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FURY erupted among young Jewish Amsterdammers this week after Aryeh Ralbag, the city's nominal Chief Rabbi, signed a statement saying that homosexuality was “sinful” and could be "cured".

And today it is reported here that the homophobe has been sacked by Amsterdam's Orthodox Jewish community.


Ralbag, who lives in New York and visits the Netherlands once or twice a year to rule on legal matters, signed the Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality using all his official functions, including that of chief rabbi of Amsterdam.


That part of his signature has now been removed.


Ralbag will remain suspended until he and community leaders have spoken about the issue.

The declaration, signed by 162 rabbis and mental health practitioners last year, states that "homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle” and that “behaviours are changeable”.


A press release by the community’s board, NIHS, said:


Rabbi Ralbag’s signature may give the impression the Orthodox Jewish community of Amsterdam shares his view. This is absolutely untrue. Homosexuals are welcome at the Amsterdam Jewish community.


The Dutch Israel information centre CIDI has also called on Ralbag to stand down from his Amsterdam position.


Meanwhile, it was reported here that Dutch medical organisations and health insurers are unhappy over having to pay for “gay-cure” therapies.


The treatment is offered by the orthodox Christian organisation Different, a recognised provider of therapies in mental health care. Because it is officially recognised, health insurers cannot refuse to pay for the treatment.


However, doctors and insurers say the treatment is damaging and even dangerous, and want the health inspectorate to look into the matter.

Hat tip: Marco & Remigius

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