ISRAEL: Education Minister Backs Ex-Gay Torture

The Washington Post reports:

Israel’s newly-appointed education minister has sparked outrage after saying in a televised interview broadcast Saturday that he believes it is possible to perform conversion therapy on homosexuals to change their sexual orientation.

Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, head of the far-right, ultranationalist Jewish Home Party, also told Channel 12 News that he had carried out such treatments in the past, counseling young religious students who spoke to him about being gay.

“I think it is possible. I can tell you I have a very deep familiarity with this kind of education, and I have also done this,” said the education minister when asked if he thought people could change such inclinations.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Peretz said that he himself has participated in providing such “treatment” to gay individuals in the past and that his approach is for the person in question “to get to know himself better and then decide” on their sexual orientation.

The Health Ministry said in 2014 there was no scientific evidence that gay conversion, which includes counseling and even electro-shock therapy, is effective and said it can cause harm to those exposed to it.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly criticized his education minister for his remarks, and Peretz was assailed by opposition politicians and NGOs many of whom called on the prime minister to fire him.

Peretz last appeared on JMG after he declared that American Jews marrying outside their constitutes a “second Holocaust.”