'First I would hug him and speak to him warmly'

Education Minister Rafi Peretz is asked in an interview what he would do if a student would tell him that he is homosexual.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Credit: Yossi Ifragin/GPO

Education Minister Rafi Peretz said that it's possible to perform conversion treatments for gays and lesbians, claiming that he had done so in the past at an interview on Channel 12 News on Saturday evening.

Peretz was asked if he believed in conversion treatments and if he believes that "people who have such a tendency can be converted." Peretz replied, "I think that it's possible, I can tell you that I have a very deep knowledge of education, and I've also done it."

Peretz was asked what he would advise a student who told him about his sexual inclinations. "First of all, I would hug and speak to him warmly. I would tell him, 'Let's think, let's learn, let's look into it.' The goal is that he should first get to know himself well. I would give him the information and he needs to decide."

MK Idan Roll (Blue and White) responded to Peretz's statement: "I would be happy to send Rabbi Peretz to conversion treatment to change from a dark and dangerous man to a good person who respects people. After we win the elections, I will again submit my bill for banning conversion treatment and ensure that no child in Israel is forced to go through this nightmare. It's fortunate that Peretz is going to be Education Minister for a very short period of time."

MK Yael German (Blue and White) said, "I recommend that Rabbi Rafi Peretz undergo conversion treatment to the 21st century and to a democratic country, to someone that recognizes the right of every person to love whom he/she wants and to understand that this is normal."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he spoke with Rabbi Peretz and clarified: "The Education Minister's statements regarding the gay community are not acceptable to me and do not represent the stance of a government led by me. I spoke this evening with Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who explained himself and emphasized that Israel's educational system will continue to accept every Israeli child as he or she is, without discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation."