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.
— אורן חזן (@oren_haz) May 22, 2017
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.
— Shai Ben-ari (@ShaiBenari) May 22, 2017
Other internet users hijacked the photo, adding speech bubbles joking about the US president’s pride of having a selfie with Hazan.
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.
— Sam Sokol (@SamuelSokol) May 22, 2017
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.
רק אומר… pic.twitter.com/YvlJbUyT1h
— Amir Moyal אמיר מויאל (@AmirMoyal) May 22, 2017
— Itai N (@Digitai) May 22, 2017
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.