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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Council of Europe Votes on Circumcision as Human Rights Violation

Banning Jewish circumcisions used to be anti-Semitic. Today it is called a “violation of human rights.” Why aren’t there protests for children’s rights to watch porno and get sick on junk food?

The influential European Council is voting Tuesday on whether to define ritual circumcision a "violation of human rights."

The influential European Council is voting Tuesday on whether to define ritual circumcision a "violation of human rights."

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an international organization whose resolutions are non-binding but heavily influence the European Unions, is voting Tuesday on defining ritual circumcision as a “clear human rights violation.”

A general report prepared for the Council reviewed female genital mutilation and added, “Circumcision applied to young boys clearly is a human rights violation against children.”

A German legislator, Marlene Rupprecht, who also is active on the Council’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, presented the “Children’s Right to Physical Integrity” report.

Last week, Sweden politicians and physicians called for a ban on ritual circumcision of all boys under the age of 18.

“Circumcision without medical grounds can only be performed if a boy is of an age and maturity required to understand the information and consent to the surgery,” according to a statement.

The concept of a baby having “the right to choose” apparently applies only to circumcision, one of the most sacred Jewish rites. There have been no protests of the violation of their rights by parents who do not allow them to damage themselves by watching watch pornographic or violent movies and do not let them harm their bodies with junk food.

“This is the first time in recent memory that aggressive political attacks on milah have found a legitimate vehicle at the European level,” Milah UK, a British nongovernmental organization working to defend Jewish circumcision of boys, told JTA in a statement on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe vote.

While the report will remain nonbinding even if passed, “it does clearly demonstrate that the sustained campaign to conflate the deplorable practice of female genital mutilation with milah is gaining traction at the highest levels,” according to Milah UK.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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