Photo Credit: MK Amir Ohana' Facebook page
Freshman MK Amir Ohana

The unexpected resignation of Interior Minister Silvan Shalom from Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has launched a new round of appointments: MK Aryeh Deri (Shas), formerly Minister of the Economy, is expected to be given the Interior Ministry in place of Shalom, after having left the Ministry of the Economy as part of the certification process for the gas outline (Deri would not defy the regulator, so Bibi did). MK Yariv Levin (Likud) will probably become the new Minister of the Economy.

MKs Tzachi Hanegbi and Benny Begin, both from Likud, are also expected to be appointed ministers—both have been promised as much by Netanyahu. Benny Begin was promised a future government ministry after he was forced to resign so MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) could join the government.


The new round of appointments follows the announcement by Minister Shalom that he is retiring from political life after a number of women have claimed that he abused them. Replacing Shalom on the Likud Knesset list is Amir Ohana, head of the Likud LGBT cell who will become the first right-wing LGBT MK.

Ohana, 38, is a lawyer by profession. He is a retired IDF Major, a former Shabak officer and chairman and founder of the Likud LGBT cell. He placed 32nd on the Likud election list. Channel 2 News noted that Ohana used to serve as bodyguard for Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who is next in line on the Likud list, in the 33rd spot.

Ohana is the father of four-month-old twins who were born from a surrogate mother in the US. He was active in the effort to bring home Israeli gay couples stranded in Nepal after the earthquake there, and managed to get the cooperation of the Public Security Ministry to cut through red tape in admitting the surrogate babies in Israel.

Ohana is expected to be sworn in this week. “I would have loved to get in under better circumstances, but I’m still glad I made it,” said Ohana. “I’m going to study first and not create headlines. … I’m going to first carefully study the terrain and then begin to work.”

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