Balad Party chairman MK Jamal Zahalka called on police to charge fellow lawmaker Oren Hazan with incitement to murder for an election parody video in which Hazan shoots Zahalka dead.
“We are now filing a complaint with the police and the Central Elections Committee in the hope that the law enforcement authorities may finally find it necessary to bring to justice the clear and unequivocal incitement to murder a public figure,” Zahalka told the Maariv newspaper.
Posted on Hazan’s Facebook page, the video uses a scene from the spaghetti western film “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”
In the original movie, actor Eli Wallach is taking a bath when a bounty hunter walks in on him. His six-gun hidden by the soap suds in the tub, Wallach shoots the man and says: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”
חשיפה בלעדית מתוך הסרט: "הטוב הרע והזחאלקה"
צפו. שתפו. והצביעו לצומת – המפלגה היחידה שתתן 'זץ' ובאמת תגרש את תומכי הטרור מהכנסת. pic.twitter.com/m9W5UDSJN8
— אורן חזן (@oren_haz) March 19, 2019
In the crudely edited parody, Hazan pastes pictures of his face and Zahalka’s over the original actors and adds his own voiceover.
In the video, Zahalka says he would rather die than sing Israel’s national anthem. Hazan then pumps him full of lead. “When you want to die, die. Don’t make threats,” Hazan says.
Zahalka is known as a staunch anti-Zionist and opened his election campaign by saying his party, Balad, “is an inseparable part of the Palestinian national movement’”
Angered over what he sees as a rise in the levels of racism and incitement against the Arab public during the election campaign, Zahalka said it was time for action.
“Oren Hazan, in addition to being a terrifying racist, proves time and time again how low he can go down in order to win a few votes at the expense of hatred of Arabs,” Zahalka said.
Zahalka also filed a complaint with Facebook, demanding it remove the video due to the “racist, violent and inflammatory content.”
Hazan is still listed on the Knesset website as a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party. However, he suffered a defeat in the party’s primaries in February where he failed to gain sufficient support for a realistic position for the April 9 elections.
The scandal-prone lawmaker then formed his own party and grabbed the name Tzomet (junction), a defunct small right-wing party that entered the Knesset in 1988, but went dormant after failing to gain a seat in the 1999 elections.
Israeli voters cast their ballots for a political party by selecting a small printed sheet with the Hebrew languages initials representing the party’s name. Hazan chose the letters that together form the Yiddish word “zetz,” which translates as a punch or a slap.
Hazan, who entered the Knesset in the 2015 election, has become known as the enfant terrible of Israel’s parliament. He notoriously took a selfie with US President Donald Trump when Trump was being welcomed at Ben Gurion Airport on his arrival in Israel in May 2017, leading to a change in government protocol.
Shortly after he went into politics, a Hadashot news exposé alleged that Hazan had previously run a casino in Bulgaria where hard drugs and prostitution were allowed. He sued the station’s journalist Amit Segal for libel, but the court rejected the bulk of the lawsuit.
Since then, Hazan has been temporarily banned from the Knesset multiple times over various wrongdoings. Last year, the Knesset Ethics Committee handed Hazan a six-month ban on parliamentary activities, the maximum possible punishment — unprecedented in all the years of the Knesset — for a series of incidents in which he insulted fellow lawmakers.
The insults included publicly mocking a disabled colleague, telling a female MK she was too ugly to be a prostitute, and calling another wheelchair-bound MK “half a human.”
In December, he called Pnina Tamano Shata, a Yesh Atid MK of Ethiopian descent, a “token immigrant” during a Knesset committee meeting.