A male Likud member of Knesset, Oren Hazan, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, repeatedly denigrated and insulted a wheelchair-bound female member of Knesset from the rival Yesh Atid Party strictly on the basis of her disability, and despite doing so loudly in an open Knesset session, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party subordinates did not suspend him.
Above: Oren Hazan, left; Karin Elharrar, right
Likud MK Repeatedly Ridicules Wheelchair-Bound Opposition MK’s Disability During Knesset Sessions, Faces No Punishment For Doing So
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A male Likud member of Knesset, Oren Hazan, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, repeatedly denigrated and insulted a wheelchair-bound female member of Knesset from the rival Yesh Atid Party strictly on the basis of her disability, and despite doing so loudly in an open Knesset session, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party subordinates did not suspend him, Ha'aretz and the Times of Israel separately reported.
Likud’s Hazan attacked Yesh Atid’s Karin Elharrar, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, at least twice, once last week and then again in the very early hours of Tuesday morning as the Knesset was in the process of passing an amendment to the haredi draft law that essentially scuttles the haredi draft. Likud strongly backed the amendment. Yesh Atid strongly opposed it.
Last week, after Elharrar had a left-wing Meretz Party member of Knesset help her use the Knesset’s electronic voting system, which is not easily accessible to the disabled. Hazan yelled at Elharrar and accused her of double voting.
Then in the early hours of Tuesday morning Hazan did it again, yelling sarcastically and derisively at Elharrar as she tried to vote.
“Do you need [the Meretz MK] to help you?” Hazan yelled out.
The Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, himself a member of the Likud Party, said nothing.
After the vote was finished, Yesh Atid’s chairman Yair Lapid approached Edelstein and criticized him for not taking any action when Elharrar was being mocked by Hazan.
“One Knesset member consistently makes fun of the disability of another Knesset member. You must do something about it. He sits there and laughs at her. You need to throw him out of here…I intentionally waited until after the vote…[so as not to influence its outcome] to [come to you to] get him thrown out of the plenum,” Lapid reportedly told Edelstein.
Edelstein told Lapid he should file a complaint against Hazan with the Knesset Ethics Committee which Lapid agreed to do.
In response, Hazan posted a tweet that denigrated Lapid and opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union List.
“Lapid and Bougie [Isaac Herzog] are competing in being cry-babies. An arrogant [person] whose late-night defeats are not good for him runs to cry about me to the speaker of the Knesset: ‘Remove him. Remove him…’ Does someone have a tissue?” Hazan wrote without apologizing to Elharrar.
The Prime Minister's Office reportedly issued a statement today about the incident. It said Prime Minister Netanyahu considers the alleged remark “grave.” If Hazan actually made it, the Prime Minister’s Office said, he must not do it again, and Netanyahu conveyed this to Hazan.
Meanwhile, a Likud member of Knesset, Yoav Kisch, who refused to vote for the scuttling of the haredi draft was booted off the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today by the governing coalition’s committee’s chairman, Tzachi HaNegbi, the jerusalem Post reported.
As for Hazan, his father, former Likud Member of Knesset Yehiel Hazan, was reportedly caught double voting in May 2003 when he voted once for himself and a second time for Likud Party Member of Knesset Inbal Gavrieli, who was not disabled; she was simply absent, and Hazan voted for her. The elder hazan then tried to steal a Knesset computer to cover up the double vote. He was thrown out of Knesset as a result.
The younger Hazan, who only officially entered politics this year, was accused earlier this year by Israeli media of sexual assault, soliciting prostitutes and using crystal meth when he worked as a manager of a European casino. Hazan denies the accusations and is suing at least one media outlet for libel.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog noted that Hazan's conduct was yet another stain on the Knesset – a stain Netanyahu has done nothing to remove.