Likud MK Hazan calls the disabled lawyer "half human"


Likud MK Oren Hazan on Monday lit a fire after calling for the disabled lawyer Meretz, Ilan Gilon, "half human."

Hazan said later that he was not referring to Gilon's disability.

The commentary appeared during a heated debate in the Knesset on legislation in which government funding for art would depend on "loyalty."

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Gilon criticized the culture minister Miri Regev, also from the Likud party, from the podium when Hazan came to her defense.

Then Gilon and Hazan exchanged words before Likudu said: "If you were not half human, I would have answered you."

Gilon evaporated, marking Hazan "Golem from Prague."

Member of the Knesset Ilan Gilon from the Meretz party. (Flash90 / file)

Likud MK, who was punished for making fun of a disabled legislator in the past, insisted that his insult was not wrong for the legislator's left.

"My comments related to his manners. If my statements were interpreted differently, accept my apologies," Hazan said.

Gilon, who had polio as a child, has difficulty walking without help and often uses a wheelchair.

Hazan's commentary provoked a sharp reaction from opposition MPs who described the legislator's words as "rebellious" and "repulsive". "If he is not thrown out of Likud in the coming hour – this is the true face of the party, so that they want to lead Israel, outrage," wrote the Zionist Association MK Stav Shaffir on Twitter.

"Let me remind you that this repulsive MK ridiculed my friend Karin Elharar of her disability." How disgusting are you? "The Zionist union, MK Mickey Rosenthal, was added.

Since his election to the Knesset two years ago, Hazan publicly laughed a handicapped colleague and was temporarily banned in the Knesset twice in connection with various failings. In January, the Knesset Ethics Committee gave Hazan the maximum possible punishment – unprecedented in all years of the Knesset – for a series of incidents in which he offended other legislators.

In November 2015, during a night-time vote, Hazan shouted into the wheelchair Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar, "Do you need Issawi to help you?" Elharar suffers from muscular dystrophy.

Hazan accused her of an illegal double vote after she asked Meretz MK Issawi Frej to help her vote at the plenum.

He recently told the Commissioner at a meeting of the Knesset committee that he was too ugly to become a prostitute.

Hazan's father Yehiel Hazan lost his place in the Knesset after he was caught in a double vote in the plenum, and then he tried to remove the voting computer from the Knesset storage to hide the evidence of the act.

The Knesset on Monday night will vote in the first reading of the controversial bill that would allow the minister of culture to stop financing cultural organizations "acting in violation of the state's rules".

The so-called cultural loyalty law would allow the government to raise funds from organizations or events that present one of five themes: denying that the state of Israel is a Jewish, democratic country; incitement to racism, violence or terror; support for armed struggle or acts of terror against Israel by a hostile state or terrorist group; marking the Independence Day of Israel as a day of mourning; or any act of destruction or physical degradation of the flag or any status symbol.


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