After being humiliated by Oren Hazan, the rogue Knesset member who barged in on the tarmac for a selfie with Trump, Netanyahu may now exclude the handshaking protocol from future receptions.
Donald Trump’s whirlwind 28-hour visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority earlier this week went as choreographed except for a single hitch. To the annoyance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the state visit went off-script on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport Monday when rogue Likud Member of Knesset Oren Hazan crashed the reception line to grab a selfie with the US president.
While Trump was nonplussed as the scandal-plagued parliamentarian repeatedly cut into the line and fumbled with his cellphone camera, it seems the president was unaware of Hazan’s reputation for procuring drugs and prostitutes.
Compounding his chutzpah, Oren, a publicity hound, posted his selfie on his Facebook page with the caption, “Thank you Mr. President — it was my pleasure!”
Hazan’s embarrassing behavior made headlines around the world.
According to a Channel 2 investigative report, Hazan, 35, managed a casino in Bulgaria, where he sampled methamphetamine with guests and procured prostitutes for them. Hazan denied the accusations and sued for libel. His lawsuit was dismissed, thus confirming the allegations as factual.
In November 2015, Hazan outraged his fellow members of Knesset by ridiculing wheelchair-bound Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The record of Hazan’s inappropriate antics is long.
Hazan, who studied law at Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono near Tel Aviv, was placed 30th on the Likud list in 2015 election. The spot was reserved for young candidates, and Hazan slipped into the Knesset when the party, led by Netanyahu, garnered 30 seats.
Since then, the freshman MK, who lives in Ariel in Samaria, has been embroiled in a series of embarrassing events and is shunned by his fellow Likudniks.
“It may be worth noting,” Times of Israel reported, “that Hazan was not even supposed to be in the front row of dignitaries.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said only senior officials on the A-list were invited to greet Trump on the tarmac.
Hazan to Trump: ‘They Need More People Like Us’
As Hazan whipped out his phone, Netanyahu stepped into the situation and tried to pull the MK’s arm down. Hazan brazenly managed to get his money shot anyway — and crop out the prime minister’s arm from the selfie.
Hazan told Ynet News how he ingratiated himself to Trump.
“I told Trump that they say I’m the Israeli Trump, I told him how excited I was and that I was a fan of his from the start, and then I told him, ‘They need more people like us,’” Hazan said.
“And then I just added, ‘What do you say — can we do a selfie?’ And he said, ‘Go ahead.’ “It was my chutzpah.”
“It’s a real embarrassment,” an Israeli official said about Hazan. “He should be sanctioned over this.”
Ironically, Netanyahu himself was responsible for Hazan being on the tarmac. The prime minister was reportedly forced to strong-arm reluctant members of his party to attend the Trump reception at Ben Gurion Airport. Some Likudniks not on the A-list to shake Trump’s hand told Netanyahu they preferred not to cancel their existing commitments and undergo lengthy security checks simply to witness the welcome ceremony from a distance. Angered, Netanyahu compelled them to attend.
Hazan’s Serious Side
Netanyahu has not yet announced any plans to censure Hazan.
Hazan also has his serious side. In March, he demanded that Jordanian authorities rearrest Ahmed Daqamseh, a Palestinian terrorist who massacred seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997 and was released from Israel five years early. A new interview emerged in which Daqamseh called for the elimination of Israelis.
On Wednesday, in a change of protocol, Netanyahu instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to exclude handshakes from future reception lines.
By: Gil Zohar, World Israel News