A popular rabbi urged his followers not to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, warning them that doing so, it might "turn them" into homosexuals.
Rabbi Daniel Asor's assertion goes against decrees issued by leading rabbis in Israel and around the world, who have called on ultra-Orthodox society to take every precaution against the global pandemic, including getting vaccinated.
The Haredi community has recorded extremely high morbidity rates due to repeated flouting of social distancing directives.
Asor, who has tens of thousands of followers on social media, is no stranger to controversy. In his latest online sermons, he argued that "any vaccine made using an embryonic substrate, and we have evidence of this, causes opposite tendencies. Vaccines are taken from an embryonic substrate, and they did that here, too, so ... it can cause opposite tendencies."
In addition to purporting a false link between vaccines and homosexuality, Assur also advocates various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, claiming, among other things, that both the virus and the vaccines are the work of a "global malicious government," comprising the Freemasons, the Illuminati, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and others, who are "trying to establish a new world order."
He further argues that the virus was released to "cull global population" and that the vaccines seek to further this agenda.
Asor calls the World Health Organization and pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna "criminal organizations" that have deliberately mislead ultra-Orthodox leaders into supporting vaccination drives by presenting them with false data on its components and efficiency.
Further spinning his conspiracy theory, Asor claims that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, a Department of Homeland Security that has joined forces with Israel's National Emergency Authority to battle the pandemic, maintains a "brutal army" in Israel that will be secretly embedded with local law enforcement to further the global government's nefarious agenda.
It should be stressed that leading rabbis in the Sephardi and Ashkenazi comminutes have deemed COVID-19 vaccines to be safe and are urging their followers to be immunized.
Responding to Asor's assertion that the vaccine could change one's sexual orientation, Havruta, an organization that acts to promote tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people in Haredi society, said it was "currently gearing up to welcome our impending new members."
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