Likud MK Oren Hazan (L), Meretz MK Ilan Gilon (R).
(photo credit: MAARIV/MARC ISRAEL SELLAM)
Likud MK Oren Hazan is expected to receive an unprecedented punishment from the Knesset Ethics Committee, after he called disabled Meretz MK Ilan Gilon “a half-human” when Gilon was speaking from the rostrum in the Knesset plenum.
Hazan heckled Gilon, who then called him a “golem,” which is a brainless anthropromorphic being. Hazan then repeatedly called Gilon half-human.
Afterward, Hazan issued what he called an apology, saying that his name-calling of Gilon “referred only to his beastly behavior and not anything else,” like his handicap. He said he would apologize to those who mistakenly understood him differently.
As proof that his insult of Gilon was not aimed at his handicap, Hazan noted that he had used the same insult before to describe able-bodied MKs. He said he sees all human beings as equal.
MKs rushed to file complaints against Hazan to the Knesset Ethics Committee, which has in the past distanced him from the plenum for six months. MKs are currently seeking a nine-month sanction, as well as docking a portion of his salary.
The Zionist Union said he should be suspended indefinitely. Meretz said Hazan’s behavior was indicative of how far his Likud Party had fallen.
This was not the first time Hazan
insulted a disabled MK. In November 2015, MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid), who has muscular dystrophy, was having trouble and asked Meretz MK Esawi Frej, who was sitting next to her, for assistance.
Hazan began shouting at Frej that he double-voted, Elharar burst into tears, and many lawmakers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, approached her and comforted her. Netanyahu later rebuked Hazan.
But that wasn’t enough for Hazan. Days later, during another vote, Hazan shouted to Elharar: “Do you need Esawi to help you?” The Knesset Ethics Committee suspended Hazan for a month in response to his behavior.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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