Luxembourg PM avoids dinner for Israeli envoy due to Rafi Peretz comments

In 2016 Bettel became the first Luxembourg prime minister to visit Israel.

By
July 16, 2019 05:29
1 minute read.
Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel speaks to media in Brussels, Belgium July 2, 2019

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel speaks to media in Brussels, Belgium July 2, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Education Minister Rafi Peretz’s comments advocating gay conversion therapy caused a diplomatic incident with Luxembourg on Monday, as that country’s prime minster, who is openly gay, canceled his participation in a farewell dinner for Israel’s departing ambassador.

According to Channel 12, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel explained to Simona Frankel that with all due respect to her work as ambassador, he can’t take part in a dinner for a representative from Israel, where one of its senior ministers made such comments about the LGBT community.

According to the report, Bettel’s seat at the head table was empty, and the dinner – with representatives from the Jewish community and government officials – was awkward as a result.
The Foreign Ministry had no comment.

In 2016, Bettel became the first Luxembourg prime minister to visit Israel.

Bettel married his partner in a same-sex marriage in 2015. In February, he stunned an EU-Arab League summit in Cairo by saying that his same-sex marriage would classify him as a criminal in some of the countries represented at the meeting.

Frankel is being replaced as Israel’s ambassador to Luxembourg and Belgium by Emmanuel Nahshon, who this week finished five years of serving as the ministry’s spokesman.


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