One doesn’t need to be a seasoned Public Relations professional to realize that MK Oren Chazan is a media genius. Whether you like his behavior, his policies or the lack thereof, you can’t deny that the man knows how to own press coverage. It is unfathomable that the most covered aspect of President Trump’s historic visit to Israel, was a selfie on the red carpet. Let alone with a frat-boy who miraculously made it into the Knesset as the 30th MK of the Likud. Harry Truman’s famous re-quote “I don’t care what they say about me, as long as they spell my name correctly” seems to be MK Chazan’s theme. It is the same campaign strategy utilized by President Trump himself, which propelled him into the most powerful position on earth.
However, it is important to understand that MK Chazan is really a political wizard. The foundation of a Likud MK’s “Hierarchy of Needs” is to please the 100,000 registered members of the Likud Party. These members vote in the pre-election primaries that formulate the Likud’s list for Knesset. The higher a candidate is slated on the Likud list, the higher their chances are of getting voted into the Knesset in the next general elections. There are obviously additional considerations that impact what positions and responsibilities a Likud MK will ultimately be granted, but none are as crucial to his political survival as pleasing the Members of the Likud Party.
It is for this reason that some Israelis have come to prefer the structure of “dictatorship” parties like Yesh Atid, Israel Beyteinu and Kulanu, where party lines are more effectively enforced and there are actionable ramifications for misconduct.
Considering that it is unlikely that he will ever be selected by a PM to serve as a minister, MK Oren Chazan doesn’t really care what Bibi, Buzi, Arutz 2 or CNN have to say about his antics, so long as it increases his internal party ratings. The media’s ongoing criticism and ridiculing, works perfectly in Chazan’s favor by fueling his popularity among “Likudnikim” and, other Israelis, who spitefully resent the media and also don’t mind a little careless comic relief.
I’ll admit that I was personally dumbfounded and cringed, when watching MK Chazan’s juvenile selfie with President Trump on the Red Carpet. Notwithstanding, Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein went a bit overboard in his interview on Galatz Radio by stating that “anyone that did not cringe needs to reassess whether they really love the State of Israel”. It is exactly statements like this, which create grassroots resentment that fuel the public ratings of characters like MK Oren Chazan.
Anyone who was understandably angered and embarrassed by Oren Chazan’s behavior, should recognize that it is a symptom of a flawed political system, which he is playing like a fiddle. I’m willing to bet that in the next elections, Oren Chazan will be slated within the top 20 candidates of the Likud’s list for Knesset.
For the record, if forced to choose between the two evils, I prefer the childish antics of Chazan, over certain well-mannered corrupt ministers who pose a far greater threat to the social, financial and Jewish future of the State of Israel.