Israeli artists face off against pro-conversion therapy minister Peretz

Privately, some in Israel's creative community said they were so angry with Peretz and the prime minister who appointed them that they thought the best response would be no comment.

July 14, 2019 16:08
Israeli artists face off against pro-conversion therapy minister Peretz

Rotem Sela/Gal Gadot. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)


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The Israeli entertainment and artistic community is up in arms over Education Minister Rafi Peretz’s comments on Friday in an interview with Dana Weiss on Channel 12, in which he said that he approves of gay conversion therapy. Opposition politicians led the charge against Peretz’s espousal of the discredited and controversial treatment, but entertainers also weighed in.

Gal Uchovsky, a leading journalist, television presenter and movie producer who is married to filmmaker Eytan Fox, called for the minister’s resignation in a strongly worded piece on the Mako website on Sunday.

“I want to explain something to you, Rabbi Rafi,” Uchovsky wrote. “Either you are a liar or you are stupid or you are cut off in a way that makes you unworthy of being responsible for the education of young people, more correctly, for the education of even one single young person. Because if you have any knowledge of modern psychology and education, you would know that there is no way to make a gay or lesbian person straight.”

Tomer Heymann, a leading documentary filmmaker who recently directed the movie Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life, about an Israeli gay porn star, wrote on Facebook: “This only brings the rebellion closer that should have been here long ago. Those who support Rabbi Peretz will go and live their lives with this stupidity. This is stupidity on unimaginable levels and best of luck to anyone who believes in it. The rest will rebel against this distorted order and declare that they have no interest in any dialogue and nothing to do with this impurity, with this human filth. It’s simple. Easy. Quick. Uncomplicated. Cut off contact. You have a lot to lose.”

Rotem Sela, the actress who stars in the popular television series The Beauty and the Baker, and who is Israel’s top commercial pitchwoman, wrote on her Instagram account, in a sarcastic post that was apparently later deleted: “And that’s it ladies and gentleman – he is your education minister. Applause.”

She recently weighed in against the prime minister’s proposals for treating non-Jewish citizens, and received support from Gal Gadot.

Privately, some in Israel’s creative community said they were so angry with Peretz and the prime minister who appointed him that they thought the best response would be no comment, but to work to get opposition candidates elected in the upcoming election.

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