Jerusalem's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar on Tuesday expressed support for Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz.
At a Torah scroll dedication ceremony, Rabbi Amar said: "Today we're facing difficult challenges. There are things which are inconceivable, various behaviors which people would have been embarrassed even to think about, and today they're trying to make it into pride. If the Education Minister made a statement, now, everyone is criticizing him - seriously, he said what's written in the Torah."
"People want to shut the rabbis' mouths. They want to make people keep quiet. Anyone who says what the Torah says is a criminal, a betrayer, he needs to be thrown out. It's not just that they're not embarrassed. I'm sure that the day will come when they will regret and be embarrassed of everything they said and did.
"Gentlemen, there are things that are forbidden, that we don't do, but they say that some people have a desire for it and they want it. It's all nonsense. Rabbi Rafi Peretz is Education Minister but he was the IDF Chief Rabbi. They're trying now to close the rabbis' mouths. We will not give in. They want to fire us for it - we're willing to be fired, whatever you want."
On Saturday evening, Rabbi Peretz told a Channel 12 interviewer that he believes homosexuals can change. On Sunday, he clarified his remarks, emphasizing that he does not believe it is necessary to send homosexuals for conversion therapy.