The Israeli media blasted on Wednesday the Likud ruling party after an Israeli lawmaker and a member of Likud had been suspended from his post as the deputy parliamentary speaker following accusations of “pimping” and using hard drugs.
“It's unbelievable how easily people can make their way from casinos and brothels in Burgas to the Knesset plenum,” Sima Kedmon wrote in a recent op-ed for a local media outlet.
Local Israeli TV Channel 2 ran a report on Oren Hazan Monday that accused the lawmaker of hiring prostitutes for clients of a casino he ran in Bulgaria and using hard drugs during that time. The allegations prompted his suspension pending an investigation.
"I informed (Knesset Member) Oren Hazan this morning that for the time being I won't be able to let him run the plenum sessions as deputy speaker of the Knesset, in light of the report on him on Channel 2," Israeli parliamentary speaker Yuli Edelstein said on Tuesday through Facebook.
Edelestein also added that the suspension was on ethical grounds and not criminal ones and he hoped that his deputy would be able to fend off the allegations.
However, the suspension did not sit well with Hazan. An aide of Edelstein told the French News Agency AFP that Hazan phoned Edelstein and threaten to expose “dirt” on him as a retaliation against the suspension.
Hazan, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, denied any wrongdoing in a string of interviews following the report on him on that aired on Monday. He also threatened to sue Channel 2 for airing the criminalizing report.
“I think that everyone understands that a person who ran a casino until recently, who is seen in shameful photos and who is the subject of such embarrassing testimonies, cannot serve as the young Likud members' representative in the Knesset, the slot Hazan was elected for after competing against former Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin's assistant.”