(July 15, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz on Sunday defended his remarks over the weekend regarding gay conversion therapy, saying they had been misunderstood and misrepresented in a “cynical” way which “further deepens the rift in Israeli society.”

Peretz responded on Sunday in a long Facebook post to criticism over remarks he made during a Saturday-night interview broadcast on Channel 12, in which he said he believes that “it is possible” to change one’s sexual orientation. Since the interview aired, Peretz has faced ire from a wide array of Israeli politicians and celebrities, many of whom have said his opinions make him unfit to be education minister.

According to Peretz, however, “When I was specifically asked about conversion therapy, I

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