Israeli Lawmaker Suspended for One Week for Aggressive Behavior Toward Colleague

Oren Hazan approached Meretz MK during a television interview and yelled that she should be serving in Hamas' or Assad's army, leading ethics committee to remove him from Knesset for one week

Oren Hazan in a Knesset Committee meeting in 2015.
Olivier Fitoussi

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided Monday to suspend MK Oren Hazan (Likud) from the Knesset for a week, citing aggressive behavior toward his colleague MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) during an interview she gave to Channel 20 two months ago. Hazan was suspended from the Knesset committees he participates in as well as the Knesset plenary, but he will still be allowed to vote.

The interview took place during an event hosted by Meretz and the organization "Breaking the Silence" in Kiryat Ono. After Rozin began the interview, Hazan moved close to her and began yelling threateningly. "You're small, you're an embarrassment, go serve in Hamas' army, serve in Assad's army," he yelled.

Rozin filed a complaint, citing "the violent and threatening behavior" from Hazan, who rejected the claim and said that his behavior was coordinated with Channel 20. Members of the Knesset Ethics Committee watched the recorded interview and rejected Hazan's argument. They declared that this wasn't the first time Hazan has harmed the honor of MKs and dealt him the punishment of suspension.

Committee member Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Union) said, "this incident represents the crossing of a red line in the behavior between a man and his friend and particularly in the behavior of a member of Knesset. The detailed planning with Channel 20 of this shameful act is a drop below every accepted norm, so we committee members decided unanimously to remove him for a week so that the message will be conveyed clearly to all members of Knesset."

Hazan said in response, "I'm sorry that the Knesset has become a tool of the extreme left and Breaking the Silence. To remove me for coming out against representatives of the traitorous and lowly organization is a big achievement for terrorists and haters of Israel. Personally, I'm proud that I cried the soldiers' cry and I upheld the pride of IDF soldiers and the State of Israel."