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October 13, 2015 / 30 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘circumcision’

Norway to ‘Control’ Circumcision with Respect for Jews and Muslims

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Norway appears to be on the way to protect circumcision for Jews and Muslims so long as they are performed in hospitals.

The Conservative-Progress government is considering suggesting regulations to control circumcisions but with taking into account religious freedom, the Norwegian Foreigner newspaper reported Monday.

A Conservative leader of the committee on health care said that a complete ban on hospital circumcisions “will only lead to this being carried out by non-professionals” with possible risks.

The government’s stand opposes a recommendation by Norway’s Medical Association and the Children’s Ombudsman to ban circumcisions before the age of 16.

Legislators from the opposition Labor and center parties also oppose circumcisions, but Socialist Left Party leader Audun Lysbakken told the newspaper that offering circumcision within the healthcare system “will be the safest solution for the children. He added that religious freedom must be taken account “since a ban would be perceived as a very negative signal among both Jews and Muslims.”

French Politicians, Clergymen Back Petition Defending Circumcision

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

More than 5,500 people, including prominent French politicians, scholars and clergymen, have signed a petition against attempts to ban the ritual circumcision of boys in Europe.

Titled “No to a ban on circumcision,” the petition was published on Oct. 16 by CRIF, the umbrella organization representing France’s Jewish communities, following the Oct. 1 passage of a Council of Europe resolution that calls male ritual circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children.”

Among the petition signers are Anne Hidalgo, a candidate in next year’s Paris mayoral elections, the director Claude Lanzmann and former government ministers Claude Goasguen and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

By Thursday, the petition had more than 5,500 signatures.

The non-binding resolution by the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly “targets European Jewish communities that are already exposed to the unprecedented resurgence of anti-Semitism,” the petition reads. “It is inconceivable to those who survived the Holocaust” and “dangerous because it stigmatizes Jews.”

Other co-signatories include Patrick Dubois, a French Catholic priest and Holocaust scholar, and Alain Massini, a well-known Protestant pastor.

The text of the petition also characterizes the resolution as “insulting” because it “equates between circumcision and [female genital] mutilation.”

Council of Europe Says Ritual Circumcision Won’t Be Banned

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The Council of Europe has assured President Shimon Peres that Europe will not ban religious circumcision despite last week’s non-binding resolution of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly that cited circumcision of males as a violation of human rights and equated it with female genital mutilation.

President Peres wrote on Monday to Thorbjorn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to protest the resolution. Although it has no legal significance, the Council is very influential on decisions by the European Union.

Jangland said male circumcision did not violate human rights, and Daniel Holtgen, the Director of Communications at the Council of Europe, sent a tweet quoting Jagland as saying, “Female genital mutilation violates human rights. Male circumcision does not.”

The resolution angered Muslims as well as Jews. It called for European states to “promote further awareness in their societies of the potential risks of some of these procedures,” which the assembly lists as the circumcision of boys, early childhood interventions in the case of intersexual children and the coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.

Marlene Rupprecht, the rapporteur behind the resolution, claimed the text did not aim to “stigmatize any religious community or its practices” but simply called for public debate “aimed at reaching a wide consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity.”

While Jagland’s statements were good news for Jews and also for Muslims, it is scary that we are so susceptible to the threat of a ban on circumcision that we have to be grateful to someone deciding to suspend what would be a death sentence to Judaism.

Jews have died rather than accept decrees against circumcision, but today’s trend to use “human rights”  and “animal rights” to disguise campaigns that deprive Jewish rights is more subtle and devious than the open anti-Semitism of the past.

A judge in a German province earlier this year banned circumcision, leading to an uproar that prompted the national parliament to make it clear that ritual circumcision is legal.

The anti-circumcision movement is increasingly popular in Scandinavia, where the influx of Muslims also is a factor behind the campaign to prohibit the religious rite.

Jews and Muslims are constantly threatened with a ban on local slaughtering of animals according to Jewish and Muslim laws, which prohibit the method of stunning before using the knife. There are some leniencies in Muslim law.

The most recent controversy is in Poland, which banned ritual slaughter this year but where Jews now have to be thankful to the Catholic Church for supporting the rights of Jews and Muslims to slaughter animals according to religious laws.

The Polish parliament in July rejected a bill, sponsored by the government, to legalize kosher slaughter, but Pope Francis recently has voiced concern over the ban.

“Animal rights” supporters have successfully campaigned in Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland to outlaw kosher slaughter.

The European Union’s official policy states, “European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter” generally requires stunning before slaughter, but allows member states to allow exemptions for religious slaughter.”

Holland two years nearly outlawed kosher slaughter after the Animal Rights Party managed to convince the Lower House of parliament to pass a bill, which was rejected by the Upper House, to ban the practice.

Israel is the only country that comes to mind where Jewish rights still are unquestionably more important than “animals’ rights.”

As for circumcision, the only argument might be over “Metzitzah b’peh.”

Will Israeli Embassies in Europe Expand Services to Include Brit Mila and Shechitah?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

In response to the latest European ban on Brit Mila (circumcision), MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) has put forward the proposal to utilize the diplomatic immunity and extraterritorial status of Israel’s embassies, and allow Jewish families in Europe to perform their Brit Mila ceremonies within the Israeli embassy’s walls.

Jewish Home Knesset Member Nisan Slomiansky

Jewish Home Knesset Member Nissan Slomiansky

Slomiansky wrote to Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin stating, “We are witnessing the winds of Antisemitism again blowing through Europe, this time under the guise of humanism and health. It started with the ban on Shechitah (kosher slaughter of animals) that began in a few countries such as Sweden and Poland and it is now expanding throughout Europe. Throughout Jewish history, since the time of Abraham, Jews have given everything to fulfill Brit Mila, and we will continue, with Israel, to do so.”

Slomiansky said that Israel must let European Jews know that in every European country where Brit Mila is banned, Israel will open the embassies to them, where, on Israeli soil, they can perform Brit Mila without breaking the (local) laws.

One wonders if the Israeli embassies will soon be building Shechitah facilities too.

Maybe its just time for European Jewry to return home to Israel.

European Council Passes Anti-Ritual Circumcision Resolution

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

A resolution that calls male ritual circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children” was passed overwhelmingly by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The council, a pan-European intergovernmental organization that strongly influence European Union decisions, debated and passed the resolution on Tuesday, as reported here.

The resolution was based on a report by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development led by German rapporteur Marlene Rupperecht and passed by a lopsided margin of 78-13, with 15 abstentions.

It calls on member states to “initiate a public debate, including intercultural and interreligious dialogue, aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards” and to “adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted.”

Practices covered by the resolution include female genital mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early childhood medical interventions in the case of intersexual children, corporal punishment, and the submission to or coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.

“Although the adoption of this report is non-binding and does not represent any direct threat to milah, we are troubled at the readiness of the Parliamentary Assembly to dismiss the points made during the debate about religious freedom,” the Milah UK organization told JTA.

The ritual circumcision of boys younger than 18 has come under attack increasingly in Scandinavia and German-speaking European countries both by left-wing secularists and right-wingers who fear the influence of immigration from Muslim countries.

Britons in Suspense over Possibility of a ‘Royal Circumcision’

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

King George started circumcising newly-born princes 150 years ago, Princess Diana rejected the idea. Britain now wonders if Kate and William will or not. One thing for sure, it won’t be a Brit Mila.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, once known as Prince William and Kate Middleton, are keeping Britain in suspense over whether they will circumcise their new baby boy, Prince George Alexander Louis.

Most British royalty have adopted the practice of circumcision as a matter of status, even since King George I adopted it 250 years ago.

Queen Victoria might have wanted to adopt the practice of circumcision because she “basically got it into her head that her children were the sons of David,” British pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp told the Huffington Post.

A rabbi circumcised  Prince Charles in 1948, and Princes Andrew and Edward also were also circumcised.

Most British royalty have adopted the practice of circumcision as a matter of status. After all, not doing so might be disrespectful to the legend of King George but the rebellious Princess Diana reportedly refused to continue the practice, which may affect the Duke and Duchess’ decision.

“It’s very unlikely we’re going to be seeing [circumcision] this time around,” Dr. Karp said,  but added that if the little prince is circumcised, it could spark a fad, which he said  everyone will start calling “the Prince George.”

The issue at first glance seems totally banal. What difference does it make, especially to Jews, if they bring in a mohel for the king-to-be?

Considering the anti-Semitic campaign around the world to prohibit circumcision as some kind of barbaric mutilation that violates the human rights of a baby who has no freedom to choose, the royal decision could have affect the war on the Jewish rite, also practiced by most Muslims.

Tons of research, which has shown that circumcision not only is not dangerous or unhealthy but often can help the health of a child have, hampered the anti-circumcision crowd.

They have been forced to resort to the “free choice” argument, which makes their movement look even more absurd than it is.

Britons who are not Jewish or Muslim have showed less interest n circumcising their children in recent decades.

Maurice Levenson, the secretary of the Initiation Society, an Anglo-Jewish organization that represents about 55 mohels, told the London Telegraph, “The great majority of the enquiries we receive come from those of the Jewish faith, Muslims, Afro-Caribbeans and Americans, where circumcision remains popular.”

False reports that Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, is Jewish still are floating, partly because her mother’s maiden name was “Goldsmith.” Jewish-sounding or not, she was  Christian, scotching the idea that the new prince might be Britain’s first Jewish king.

That  does not mean he cannot be circumcised.

It will cost the royal family about $1,100, not including wine and herring,  to circumcision the prince at the Portland Hospital’s private maternity ward, where he was born. The ward, by the way, is named the Lindo Wing after a Jewish donor, but that won’t cut the mustard for anyone trying to claim he is a Yid.

Presumably, Buckingham Palace has the shekels to afford the circumcision.

But no has asked the real question that should be on everyone’s minds: If Prince George Alexander Louis is circumcised, where the ceremony include Metzizah b’peh?

Rabbinical Group Aims to Standardize Circumcision in Europe

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

A European rabbinical group has created a union to include every mohel – ritual circumciser – in an effort to standardize ritual circumcision and combat attempts to ban it.

Based on the model of Britain’s Initiation Society, the Union of Mohalim in Europe seeks to “unite approved mohalim across Europe under a single banner, ensuring that all communities can be assured of the high level of training and regulation,” according to a statement released Wednesday by the Conference of European Rabbis.

In April, a dispute occurred between the Conference of European Rabbis and a Chabad rabbi from a rival group, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. The Chabad rabbi, Menachem Margolin, published an op-ed criticizing the Conference of European Rabbis for its disapproval of metitzah b’peh — a controversial ritual involving oral suction of the circumcision wound…”

In December 2012, German lawmakers passed a law that guarantees parents the right to circumcise boys for religious reasons. The vote followed a court ruling in Cologne that defined ritual circumcision as causing “bodily harm,” and the German parliament later passed a law preserving ritual circumcision. However, the Cologne court ruling led to partial bans on circumcision in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and intensified the heated debate over the issue in Scandinavian countries and beyond.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbinical-group-aims-to-standardize-circumcision-in-europe/2013/07/24/

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