Last week the Likud Knesset member Amir Ohana—who was appointed minister of justice earlier this month—appeared at the Jerusalem gay-pride parade, where he was greeted with boos and jeers. A former official in the Shin Bet and a lawyer, Ohana most recently attracted controversy when he suggested in an interview that in certain circumstances the executive branch ought not follow the dictates of the Supreme Court. Ruthie Blum takes stock of Ohana’s opponents:
Nothing about [Ohana’s] ideology, or the criticism of it, is unusual for a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. But Ohana is placed in a category of his own. Being an openly gay man who has spent the past three-and-a-half years sharing the Knesset plenum with Orthodox Jews and Arabs will do that, or so one would think. Yet, as it happens, that’s not where Ohana gets most of the flak. No, his angriest defamers are far-left members of the LGBT community, who consider him a traitor to the cause.
This is ridiculous, of course. But then, few people are as hypocritical as radicals whose agenda includes portraying Israel as a homophobic apartheid state that “pinkwashes” its abuse of Palestinians by pointing to its human- and gay-rights record.
As an outspoken critic of this obscenely false depiction of his country—which is a haven for Palestinian gays fleeing the tortures of their genuinely oppressive, intolerant, and homophobic society—Ohana naturally raises the hackles of those who spread the propaganda like poison, and who provide fodder for Israel’s enemies abroad. You know, those who campaign for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement to delegitimize the Jewish state. Even to the point where they don’t want Israelis participating in their gay-pride parades. There’s irony for you. . . .
Indeed, contrary to a common misconception, Ohana’s gay pride is of little interest or consequence to his supporters on the right, while the pride he takes in himself—as “a Jew, an Israeli, a Mizraḥi, a homosexual, a Likudnik, a hawk, a liberal, and a proponent of a free-market economy”—is a source of consternation and disgust among left-wingers who share his sexual orientation.