web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘council of europe’

Council of Europe to Support of Ritual Circumcision

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Encouraged by Israeli diplomats, parliamentarians from the Council of Europe have submitted a motion opposing an earlier resolution condemning ritual circumcision of boys.

The motion was submitted last week by 101 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the council, according to Micaela Catalano, a spokeswoman for the assembly, which has 318 parliamentarians and whose resolutions are non-binding.

Israeli diplomats told JTA they initiated the process that led to the motion’s submission.

The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization that encourages dialogue and is not connected to the European Union.

The new motion calls Jewish and Muslim circumcision of boys “a religious rite which does not present risks for children and should be respected as a longstanding religious tradition.”

Titled “Freedom of religion and religious practices,” the December 11 motion urges the assembly to make recommendations on tolerance of religious practices. It also mentions an earlier, anti-circumcision resolution that the assembly passed in October.

Titled “Children’s Right to Physical Integrity,” the October resolution calls non-medical circumcision of boys a “violation of the physical integrity of children.” In an unusual move, Israel’s Foreign Ministry had condemned that resolution, warning it was helping to foster hate.

Nimrod Barkan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, told JTA that the Israeli Foreign Ministry, through its missions around the world, had campaigned over the last two months to collect signatures of council parliamentarians opposing the October resolution. That resolution had passed thanks to 78 assembly members out of the 91 who participated in that vote.

The assembly’s bureau will decide next month whether to follow up on the new motion by compiling a report on religious freedoms or to take no further action, Catalano, the assembly spokeswoman, told JTA. If a report is compiled, the assembly will vote on whether to adopt its resolutions.

Resolutions passed by the assembly cannot be revised, but new ones may be passed, she added.

Council of Europe Chief Reassuring Rabbis on Circumcision

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Council of Europe will not ban Jewish ritual circumcision of boys, its leader assured members of the Conference of European Rabbis.

Thorbjorn Jagland, the council’s secretary general, said Monday in Berlin that he wanted to make it “absolutely clear … that in no way does the Council of Europe want to ban the circumcision of boys. It is a very important part of Judaism and of Jewish life.”

He spoke during a news conference with rabbinical leaders as part of the conference’s annual convention.

Referring to a non-binding, anti-circumcision resolution passed last month by the council’s Parliamentary Assembly, Jagland said no European Union member country had actually banned the practice.

“We have an obligation to protect it” on behalf of freedom of religion, he added.

In recent years, ritual circumcision of boys and ritual slaughter of animals have come under attack in Europe, particularly by right-wing populist political movements.

Muslims, not Jews, are the main target of these attacks, said Conference of European Rabbis head Pinchas Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow, in an address to nearly 250 member rabbis at a dinner at the Jewish Museum on Monday.

European Jewry is “the collateral damage in this anti-Muslim offensive,” he said.

Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told JTA he would like to know “what [Jagland] is doing, ‘tacheles,’ ” or ultimately, to protect religious freedom in Europe — and he offered to help.

Meanwhile, the Conference of European Rabbis is moving forward with its program to help European Jews find a mohel, or ritual circumciser, online.

Vienna Rabbi Shlomo Hofmeister told JTA that the Conference of European Rabbis’ Union of Mohelim in Europe will go online within days. Orthodox mohels who meet stringent medical requirements will be listed and parents will be able to contact them through the site. Mohels may not charge a fee for performing a brit milah, but may ask parents for compensation for travel and lodging, Hofmeister said.

The website, whose address has not yet been announced, will also provide legal advice to mohels.

See also: Council of Europe Says Ritual Circumcision Won’t Be Banned.

Peres Asking Europeans to Reconsider Anti-Circumcision Resolution

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Israeli President Shimon Peres called on the Council of Europe to reconsider a resolution condemning male ritual circumcision.

In a letter issued Sunday to Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe — a pan-European intergovernmental organization — Peres wrote that he was “sorry to hear” of the resolution.

The resolution, which was passed overwhelmingly on Oct. 1 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, calls male ritual circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children” and puts it in the same class as female genital mutilation.

“The ritual of male circumcision has been practiced by Jewish communities for thousands of years and is a fundamental element of our tradition and obligation as Jews,” Peres wrote. “The Jewish communities across Europe would be greatly afflicted to see their cultural and religious freedom impeded upon by the Council of Europe, an institution devoted to the protection of these very rights. I therefore urge the members of this distinguished assembly to reconsider this resolution.”

The resolution is non-binding and is not a direct threat to ritual circumcision.

It calls on member states 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.”

Among the practices named are 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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/peres-asking-europeans-to-reconsider-anti-circumcision-resolution/2013/10/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: