'Army Radio distorted rabbi's comments on conversion therapy'

Station claims Yigal Levinstein said conversion therapy is necessary to rid people of homosexual tendencies. Rabbi says he referred to 'normative therapy'

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the pre-military academy at the settlement of Eli (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the pre-military academy at the settlement of Eli
(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Head of the pre-military academy Bnei-David in Eli, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, strongly denied a report on Army Radio claiming that he had said that conversion therapy must be performed at an early age for "maximum results". 
Bnei-David said that the allegations were false and that the rabbi was in fact opposed to conversion therapy.
The academy explained that at no point during the lesson, or any lesson he has ever taught, did the rabbi say he was in favor of conversion therapy. "On the contrary, Rabbi Yigal said, last night as well... that he is opposed to conversion therapy, but the [Army Radio] reporter insisted on presenting things in a distorted and different way from how they were said," Bnei-David said.
"What journalistic negligence!" it continued. "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."
According to the Army Radio report, Levinstein said during a class taught over Zoom that, "treaters say between ages 13 and 15, depending on when this tendency begins to show itself in the person."
The lesson he was teaching was on stopping homosexual tendencies.
"I don't know what conversion therapy is," he told Army Radio after the recording of him was leaked. "It is an important lesson that should be listened to entirely. It is a legitimate position that it is important for you play [the recording]. The quotes are correct except for the one about the starting age."
In the recording, he told the class about a young girl he had sent to treatment who wanted to stop the treatment, but he insisted that she do so because "it will help" contain her sexuality.
Levinstein has expressed homophobic views in the past. In 2018, the rabbi expressed disgust towards the LGBTQ+ community, claiming that it "takes the tragedy of men and the tragedy of women with their tendencies and turns it into an ideology."
He further claimed that "there is no difference between this sexual distortion and that sexual defect, and this sexual tragedy with the rest of the personality.
Following the latest scandal, Levinstein told the Kipa website that he is not in favor of conversion therapy but rather believes in "normative psychological treatments" that can be effective in "getting to the source of what has caused the twist".
Bnei-David said it was considering legal action against Army Radio and had already send the station a letter from a lawyer demanding a correction.