Israeli teachers from the LGBTQ community sent a letter to the education minister on Sunday, expressing their strong disapproval of his support for the so-called "gay" conversion treatment.
On Saturday, Rafi Peretz expressed his support for the controversial practice in which he attempted to change the sexual orientation of the individual, while he was recalled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose ruling-rightist slogan worries home liberals and supporters abroad.
"We will use all the legal means available to protest against the Minister of Education's dangerous and insulting statements," teachers said to protest on Sunday night and called on the government to resolve Peretz's position.
"Support for Conversion Therapy threatens students from all sectors of Israeli society," the teachers said in a letter. "We call on the Minister of Education to withdraw his statement in order to apologize and prove that he is truly worthy of trust in the education of our children."
We – teachers from all over the country, from every political spectrum, from all sectors that make up the colorful mosaic of Israeli society – can not support the Minister of Education who expresses such opinions, "the teachers added.
Conversion therapy, an attempt to change sexual orientation or gender identity through psychological, spiritual, and extreme cases of physical means, is widely discredited in the West and condemned by professional health associations such as the American Medical Association as potentially harmful.
Peretz, the Orthodox rabbi and leader of the ultranationalist United Right party, who last month took over the training portfolio in a Netanyahu-led coalition, said in a television interview that he thought conversion processing could work.
"I am very well aware of the issue of education, and I did it," he told Israel Channel 12 television.
As an example of a gay person who told her that she was concerned, Peretz said: "I first accepted it. I told him very warm things. I told him, "Let's think." Let's examine it. Let's think about it. "The goal is first to know well … and then he will decide."
The comments were triggered by an outburst in the Israeli opposition on the left that tried to pass Netanyahu before the September elections as an incentive for Orthodox indoctrination in a country most Jewish as mostly secular or less religious rites.
The Israeli LGBTQ working group, who defended the group, demanded the dismissal of Peretz, saying in a statement that his views were "desperate."
Shortly after the interview at the end of the Jewish Saturday, Netanyahu said he had spoken to Peretz for "clarification".
"The Minister of Education's comments on the pride community are unacceptable to me and do not reflect the views of the government I am running," the prime minister said.
It was the second flap that Peretz caused in less than a week after the Israeli media reported that he told his colleagues that the interference of Jews and Gentiles in the diaspora was "the second Holocaust".
The comparison aroused anger among American Jews, mostly non-Orthodox, and from the anti-terror League, who said that such statements had been downgraded by the Holocaust.
Speaking of Channel 12, Peretz described himself as an effort to balance respect for others, regardless of their sexual orientation, with his duties as a religious leader.
"I honor all people. I admit that I am personally – Rabbi of Israel. Our Torah tells us other things. But that does not mean I looked at them now and gave them ratings, "he said.