MK Hilik Bar of the opposition Zionist Union faction submitted complaints on Sunday to both the Israel Police and the Knesset Ethics Committee after Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan posted a “Wanted dead or alive” poster on social media depicting a prominent human rights activist.
Bar said the image, which included (in Spanish) a sum of money as a reward, amounted to “incitement to murder and violence.”
In a tweet, Bar said that he had lodged the complaints despite the fact that he disagreed with B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad’s speech at the United Nations last week in which he criticized Israeli policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians, comparing them to apartheid-era South Africa and urging the international community to act on the Palestinians’ behalf.
Bar noted that Hazan’s post came on the anniversary of the 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
נדרשת עזרת הציבור באיתור מבוקש!חגי אלעד, מנכ"ל "בשקר" (בצלם), הבוגדני שפעם אחר פעם מסתובב בעולם במטרה אחת – להכפיש…
In his post, Hazan said he planned to wait at the airport for “treacherous” El-Ad to return from the United States and would then deliver him to police for questioning.
“My dears, this time the liar has crossed a red line. All who know anything about his whereabouts and his return time, please fill me in,” wrote Hazan.
During the speech, his first-ever to a formal Security Council session, El-Ad focused on Israel’s settlement policies, accusing the government of deliberately “splitting up an entire people, fragmenting their land, and disrupting their lives.”
Speaking in English, El-Ad drew analogies between the situation in the Palestinian territories, the American South under Jim Crow laws, and South Africa under the racist apartheid regime, noting that Palestinians have no representation in the Israeli institutions that govern their lives.
Israel’s envoy to the UN Danny Danon, who also spoke at the meeting, addressed El-Ad directly in Hebrew as he sat next to Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour.
“Mr. El-Ad, you are an Israeli citizen who is serving our enemies. They’re using you against us. The soldiers of the IDF are protecting you and you are here to incriminate them,” Danon said.
“Shame on you. Shame on you, you lousy collaborator,” he added, looking at El-Ad.
El-Ad was invited to the meeting by Bolivia, which currently holds the presidency of the Security Council.
B’Tselem, a human rights organization that documents abuses against Palestinians, said in a statement that Britain’s envoy to the Security Council criticized Danon for his comments to El-Ad and for failing to translate his Hebrew remarks for the rest of the ambassadors at the meeting. It said the five European countries in the council thanked B’Tselem for El-Ad’s appearance.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that El-Ad’s words were a “disgrace” and “full of lies.”
“As our soldiers prepare to defend Israel’s security, [the] B’Tselem director chooses to deliver a speech full of lies at the UN in an attempt to help Israel’s enemies,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“B’Tselem’s conduct is a disgrace that will be remembered as a short and temporary episode in our nation’s history,” added Netanyahu, who is also acting foreign minister.
Earlier this month, Hazan came under fire for criticizing the interfaith wedding of popular Israeli Arab news anchor Lucy Aharish and Jewish actor Tsahi Halevi, star of international TV hit “Fauda.”
In a tweet, Hazan said: “I’m not accusing Lucy Aharish of seducing a Jewish soul in order to hurt our nation and prevent more Jewish offspring from continuing the Jewish line. On the contrary, she’s welcome to convert.”
He also accused the “Fauda” star of becoming “Islamicized,” and said Halevi had taken his role in the political thriller too far. “Lucy, it’s nothing personal, but know that Tzahi is my brother and the people of Israel are my people. Enough with assimilation!”