In an interview with Israel‘s Channel 12, Israel’s new education minister, Rafi Peretz, endorsed harmful gay conversion therapy for minors. Following the interview’s broadcast, hundreds of protesters in Tel Aviv called on Peretz to resign.
Said Peretz when asked whether it’s possible to “convert” people who believe they’re gay: “I think it is possible. I have to tell you that I have a very deep understanding of this kind of education and I have done this.”
Asked what he would say to a student who said they thought they might be gay, Peretz replied: “First of all I’d hug him. I’d say very warm things. I’d say to him ‘let’s think, let’s learn, let’s contemplate.’ The objective is that he first of all will understand himself better. And then he will decide. I give him the facts and at this point I am leaving you and now you decide.”
Peretz insisted his comments were taken out of context in a lengthy Facebook post on Sunday.
Isreali PM Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the remarks: “The things that the Minister of Education said about the gay community are unacceptable to me and don’t reflect the positions of the government which I head. I spoke this evening with Rabbi Rafi Peretz and cleared up these points and emphasize that the education system in Israel will continue to accept all the boys and girls as they are with no difference regarding their sexual orientation.”
A French Euronews report on the controversy: