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Israeli rabbis in hot water

    Two senior Israeli rabbis are at the centre of controversies over their statements on homosexuality and rape.

    Former chief rabbi of Israel, Moshe Amar, currently serving as Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, said in an interview last week homosexuals were "a cult of abomination" and, according to the Torah, deserved the death penalty.

    His remarks caused a flurry of reactions in Israel and abroad. LGBT activists draped the Rabbinate offices in Jerusalem with Gay Pride flags while local city council members demanded that the rabbi resign on the grounds he was unfit to serve as the rabbi of a city where a teenager was murdered last year during the annual gay parade.

    Rabbi Amar responded saying no-one could pressure him to "erase what is written in the Torah".

    In another rabbinical controversy, the High Court ordered the IDF to delay the appointment of Rabbi Eyal Karim as the military's chief minister.

    The move came after the Meretz Party filed a petition for the appointment to be cancelled over a passage the rabbi wrote over a decade ago explaining why the Torah permitted rape at time of war.

    Although Rabbi Karim has explained he was not condoning such actions in today's IDF and wrote a letter confirming soldiers should follow General Staff orders, the court issued an injunction delaying the appointment until the rabbi further clarifies what he wrote in the past.

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