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Jerusalem’s chief rabbi says people can ‘overcome homosexuality’

Jerusalem’s chief rabbi says people can ‘overcome homosexuality’

Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar, (right) during the sermon in Ashdod | Screen grab: Kan public broadcaster

Jerusalem’s chief rabbi said during a sermon that gay people can’t be religious and that homosexuality ‘can be overcome.’

Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the top Sephardic rabbi in Jerusalem and a former chief rabbi of Israel, made the remarks last week (19 July) in Ashdod, according to the Times of Israel.

Moreover, Jewish organization the Anti-Defamation League has slammed the rabbi’s words.

What happened?

In a sermon aireed by Kan public broadcast, Amar added to his lengthy list of anti-LGBTI remarks.

He referred to homosexuality as a ‘wild lust.’

[LGBTI people] aren’t religious.

‘It would be better if they cast off their kippah and Shabbat [observance] and show their true faces.

‘God knows that it is a lust, a wild lust that needs to be overcome and it can be overcome.’

The rabbi also referred to conversion therapy, but did not condone it. Instead, he derided it as ‘nonsense.’

‘Everyone can overcome. There’s no need for understanding or a psychologist or any nonsense. All they need is to be God-fearing.

‘Just belief in God to overcome.’

‘We call on Amar to apologize’

The ADL publicly denounced the rabbi’s sermon in a statement on their Twitter account.

‘Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Amar’s hateful comments about the #LGBTQ community are antithetical to Jewish values of tolerance & acceptance,’ it wrote.

‘Religious leaders should respect all people & positively engage with the entire community.

‘We call on Amar to apologize.’

Furthermore, joining in the chorus of criticism was former Peace Now chair Avi Buskila.

The new member of the fledgling Israel Democratic Party warned that the rabbi’s outburst might lead to violence.

‘An outrageous and painful display of incitement, especially when it comes from the chief rabbi of Jerusalem,’ he tweeted.

‘That’s how blood is allowed.

‘It produces despicable murderers like Yishai Schlissel, who murdered Shira Banki during the gay pride parade in the city.’

Who was Yishai Schlissel?

Yishai Schlissel served 10 years in prison for stabbing three Pride-goers at Jerusalem Pride in 2005.

Just three weeks after he walked back into world beyond Maasiyahu Prison’s walls, he stabbed a teenage girl to death and wounded several others at at Jerusalem Pride 2015.

As a result, authorities sentenced him to life in prison.

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