The Eli pre-military academy responded to reports on Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) that Rabbi Yigal Levinstein called for conversion therapy for LGBTQ individuals "at a very young age."
"This is a false report. We intend to file a lawsuit. It's amazing to see how from the recording where Rabbi Yigal says he clearly opposes the conversion conversations, and Galei Tzahal quoted it as if Rabbi Yigal was in favor," the academy said.
"It is unfortunate to see that the lesson from Rabbi Naumburg's affair and Channel 13 on false media reports is not being studied. This is a false report from Galei Tahal. Rabbi Yigal is actually opposed to conversion therapy. We intend to file a libel suit against the false report that was made this morning in order to shut [Rabbi Levinstein's] mouth.
The academy added: "At no point during the class last night, or at any other lesson did Rabbi Yigal pass through his decades as an educator, did the rabbi say he was in favor of conversion therapy. On the contrary, Rabbi Yigal also said last night that he was opposed to conversion therapy, but the reporter insisted on presenting things in a distorted and different manner than how they said. Amazing. What journalistic negligence. From a recording where Rabbi Yigal says explicitly that he opposes conversion treatments, Galei Tzhal put out a false headline, quoting Rabbi Yigal as saying: "The most effective conversion treatments are at a very young age," in another attempt to shut mouths, a forced attempt to tie terms that are unrelated to the rabbi to a respectful discourse held between the rabbi and his students."
"The rabbi argues that there are professional psychological therapies that can help the youth with sensitivity, just as a variety of professionals argue in other fields. Whoever listens to the whole class, without taking things out of context, will see it proved. The comments made by the students and by the rabbi deserve to be listened to, and these are legitimate attitudes in public discourse in general and in discourse with youth in particular,” the response said.