Israel Education Minister Defends Conversion Therapy

Photo Credits: Axios

Rafi Peretz was appointed as Israel's Education Minister in June this year and he has already triggered a widespread condemnation for his statements about so called "gay conversion therapy." During his appearance on Israel's Channel 12. Peretz, who is a leading member of the ultranationalist United Right alliance, said in a recent interview that gay conversion therapy was possible.

This so called "gay conversion therapy" is a process which is used to force people to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight through the use of physical and/or emotional torture without any evidence that it can really change someone's sexual orientation. There are people who are trying to promote this process but they have never presented evidence about its effects. The process was also condemned as a torture. That is why Peretz's statements have been condemned.

“I think that it is possible to convert [someone’s sexual orientation],” Mr. Peretz said on Saturday, as Patheos reports. “I can tell you that I have deep familiarity on the issue of education, and I have also done this.” He is saying that he has deep familiarity with this issue not because he is gay but because he has done his research about this subject. He described how he had acted when a gay person told him about his sexual inclinations. "First of all, I embraced him. I said very warm things to him. I told him, 'Let's think. Let's study. And let's contemplate.' "The objective is first of all for him to know himself well... and then he will decide," Mr. Peretz said, according to BBC.

Israeli officials had a stern reaction to their education minister's statements. Israeli Prime Minister stated that Peretz's statements regarding LGBTQ community do not reflect the official position of the Israeli government and he has expressed his criticism to Mr. Peretz. Other political leaders also expressed their disagreement with Peretz's ideas and some called for his resignation.

Peretz later attempted to clarify his comments insisting that he wasn't never claimed it was necessary for gay people to go through therapy.  But his promotion of conversion therapy has no basis in facts and it is no more than a torture. People who have received this so-called therapy later said that it is not only ineffective, but it is also a form of torture.

Promoting something like this is not acceptable, but lately Peretz made even worse statements. According to Patheos, he claimed that Jewish people in the U.S. who married people of a different faith have created "a second Holocaust." This statement trivializes the Holocaust and is offensive to Jewish people, not only in the U.S. but all over the world.

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