Likud's Newest MK Brings Fresh Face to Politics

Oren Hazan, #30 on the Likud list, returned to Israel after the boys were abducted - and at 33, he's set to make a difference.

Benny Toker and Tova Dvorin ,

Likud members gather in Tel Aviv
Likud members gather in Tel Aviv
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Likud's newest MK may be the son of a former MK, but it was the events of summer 2014 which brought him home. 

Oren Hazan, the son of former MK Yehiel Hazan (who served in the 16th Knesset), inched into the 20th Knesset earlier this week. As #30 on the Likud list, his seat was revealed long after the first exit polls began predicting a Likud landslide. 

Hazan is just 33 years old - and was abroad until just before Operation Protective Edge in Gaza on business - but he approaches the Knesset with a vision. 

"I came for a visit in June 2014, for a cousin's wedding," he recounted. "Following the abduction of the three boys, I went to go visit the families and support them - and then I met Bat-Galim Sha'ar [the mother of Gilad Sha'ar - ed.]." 

His conversation with Bat-Galim made a lasting impression on him.

"I was a member of Likud for many years," he said. Hazan was involved in the Likud youth and opposed the Disengagement in 2005. "But after returning to Israel and the abduction, I realized that I didn't have the privilege of despair. I gave up everything, and went on a true mission - both with soldiers in Protective Edge and defending the lack of security on buses in Ariel [his hometown - ed.]." 

"I had met before then many young people in a kind of despair, but the abduction of the boys and the unity of the nation changed me and brought me back to involvement." 

When the elections were declared, his friends persuaded him to apply for the Likud primaries.

"They told me I deserved to be there," he said. "I ran on the national list and was placed in the spot reserved for younger candidates. I hope not to disappoint." 

Hazan also recounted the frenzy of elections night.

"When they were talking last night about going from 29 to 30 seats, everyone was excited, but there were ups and downs," he said. "My father, MK Yehiel Hazan, who himself served in the Knesset, believed in me all the time and was very encouraging." 

Hazan, while surprised that he did make the cut, is not unprepared for his term in the Knesset. 

"I plan to take care of all the issues that are important to young people," he explained, adding that these include the cost of living and higher education.