MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) apologized in an interview with N12 on Saturday night for his behavior the previous week when he broadcasted the Knesset voting process live on Facebook while hurling insults at opposition MKs.
At the beginning of the interview, Cohen said: “I made a mistake, my demeanor was inappropriate. It was not respectful, and certainly not [appropriate for] a legislative house. This is not what I want our children to learn. I apologized [personally] to MK Merav Ben-Ari after a few hours, although she, unfortunately, did not accept my apology. I erred, I take back my words.”
Later in the interview, Cohen explained that “this is about hypocrisy and double standards - the treatment of other MKs who behave in the same way is different.” He gave examples of MKs Ram Ben Barak (Yesh Atid) and Yulia Malinovsky (Yisrael Beytenu), who he claimed compared the current government to Nazis and condescended to the Morrocan community, respectively.
“It feels to me that it is always convenient to attack the guy from the periphery, who grew up on the edges,” Cohen said, adding: “Why do the left-wingers not apologize? Because [for them] everything is permissible. MK Yorai Lahav Hertzanu jumps on tables, MK Ofer Cassif calls our soldiers Nazis...child-killers and fascists daily. Where is the media?”
Almog Cohen's behavior in Knesset
Cohen's apology came after he went live on Facebook during a Knesset vote and called MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash), saying “Oskot!” which means “shut up” in Arabic. He then began to make sounds used for herding sheep. After that, he turned to Shas chairman Arye Deri and said, “you see that? You talk to them in their language and they understand you. Like a sheep - that's how you should talk to them. Friends, I am not telling him to be quiet in Hebrew because he does not understand Hebrew.”
וואוו וואוו וואוו מה קורה בלייב פייסבוק של ח״כ אלמוג כהן בזמן ההצבעה במליאהכמה מהפנינים..♂️ pic.twitter.com/N2dfbSQ363— Haim Goldich | חיים גולדיטש (@HGoldich) February 20, 2023
Later on, Cohen pointed the camera at MK Ahmad Tibi (Ta'al) and made a comment about Tibi's qualifications as a medical doctor. “I wouldn't even let him take care of my dog,” said Cohen. He then returned to Cassif and once again told him to be quiet and made sheep-herding sounds.
After that, he filmed MK Merav Ben Ari (Yesh Atid) and said: “Now we will move to MK Merav Ben Ari, the one with the voice [that sounds like] ‘barara.’ The voice of [mopping the floor] - she has that.”