Rabbi Yigal Levinstein
Rabbi Yigal Levinstein
2 min read

One of Israel’s leading rabbi believes that gay teens should be forced to conduct conversion therapy sessions in a bid to “help people be straight again.”

Yigal Levinstein, a co-head of a Zionist pre-military Academy, made the claims about the dangerous and ineffective practice during a Zoom class.

“It’s possible to help people be straight again,” Levinstein stated in the recording, which was aired by Army Radio –  a nationwide Israeli radio network operated by the Israel Defense Forces.

“The earlier you reach out to the child when [he is feeling] dual tendencies, the easier it is to help.”

Rabbi Levinstein who claims that conversion therapy has a 60% to 70% success rate added that gay teenagers should go through conversion therapy between the ages of 13 and 15, The Times of Israel reports.

“It depends on when this tendency begins … If you don’t treat [this] it won’t pass, if you do treat it, it will pass,”

Despite his fabricated claims being aired on Army Radio, the rabbi (who soon faced outrage) then claimed he did not know what conversion therapy was but said his views are “legitimate”.

“The quotes are accurate except for the quote about the starting age for treatment,” he said.

In response to the growing outrage, Bnei David (The Academy which Yigal Levinstein co-leads) told Israel National News that the rabbi actually opposes conversion therapy and threatened legal action against Army Radio over their “false” report.

“At no point during the lesson last night or in any other lesson that Rabbi Yigal Levinstein led during his dozens of years as an educator did the rabbi say he supports conversion therapy,” the academy stated.

“What journalistic negligence! This is another attempt to shut mouths. The rabbi argues that there are professional psychological therapies that can sensitively help the youth, just as a variety of professionals claim in other fields,” the organisation added.

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