'Religious Zionists not interested in war against LGBT people'

Ex Ed Minister responds to successor's statements on conversion therapy. 'No one has to convert anyone else. We accept everyone as is.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

Former Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded Sunday to statements by current Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz in support of conversion therapy for homosexuals.

"Israeli society consists of a variety of people, and no one has to convert anyone else. We accept every person as he is," Bennett said.

"The statements made do not represent the majority of the national-religious public that is opposed to the obsessive war against LGBT people. Every person was created in the image of G-d, every person and every image," he added.

Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz caused a storm following an interview he gave to Dana Weiss on News 12 in which he said that it's possible to perform conversion treatments for gays and lesbians, claiming that he had done so in the past.

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."

Prime Minister 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."