Levinstein says anti-gay words misinterpreted, but issues no retraction

His comments were denounced by several senior political leaders, and senior figures in the IDF and defense ministry, as well as gay rights groups and other public figures.

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Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of a pre-military academy in Eli who made anti-gay comments in a speech two weeks ago, said in a formal letter of clarification to the Defense Ministry that his comments were misinterpreted.

The rabbi did not however apologize or retract his remarks.

In a speech at a rabbinical conference earlier this month Levenstein said he referred to gay people as “perverts,” and that he had prevented lectures by “perverts” at the IDF officers Bahad 1 training school on issues of tolerance and respect toward the LGBT community.

He also claimed that officer cadets were forced to watch “films on the issue where they present the lifestyle of perverts,” under threat of court marital if they declined to watch it, and said Reform Judaism was a branch of Christianity.

His comments were denounced my several senior political leaders, and senior figures in the IDF and defense ministry, as well as gay rights groups and other public figures.

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