Meet the Likud’s First Openly Gay Member of Knesset

While advocating for LGBT rights, Amir Ohana also fervently opposes a Palestinian state

By Israel Today Staff |
New Likud parliament member Amir Ohana seen during a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament on December 21, 2015. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ôåìéèé÷àéí ëðñú éùéáú ñéòä ìéëåã àîéø àåçðä Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, a veteran of the ruling Likud party, resigned from political life on Sunday amid a sexual misconduct scandal, opening the way for the right-wing faction’s first ever openly gay member of Knesset.

Amir Ohana, No. 32 on the Likud list, enthusiastically filled the empty Knesset seat, telling Channel 2 News he knew he’d have an opportunity to serve in the current government.

Ohana heads the Likud’s “Gay Forum,” and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights in Israel.

Paradoxically, in eyes of many, Ohana opposes a two-state solution with the Palestinians, and in a 2014 interview stated that “what is happening in Judea and Samaria is not an occupation but a liberation. …Judea and Samaria are more Israel than Tel Aviv and Herzliya.”

But Ohana rejects the apparent contradiction, insisting that it is entirely possible to be right-wing and homosexual.

The IDF reserve officer and former Shin Bet (Israeli FBI) agent said those who view the Right as being insensitive to the LGBT community have it all wrong.

The Right, explained Ohana, “just sees a more complex picture. It takes into account that before quality of life issues are addressed, it must neutralize possible threats to the lives of others.” Hence, the seemingly exaggerated focus on national security.

Ohana lives in Tel Aviv with his partner and their twin surrogate babies.

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