Politician Oren Hazan managed to wriggle his way into endless article space last week by furiously stating that actress Natalie Portman should be stripped of Israeli citizenship. Her crime, if you missed it, was daring to bail on a extremely-forgettable awards ceremony to protest her birth nation’s slaughter of children.
Unaware of the pure, unbridled lunacy of the infamous Hazan, several large news sites such as the Guardian and Vox ran stories quoting him without caring to mention any of his hilarious-yet-terrifying past comments.
As recently as February he stated that he wished to kick Ahed Tamimi, an incarcerated child, in the face. A month earlier he was suspended from the Knesset Ethics Committee for astonishingly claiming that an Arab MK was not attractive enough to work as a prostitute in one of his casinos. This abuse came as a rebuttal to an accusation that Hazan had worked as a pimp during his previous career as a casino owner in Bulgaria – libel proceedings concluded that this claim was completely true.
Last December, Hazan filmed a social media stunt in which he gatecrashed a bus carrying relatives of imprisoned Palestinian youths for UN-decreed visitation rights in order to tell them that their children were ‘insects, dogs and human scum’.
‘No, it’s not a question of family visits – this is a reality that must stop, and that’s why I came to confront the beasts,’ tweeted Hazan after the event. However, he failed to mention that Israel routinely holds young Palestinians under administrative detention without charge, and the ‘dogs’ he was referring to may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Even if the prisoners in question were in fact members of Hamas (a huge if), their families have a right to see them without first being pounced upon by a pimp-turned-Netanyahu-right-hand-man who resembles Donnie from the Wolf of Wall Street with his 10,000 megawatt teeth, and later seeing the footage go viral across a cultish uber-Zionist Twitter circle.
Now Natalie Portman is under Hazan’s crossfire for not being 100% pro-Israel even when bloodied young Palestinian skulls adorn newspapers across the world. Obviously every dispute should be judged purely on relevant facts, which is a relief to Hazan considering the gulf in reputation between the two: Portman is an ambassador for Free The Children and a patron of micro-financing initiatives that have successfully helped potentially millions of women and young people to escape poverty and domestic violence, whereas Hazan is a coked-up member of a government administration which a UN report describes as ‘an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates’.
Portman claims she does not explicitly endorse the BDS movement and her boycott of the Genesis awards was just a protest of the Netanyahu government, which she previously criticised as ‘racist’. However, seeing the sheer number of pitchforks being raised at this ostensibly small act of defiance – led by the likes of Hazan – shows that it took a fair deal of bravery. She deserves huge credit.
If the Netanyahu government does take action against Portman as Hazan is advocating then it will be a huge eye-opener for those who are ambivalent and hesitant to condemn the crimes of Israel. Portman is a proud and traditional adherent to Judaism who is raising her children in the faith alongside her husband, who converted to the faith from Christianity when they married.
Netanyahu’s fear of this case isn’t mere paranoia; it will be humanistic and sympathetic Jews such as Portman who will expose and ultimately bring down the ethnic cleansing and military crimes of this Israeli government and create a state where two peoples can live side by side. Hazan is smart to be deeply concerned about this – his days are numbered.