Likud MK Hazan Mocks Disabled Knesset Colleague – Again

Hazan made fun of Yesh Atid's wheelchair-bound Elharar, after accusing her last week of double voting when she had difficulty using electronic balloting system.

MK Karin Elharar in the Knesset, 2013.
Michal Fattal

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) made fun of MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid) early Tuesday morning because of her disability, which makes it difficult for her to use the Knesset’s electronic voting system. Elharar is wheelchair-bound.

Last week Hazan accused Elharar of double voting after MK Esawi Freige (Meretz) helped her cast her vote.

Double voting is a particularly sensitive subject for Hazan, as his father, former Likud MK Yehiel Hazan, was charged with doing that during a May 2003 Knesset ballot on the economic austerity plan – once for himself and once in place of his party colleague MK Inbal Gavrieli.

During the late-night session in the plenum on the amendment about drafting the ultra-Orthodox (Haredim), Hazan called out to Elharar: “Do you need Esawi to help you?”

MK Oren Hazan, left, with Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen in the Knesset. Hazan made fun of Cohen's Yesh Atid disabled colleague Karin Elharrar.
Olivier Fitoussi

After the vote concluded, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid approached Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) and reprimanded him for not removing Hazan from the Knesset after he mocked Elharar due to her disability.

“One Knesset member consistently makes fun of the disability of another Knesset member," Lapid told Edelstein. "You must do something about it. He sits there and laughs at her. You need to throw him out of here ... I intentionally waited until after the vote on ‘sharing the burden equally [in the army],’ to get him thrown out of the plenum.”

Edelstein, who apparently was concerned about removing Hazan before the very sensitive and close vote on inducting Haredim into the Israel Defense Forces, proposed that Lapid file a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee against Hazan. Lapid said he would do so.

In a tweet in response to Lapid’s request to have him removed from the Knesset floor, Hazan derogated the Yesh Atid leader.

“Lapid and Bougie [Isaac Herzog] are competing in being cry-babies,” wrote Hazan. “An arrogant [person] whose late-night defeats are not good for him runs to cry about me to the speaker of the Knesset: ‘Remove him. Remove him...’ Does someone have a tissue?”

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement on Tuesday saying Benjamin Netanyahu considers the remark attributed to Hazan as grave, adding that if indeed he did make it, he must not do it again. Netanyahu conveyed this same message to the Knesset member, the statement said.