Likud MK Oren Hazan on Monday triggered a fire after calling Meretz lawmaker Ilan Gilon "half man."
Hazan later said he did not refer to Gilon's disability.
The comment came during a painful debate in the Knesset on legislation that would see state funding for the arts as dependent on "loyalty".
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Gillon had criticized Culture Minister Miri Regev, also of the Likud party, from the podium when Hazan came to her defense.
Gilon and Hazan then exchanged words while backbayer Likud said: "If you were not half a man, I would answer you."
Gilona replied by saying that he was the "Golem of Prague".
Likud MK, who was punished for mocking a lawmaker in the past, insisted that his insult was not a jab in the status of the leftist lawmaker.
"My comments were on his motives. If my statements were interpreted differently, you accept my apologies," said Hazan.
Gilon, who had childhood polio, has difficulty walking without help and often uses a wheelchair.
Hazan's comment drew opposition from the opposition MK, who described the legislator's words as "guerrilla" and "repulsive". "If he does not come out of Likud the next hour – then that's the real face of the party. This is the way they want to lead Israel. Revolting, "wrote the Zionist MK Stav Shaffir on Twitter.
"Let me remind you that this MK repellent also mourned my friend Karin Elharar for her disability. How disgusting can you be?" Added Zionist MK Mickey Rosenthal.
Since his election in Knesset two years ago, Hazan has publicly misled a colleague with disabilities and has been banned temporarily by the Knesset twice for various injustices. In January, the Knesset Ethics Committee gave Hazan the highest possible punishment – unprecedented in all of Knesset's years – for a series of incidents that harmed co-legislators.
In November 2015, during a late-night vote, Hazan yelled at Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar, "Do you need Issawi to help you?" Elharar suffers from muscular dystrophy.
Hazan accused her of an unlawful double vote after asking Meretz MK Issawi Frej to help her vote in plenary.
Recently, she told a woman-lawmaker at a Knesset committee meeting that she was too nasty to be a prostitute.
Hazan's father, Yehiel Hazan, lost his headquarters to the Knesset, having been double-voted in plenary, and then tried to remove a voting computer from a Knesset warehouse to hide the evidence of the act.
The Knesset on Monday night will vote in a first reading of a controversial bill that will allow the Minister of Culture to withhold funding for cultural organizations "working against State authorities".
The so-called culture loyalty law will allow the government to raise funding from organizations or events that present five of the following issues: the refusal of the state of Israel to be a Jewish democratic country. incitement to racism, violence or terrorism; support for the armed struggle or terrorist acts against Israel by a hostile state or a terrorist group; characterizing Israel's Independence Day as a mourning day. or any act of destruction or physical deterioration of the flag or any State symbol.