The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) condemned controversial comments made by Israeli Education Minister and leader of Habayit Hayehudi Rabbi Rafi Peretz. Peretz’s comments concerned conversion therapy for gay youth and the annexation of the entire West Bank, without giving Palestinians the right to vote.
President of the ZFA Jeremy Leibler said, “I strongly condemn comments made by Rabbi Peretz MK on gay conversion therapy. It is unacceptable for an education minister, who is responsible for the school curriculum of a progressive and democratic country, to advocate scientifically discredited practices that cause untold damage to LGBTQ teens.”
He continued, “It is right that these comments were widely rejected not just by Peretz’s political opponents but by his coalition partners including Prime Minister Netanyahu. He stressed that Peretz’s comments were not acceptable to him and did not reflect the position of the current Government.”
Leibler stressed, “it is important that the government takes a strong stance on this issue, particularly when it relates to the well-being of youth within Israel’s education system.”
Turning his attention to Peretz’s other comments about annexing the entire West Bank, Leibler said, “ Peretz’s reported comments in relation to annexing the West Bank are inconsistent with basic democratic principles and are contrary to the policy of the current Israeli Government. Peretz’s comments in relation to both the West Bank and on Gay conversion therapy are reckless and extremely concerning.”