Photo Credit: Courtesy, the Knesset
Likud MK Amir Ohana

( Likud MK Amir Ohana was sworn into the Knesset on Monday following the resignation of former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom. In his inaugural speech before the Knesset Plenum, Ohana said “I am here with all of who and what I am, what I’ve chosen and what I haven’t, and am proud of being Jewish, Israeli, Mizrahi (origins in an Arab country), gay, Likudnik, hawk, liberal and free-market man.”

“When people shout ‘Itbach al Yahud’ [Arabic for kill the Jews], I am a Jew. When they shoot, boycott, label and expel, I am a settler… When soldiers are defamed, I am a soldier.” MK Ohana said.


His line about the defamation of IDF soldiers was a reference to the recent controversy over the “Breaking the Silence NGO,” which turns alleged abuses by IDF soldiers into anti-Israel propaganda paid for by foreign interests.

Ohana also sided with the residents of south Tel Aviv, who have long complained about the influx of African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. “When entire neighborhoods are not as they were, and the elderly are forced to live out the remainder of their lives in fear — I am a south Tel Aviv resident. And when the outside appearance of a man is considered a good reason to hate him, to distance him from neighborhoods and employment — I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew who is not afraid,” he said.

“When a baby is burned with his relatives, damn it, I’m with you, brothers,” Ohana said, finishing his sentence in Arabic. Ohana was referring to the fatal firebombing in the village of Duma, in which three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family perished.

“When they stab to death a young woman in the parade of love and tolerance I’m gay, a gay person who does not just hope the day will come but gets up and brings it. A gay person who understands that the flag we carry, lesbians and gay men, trans and bi, is the rainbow flag.” The latter comment was a reference to the murder of Shira Banki in the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last summer.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony and gave his blessing from the Knesset podium. “I want to make a clear point that may not be clear. Amir is the first clear, candid representative of the gay community who was elected in an open primary when he was completely out [of the closet]. He was elected by thousands of voters in the Likud primary,” Netanyahu said. He voiced his confidence that “Amir represents very well our view of liberal nationalism. He believes in the rights of the Jewish people to their land, in protecting the country’s security, civil rights, capitalist economics and a free market.”

Netanyahu added: “I’ve had the chance to work with him. He is pleasant but firm in his opinions, steadfast in his principles, and I think he will be an excellent Knesset member and a bridge between different parts of the public. I receive him with respect and pride.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) said he hoped MK Ohana and the rest of the coalition members would support the opposition’s attempts to improve the standing of Israel’s gay community through legislation.


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  1. A complete contradiction of all those terms. I’m a tall, short, thin, fat, far right communist. Only the uninformed would like this man. But he’ll fit right in to the Knesset; they’re all the same. No education, no principles, no morals and NO OBLIGATIONS except pretend to look as though they’re doing something.

  2. It is written in the Torah, in Leviticus 20:13, that God said: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads”. Therefore, the State of Israel must kill all man who has sexual relations with man. So, those who participate in gay pride parade are expressing hate for God, and thus they are committing a sin, because they are violating His commandment that is in Deuteronomy 6:5, were it is written that God commanded us to love Him, and they are committing that sin defiantly. It is written in the Torah, in Numbers 15:30, that God commanded that if a person sins defiantly, that person must be cut off from the people of Israel. Therefore, the state of Israel must kill all those who participate in gay pride parade.

    Homosexuality is not innate, because there are many cases of identical twins (monozygotic twins) where one is homosexual and the other is heterosexual, what excludes the possibility that the cause of the homosexuality is genetic, because the identical twins have equal genomes, and also excludes the possibility that the homosexuality is congenital, caused by existing conditions during the gestation, because the identical twins are gestated together, in the same conditions.

  3. My son-in-law is Mizrachi. He served Israel in the IDF during a war–and in several other ways…How dare Idara Essang insult and defame Mizrachi Jews! She does have one thing right, and that is Ethiopians should also not be the object of prejudice. I understand what the new MK is trying to say. And that is–wherever there is injustice, we should stand up for the victim! You may not agree with him, but that is no justification for insulting Mizrachi or Ethiopian Jews. And it is also not an excuse for advocating the murder of gay people!!

  4. what you do in your bedroom is your business. why do you bring your bedroom into the public streets? I don’t go around parading my sex life in the streets I think it’s discusting to bring any gay or heterosexual desires into the streets. leave your sex life at home where it belongs. don’t offend people by parading your sexual desires in front of children.

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