Rabbi with ties to Ben-Gvir and Deri says Amir Ohana is 'infected with a disease'

Mazoz also hinted that the Meron incident because of the existence of the LGBTQ+ community.

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana in the Knesset Plenum, December 29, 2022. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana in the Knesset Plenum, December 29, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Senior rabbi Meir Mazoz, who has ties to Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Health Minister Aryeh Deri, has referred to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana as "being infected with a disease," Hebrew media reported late Saturday night.

Mazoz likely made these comments because Ohana is gay, due to also referring to the LGBT pride parade in Jerusalem as the "Beast Parade" shortly after his comments on the Knesset speaker.

Mazoz advised the residents in the city to close their windows during the parade and explain to their children that "there is a parade of animals that walk on two."

Mazoz later referred to Ohana without mentioning his name, who was also the former Public Security Minister, and hinted that the Meron disaster - which killed 45 people - was caused due to Ohana's sexual orientation, according to a report by Ynet.

"There is a parade of animals that walk on two."

Rabbi Meir Mazoz

"The minister who was in charge of Meron is himself infected with this disease," he said.

 Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana with his husband and children at a Likud faction meeting following the swearing in of the new government, December 29, 2022. (credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90) Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana with his husband and children at a Likud faction meeting following the swearing in of the new government, December 29, 2022. (credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)

Former chief rabbi of Israel speaks out against Ohana's nomination

Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, the chief rabbi of the Sephardim in Jerusalem and former chief rabbi of Israel, opposed MK Amir Ohana's appointment as Speaker of the Knesset and the support of the ultra-Orthodox representatives for his nomination.

"Woe to the ears that hear this, appointing them to so-called important positions, they have already lost all shame," Rabbi Amar said during his weekly lesson at the Beit Midrash "Ner HaTorah" in Jerusalem.

"Even if there were crazy people who did this, they would hide and woe betide those who hear about it, and now in our iniquities, God has mercy, that he will not bring evil to the people of Israel, they make parades about it, they are proud of it," said the rabbi.

"Unfortunately, even people who are considered believers supported it, it's a shame like no other," added Rabbi Amar and attacked the ultra-Orthodox Knesset members who supported Ohana's appointment. "People who represent Torah and religion. We need to be very strong in this matter, it is a very serious thing, it is the lowest thing there is."

"These are things that have never been done before, and it was a great shame to make a publication out of it. On the other hand, I thought that when I heard about the appointment, maybe the time of the Messiah had come, because it is written, Chutzpah Yishga, there was a lot of insolence that we thought, but here we have already reached the peak, we have to be careful not to bring those people together, not to complete their minyan," concluded the former chief rabbi.

Alleged homophobia from the new coalition

When Ohana had his inaugural speech as the new Knesset Speaker, United Torah Judaism MKs Meir Porush and Moshe Gafni covered their faces and turned away from the Likud politician.

Ohana became the highest-ranking member of Knesset to be part of the LGBTQ+ when he was approved for his position.

When Ohana was first sworn into the Knesset in 2015, multiple MKs from United Torah Judaism and Shas walked out of the plenum.

Tzvi Joffre and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.