Israel’s gay justice minister slams Luxembourg’s gay PM after boycott

Israel’s openly gay justice minister, Amir Ohana of Likud, takes Luxembourg’s prime minister to task for boycotting a farewell dinner yesterday for the Israeli ambassador to protest comments by Israel’s education minister over the weekend in support of the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy” for gays.

“Honorable Prime Minister of Luxembourg, @Xavier_Bettel,” Ohana writes in an English-language Twitter post, “Yesterday, you boycotted an Israeli event due to an inappropriate comment made by an Israeli minister regarding conversion therapy. That comment was denounced and strongly condemned by many, including PM @netanyahu.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) holds a press conference with Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel at the Prime Minister’s Office, in Jerusalem on September 12, 2016. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

Ohana then posts a photo of Bettel shaking hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, and asks: “With your permission, I have a question: when you shook hands with @Zarif – were you aware of how conversion therapy looks like in the Islamic Republic of Iran? Sincerely, Amir Ohana, Israel’s Minister of Justice (and openly gay, btw).”

Ohana attaches a screenshot of a news report in which Zarif defends Iran’s death penalty for homosexuals.

In an interview with Education Minister Rafi Peretz of the right-wing religious Jewish Home party aired on Israeli television on Saturday, Peretz said he had referred religious homosexuals to undertake the “therapy,” which is viewed by psychologists as dangerous and harmful to the mental health of individuals who undergo it.

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