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Controversial MK’s selfie with Trump sparks ire, humor

After lawmaker Oren Hazan snaps a cheeky photo with visiting US president, social media critics take note

US President Donald Trump poses for a selfie with MK Oren Hazan at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday, May 22, 2017. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hand can be seen in the lower right-hand corner, in a failed attempt to deflect Hazan's arm.  (Oren Hazan)
US President Donald Trump poses for a selfie with MK Oren Hazan at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday, May 22, 2017. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hand can be seen in the lower right-hand corner, in a failed attempt to deflect Hazan's arm. (Oren Hazan)

A scandal-plagued Israeli lawmaker stole a selfie with US President Donald Trump on Monday, annoying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but setting off a flood of online humor.

Oren Hazan was not supposed to approach Trump during the welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport, but managed to “get in” to the line of dignitaries, a foreign ministry spokesman said without elaborating.

As Trump passed, the never-shy Hazan whipped out his cellphone and suggested a selfie to Trump, television footage showed.

A bewildered looking Trump agreed and the MK took the snap, although Netanyahu tried to prevent it by gently pushing Hazan’s arm.

Within a few hours, the selfie had 17,000 “likes” on Hazan’s Facebook page after the lawmaker posted it online.

But it also attracted the anger of some internet users, especially in the right-wing Likud party of which Hazan and Netanyahu are both members.

“We have to get Oren Hazan out of parliament, and the sooner the better,” said Benjamin Lachkar, a member of Likud’s central committee, on Facebook.

Other internet users hijacked the photo, adding speech bubbles joking about the US president’s pride of having a selfie with Hazan.

https://twitter.com/IdisheRastaMan/status/866609884397277184

Another picture shows Hazan smiling while posing next to Christ on the cross.

For some, it was opportunity to poke fun at a dress worn by Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev last week at the Cannes film festival that provoked consternation — and some ridicule — for its elaborate imagery along the hem depicting Jerusalem’s most famous sites.

Hazan was suspended in 2015 from his position as deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament after a televised report accusing him of involvement in illicit activity.

He was also suspended for one month from any parliamentary activity in December 2015 after “insulting” behavior towards a colleague with a disability.

Asked about his exchange with the US president, Hazan told media that he was often referred to as the “Israeli Trump”.

“It was for me — and I think for him also — a historic moment,” he added.

Trump’s is the only account that Hazan follows on Twitter.

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