Israeli MK Oren Hazan, from the ruling Likud party, described his handicapped lawmaker Ilan Gilon, from Meretz, âhalf a humanâ, during an official plenum.
The comment came during a stormy Knesset debate over legislation that would see government funding for the arts as contingent on âloyalty.â The law targets Arab residents in order to stop commemorating Palestinian occasions.
Gilon had been criticizing Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev, also of the Likud party, from the podium when Hazan came to her defense.
The disabled MK and Hazan then exchanged words before the Likud backbencher said: âIf you werenât half a human, I would respond to you.â
Gilon replied branding Hazan âthe Golem of Prague.â Gilon, who had polio as a child, has difficulty walking unaided and often uses a wheelchair.
âLet me remind you that this repulsive MK also mocked my friend Karin Elharar for her disability. How disgusting can you be?â Zionist Union MK Mickey Rosenthal said.
âIf he isnât thrown out of the Likud in the coming hour â then this is the true face of the party. This is the way they want to lead Israel. Revolting,â wrote Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir on Twitter.
However, he remained in the Likud.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.