In an interview with local Israeli media, Interim Education Minister Rafi Peretz is claiming that conversion therapy for homosexuals can work effectively. This statement comes after admitting that he himself used this controversial method in the past to change people’s sexual orientation.

Peretz spoke candidly about his experience performing conversion therapy on a number of students, “I have a very deep familiarity with the issue of education, and I have also done this.

“First of all, I embraced him. I said very warm things to him. I told him, ‘Let’s think. Let’s study. And let’s contemplate.’ The objective is first of all for him to know himself well, and then he will decide,”  explained the Peretz, when asked how he counseled a student who spoke to him about his sexual inclinations.

Peretz is a former chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and is the current leader of the Habait Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party. He was appointed as acting Education Minister by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until the September 17th general elections.

His controversial comments also come after saying a few days ago that mixed marriages of Jews, especially in the United States, are “like a second Holocaust”

Last June history was made when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed the first openly gay MK, Amir Ohana, to replace him Ayelet Shaked as interim Minister of Justice.  Onan slammed Peretz’s comments by saying; “Serious psychiatric researchers have united around the stance that not only is there no need to ‘convert’ someone’s sexual orientation, but the process is also harmful and could cause youths pain and suffering to the point of suicide.”

”Education minister, the youth of the State of Israel including, yes, those from the national-religious community, are looking to you. LGBTQ youths take their own lives at a rate of three times the population as a whole,” Onan said

Many party leaders are calling for PM Netanyahu to have Peretz dismissed from his position.