Haredi MKs stay away as first openly gay Likud MK sworn in

Ultra-Orthodox lawmakers skipped Amir Ohana’s sworn in to the Knesset ceremony, with a source in the United Torah Judaism party quoted by Channel 2 as saying that they plan to “ignore him, today and altogether.” In maiden speech, Amir Ohana voices identification with downtrodden in Israel.

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In his opening remarks to the Knesset plenum, Ohana, who replaces former interior minister Silvan Shalom, identified himself as a “Jew, Israeli, Mizrahi, homosexual, a Likud member, a security buff, a liberal and a man of the free market,” in no particular order.

When people cry “Death to the Jews,” Ohana said, using the Arabic phrase, “I am a Jew first.

“When they shoot, boycott, label, and expel — I am a settler. When they try to blur cultures, to minimize and ignore — I am Mizrahi. When they defame IDF soldiers and security forces — I am a soldier,” said Ohana. In the latter example, the fresh MK was referring to the recent controversy over the Breaking the Silence NGO, which documents alleged abuses by IDF soldiers.

Read the full story on The Times of Israel