Shas party leader Aryeh Deri reportedly accuses Prime Minister Netanyahu of “tricking” him with a surprise appointment of Likud MK Amir Ohana as Knesset speaker, the first LGBTQ person to hold the role, which put ultra-Orthodox lawmakers in an unexpected dilemma regarding how to handle Ohana’s speech, in which he played up the issue.
The Kikar Hashabbat Haredi news site quotes Deri telling MKs in a closed meeting: “Netanyahu tricked me with the appointment of Amir Ohana, we thought it would be [Likud MKs] Yoav Kisch or David Amsalem.”
Deri also implies that the Haredi lawmakers should have treated Ohana’s speech with more disdain than they did.
“We erred in our conduct in the plenum,.I headed out immediately after the speech, I can’t understand the Haredi MKs who went to hug him after that address.”
However, Deri himself hugged Ohana earlier in the ceremony, after the latter had become Knesset speaker.
Meanwhile, former Shas MK Nissim Zeev has slammed the decision to appoint Ohana, suggesting that rather than resigning, the gay Knesset speaker should “form a kosher family and marry a woman.”
“In what country in the world is there a gay [parliament] speaker?” Zeev told Radio 103FM. “There is no hate here, but there is a deviation from the path of the Torah. This must be protested.
“Amir Ohana can serve in any role, but not as Knesset speaker — sensitivity should be shown,” he added. “He is definitely a respected person, but he isn’t a role model.”