MK Oren Hazan.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Knesset Ethics Committee reminded lawmakers of its rule against participating in reality TV shows, after MK Oren Hazan (Likud) did just that.
Hazan took part in nine episodes of Hanoch Daum Rethinks his Direction, in which Daum, a humorist known for his neuroses, tries to work out his midlife crisis.
The Ethics Committee decided in 2012, when then-Kadima MK Nino Absadze wanted to participate in Dancing with the Stars, that lawmakers cannot be regulars on TV or radio programs. However, they may make one-off appearances.
Hazan defended himself to the committee by saying that it is a documentary series, not a reality show, and that he has turned down several offers to take part in reality shows. The Likud MK said that he was not paid to participate in the show, nor did he sign a contract, he just filmed several segments.
The committee said that “there is no place for regular participation in a show, and there is no place to accept the differentiation MK Hazan suggested between this program and reality programs.”
However, since Hazan said he thought the rule only applied to reality television, the committee did not sanction him.
Hazan is a frequent target of Ethics Committee criticisms for various incidents in the Knesset, such as mocking MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid) who uses a wheelchair, and other instances of name-calling. However, the committee did not rule on Hazan’s best-known misbehavior – allegedly procuring prostitutes and drugs for patrons of a Bulgarian casino at which he worked – because it happened before he was elected to the Knesset.
Meanwhile, a bizarre Internet campaign is seeking to crown Hazan as Miss Israel. Yediot Aharonot posted pictures of Miss Israel finalists on its Facebook page and asked people to vote on their choice of winner. In response, most people posted photos of Oren Hazan.
“I’m excited to be the public’s choice of Israel’s beauty queen,” Hazan wrote on Facebook, with a laughing emoji. “I plan to work to reduce world hunger and to bring world peace.”