration with Syrian national television, Louis said, “Europe is being used in the conflict [against Syria] as a tool in the hands of Israel, the rogue state.”
Louis, 33, entered parliament as a representative of the small center-right People’s Party, but he was kicked out and now remains in the body as a non-partisan.
Hezbollah, a terrorist group, last month confirmed its involvement in a civil war that erupted in Syria two years ago and has claimed 80,000 lives, according to estimates.
Israel and the French government, among others, have said they possess evidence that Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons against rebels.