web analytics
July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘German’

Germany Proposes Legislation to Protect Bris Milah

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

After a court ruling, that brought the future of Germany’s Jewish community into question, and reminded some of a darker time in German history, proposed legislation to bring resolution.

After months of debate, today the German cabinet decided to establish a new legislation which will clearly enable and support the religious practice of circumcision.

“It is without any doubt a very positive news, this enables the continued growth and development of Jewish life in Germany” says Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin.

The legislation which has been prepared by the office of the justice minister will add a new paragraph in the law (1631d) and will allow circumcision, if the parents are informed and willing and there are no medical dangers. The circumcision can be preformed by a mohel, as well, if the child is under the age of six months.

In May, a local court in Colounge ruled that a circumcision on a child was not allowed as it caused bodily harm. The ruling sparked a debate in Germany, and brought into question the future viability of a Jewish community there, and ignited a conversation around the world.

In August, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yonah Metzger, visited Germany and together with rabbi of the Berlin Jewish community, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, met with the justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and other government officials. During the meeting the Chief Rabbi explained to the minister the importance of having the circumcision done by a mohel in a traditional manner. The minister and her staff listened intently and assured the rabbis the government will do their utmost to try to find a positive solution.

 

A Muhammed Cartoon a Day

Monday, September 24th, 2012

When Salman Rushdie mocked Islamic sanctities in 1989 in his magical realist novel The Satanic Verses, Ayatollah Khomeini did something shockingly original: He pronounced a death edict on Rushdie and all those connected to the production of his book. By doing this, Khomeini sought to impose Islamic mores and laws on the West; we don’t insult the prophet, he effectively said, and neither can you.

That started a trend of condemning those in the West deemed anti-Islamic that persists to this day. Again and again, when Westerners are perceived as denigrating Muhammad, the Koran, or Islam, Islamists demonstrate, riot and kill.

Khomeini’s edict also had the unexpected side effect of empowering individuals – Western and Islamist alike – to drive their countries’ policies.

On the Western side, Fleming Rose, a newspaper editor, created the greatest crisis for Denmark since World War II by publishing twelve Muhammad cartoons. Florida pastor Terry Jones caused panic for American commanders in Afghanistan by threatening to burn a Koran. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and friends prompted a crisis in U.S. relations with Egypt with an amateurish video, Innocence of Muslims. By publishing vulgar pictures of Muhammad, French weekly Charlie Hebdo is causing the French government temporarily to shut down diplomatic missions in twenty countries. Plans by the German satirical magazine Titanic to publish attacks on Muhammad have likewise caused German missions to be closed.

On the Islamist side, an individual or group took one of these perceived offenses and turned it into a reason to riot. Khomeini did this with The Satanic Verses and Ahmad Abu Laban did likewise with the Danish cartoons. Hamid Karzai goaded Afghans to riot over burned Korans by American soldiers and Egyptian preacher Khaled Abdullah turned Innocence of Muslims into an international event.

In brief, any Westerner can buy a Koran for a dollar and burn it, while any Muslim with a platform can transform that act into a fighting offense. As passions rise on both sides of the democratized Western / Muslim divide, Western provocateurs and Islamist hotheads have found each other and confrontations occur with increasing frequency…

Would repetition inspire institutionalization, generate ever-more outraged responses, and offer a vehicle for Islamists to ride to greater power? Or would it lead to routinization, to a wearing out of Islamists, and a realization that violence is counter-productive to their cause?Which prompts this question: What would happen if publishers and managers of major media reached a consensus, “Enough of this intimidation, we will publish the most famous Danish Muhammad cartoon every day until the Islamists tire out and no longer riot”? What would happen if instances of Koran burning happened recurrently?

I predict the latter, that a Muhammad cartoon published each day, or Koranic desecrations on a quasi-regular basis, will make it harder for Islamists to mobilize Muslim mobs. Were that the case, Westerners could once again treat Islam as they do other religions – freely, to criticize without fear. That would demonstrate to Islamists that Westerners will not capitulate, that they reject Islamic law, that they are ready to stand up for their values.

So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: display the Muhammad cartoon daily until the Islamists get used to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.

This article originally published by FoxNews.com on September 21st, 2012.

Winners of “Face of the German Tourist” Contest Arrive in Israel

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

An Austrian couple is enjoying the sites in the Holy Land after winning an Israel Government Tourist Office competition for “the face of the German tourist in Israel.”

Some 350 couples registered to compete for the Grand Prize – a 10-day visit to Israel and participation in a film for the German tourist campaign, designed to encourage tourism from Germany, Switzerland and Austria to Israel.

The winners are Barbara and Roman Egger, a Christian couple from Salzburg, Austria, aged 38 and parents to  a 4-year-old girl.

In their application, the couple wrote “Whether it is in the desert, at sea, at the Western Wall or the Galilee, Israel has fascinated us for a long time. We are eager to visit and hope our smile will pave the way for our journey.”

Upon their return to Austria, the couple will hold a press conference and will participate with the Israel Government Tourist Office for a year on various advertising campaigns.

During the first half of 2012, approximately 132,000 tourists from Germany arrived in Israel, a 4% increase over the same period last year.

J’Accuse: Shame on Germany for Circumcision Ban

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Why do countries with long histories of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry seem to care more about the so-called rights of young children not to be circumcised than do other countries in the world with far better histories of concern for human rights?

The same rhetorical question can be asked of countries, such as Norway, that care so much about the rights of animals not to be slaughtered according to Jewish ritual. These questions are entirely rhetorical because every thinking person knows the answer. It’s not because Germans or Norwegians are better people and care more about children and animals than do Americans. It is because they care less about Jews. Or more precisely they care a lot about Jews. They just don’t like them very much and don’t care if they are forced to leave the country because they cannot practice their religion there.

So let no one praise a nation that murdered a million Jewish babies and children for shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the poor little baby boy who, following a many thousand year old tradition, is circumcised 8 days after birth. Every good person should condemn Germany for what really lies at the heart of efforts to ban circumcision—old-fashioned anti-Semitism, a term coined by Germans for Germans and against Jews.

History is not irrelevant in assessing current policies. The history of Germany (and Norway) in prohibiting Jews from practicing their traditional rituals goes back to a time when overt anti-Semitism was not only acceptable, it was de rigeur. Today, new words replace discredited old ones. Anti-Zionism instead of anti-Semitism. The welfare of children instead of the banning of religious rituals. But it’s all the same. Anyone who falls for the new pseudo-scientific nonsense about the evils of circumcision or ritual slaughter is as naïve or bigoted as those who fell for the old pseudo-scientific racial claims of Nazism.

Indeed, there is an ugly whiff of “racial superiority” in the implicit assumption underlying these bigoted laws: Namely, that Germans and Norwegians are somehow morally (if not racially) superior to other countries that permit such “barbaric” practices.

So let’s call a spade a spade and let’s call anti-Semitism by its true name.

How then should reasonable people respond to these unreasonable efforts to make it difficult to practice traditional Judaism? Some have called for a legal response. Perhaps. But fighting these bigoted practices in court plays into the hands of those who are proposing it. In Nazi Germany, respected jurists were able to use the law to justify the most primitive forms of racism. Indeed Nazism operated through the Nuremberg laws and other such anti-Semitic legal enactments, which were declared entirely lawful by the German courts. Efforts to use the law against these manifestations of racism backfired, by legitimating the Nazis’ legalistic undertakings. So let those who seek to challenge these laws do so but not without understanding the downside of such action.

Some may suggest that the alleged science purporting to support these bans be challenged on the basis of scientific truth. Perhaps. But that too may play into the hands of those who would argue that even acknowledging a possible scientific basis for these bigoted proposals lends some legitimacy to them. “Science” too was used to support Nazi racial studies. Should German scientists now conduct “twin studies” on circumcised and uncircumcised siblings? Why is Germany not willing to accept the conclusion reached by the American Academy of Pediatrics following a five year review of the best research, that “the health benefits” of circumcision – including reduction of HIV and papillomavirus transmission – “outweigh the risks?”

The best response is to shame the Germans into rejecting this new form of left-wing anti-Semitism, by showing them how similar it is to the Nazism they now claim to abhor. This approach will not work in Norway, because Norwegians have forgotten their history and still believe they were victims of Nazism rather than collaborators. Norway’s anti-Semitic laws preventing kosher slaughter of animals date back to the pre-Nazi period and have remained in force since that time. Norway seems to have no shame nor is it capable of being shamed. Many Germans, on the other hand, seem willing to remember the past—at least up to a point. They must confront that past and look into the historical mirror before they once again go down the road of treating their Jewish citizens as second class or worse.

German state of Berlin Declares Circumcision, Not Brit Milah, Legal

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Berlin became the first of Germany’s 16 states to declare circumcision legal, following a Cologne court ruling in June that non-medical circumcisions on children amounted to a criminal offense, according to the German news agency DPA. National legislation is pending to legalize circumcision.

But, the state of Berlin has authorized only doctors, and not mohels, to perform circumcisions; the national legislation could authorize mohels. The state also required that parents be informed of the procedure’s medical risks before consenting, and that doctors do everything possible during the procedure to reduce pain and limit bleeding.

June’s court ruling has led many doctors to stop performing circumcisions in order to avoid being prosecuted. Two rabbis have had complaints brought against them based on the ruling, though one complaint was dropped last week.

In Germany, Turkish Muslims Hope for Muslim Majority

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Nearly half of all Turks living in Germany say they hope there will be more Muslims than Christians in Germany in the future, according to a new survey of Turkish-German mores and attitudes.7

The study also shows that Islam is becoming an increasingly important component of the value structure of Turks in Germany, especially among the younger generation of Turkish-Germans, who hold religious views more radical than their elders’ views are.

The findings have filled many Germans with a sense of foreboding and are certain to contribute to the ongoing debate (herehere and here) about Muslim integration (or, rather, lack of it) in Germany.

The 103-page study, “German-Turkish Life and Values” (abridged version in German here), was jointly produced by the Berlin-based INFO polling institute and the Antalya, Turkey-based Liljeberg research firm, and was released to the public on August 17, as a follow-up to similar studies conducted in 2009 and 2010. It aims to determine just how satisfied the estimated 2.7 million Turks living in Germany are with their life there.

Of those Turks surveyed, 27% were born in Germany (77% of 15- to 29-year-olds were born in Germany) and 39% have lived in Germany for at least 30 years. Only 15% of Turks, however, consider Germany to be their home — compared to 21% in 2009, and 18% in 2010.

The survey also shows that labor migration is no longer the main reason why Turks immigrate to Germany; only one in five respondents said they had gone to Germany to look for work. Rather, the most important reason Turks gave for immigrating to Germany was to marry a partner who lived there. More than half of the Turkish women interviewed said they moved to Germany for that reason.

In the area of language, the survey shows a major generational gap. Overall, only 37% of Turkish-origin men and 27% of Turkish-origin women speak better German than Turkish. Nevertheless, in the 15 to 29 age category, 75% of those surveyed speak better German than Turkish. Meanwhile, those in the 30 to 49 age category, 71% of those surveyed speak better Turkish than German.

While 91% of Turks surveyed believe that Turkish-origin children need to learn German from an early age, 90% also say that children absolutely must learn Turkish. A growing number of Turks (53%) believe that German teachers of Turkish-origin children need to understand the Turkish language to be able to help children having difficulty with the German language.

In the area of hypothetical voting patterns, the vast majority (80%) of Turks surveyed say they would vote for leftwing or far-leftwing parties if they were able to vote in Germany. 50% said they would vote for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), 26% would vote for the leftwing Green party and 5% would vote for the far-left Die Linke. Only 13% would vote for the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU).

Almost all Turks surveyed (95%) said it is absolutely necessary for them to preserve their Turkish identity; in a sign indicating that efforts at integration have a long way to go, 62% said they would rather be around Turks than around Germans (in the 2010 survey, it was 40%). Only 39% of Turks said that Germans were trustworthy.

At the same time, 87% of those surveyed said they believe that German society should make a great effort to be considerate of the customs and traditions of Turkish immigrants.

Of those Turks surveyed, 72% believe that Islam is the only true religion (in the 2010 survey, it was 69%); 18% say Jews are inferior people and 10% say Christians are inferior.

Arguably the most sobering finding of the study is that 46% of Turks say they hope that Germany will one day have more Muslims than Christians (in the 2010 survey, it was 33%). More than half of Turks (55%) believe that Germany should build more mosques.

More than 90% of Turks surveyed consider themselves to be religious; only 9% label themselves as “not religious” (37% say they are highly religious). The survey shows high levels of religiosity (91%) among the younger generation of Turks (ages 15 to 29) living in Germany.

Rabbi Lau: I Didn’t See Such German Sensitivity to Jewish Blood During the Holocaust

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Rabbi Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Holocaust Survivor, attacked the Germans today with harsh words. Rabbi Lau said, “We don’t need their permission to live as Jews,” and added that, “I didn’t see such German sensitivity to Jewish blood during the Shoah.”

“It’s amazing, German spokesmen are sensitive to the cries of a baby and a drop of spilled blood like I did not see in my childhood. Then, Jewish children’s blood was worthless and trampled on by the boots of the Gestapo, while tens of millions of Germans collaberated or stood by and watched.”

Rabbi Lau continued to say that Jews don’t have anything to look for in Germany, but that we must fight this anti-Semitic law.

Rabbi Lau also attacked the idea, proposed by Rabbi Metzger, that German doctors would teach or certify Jewish Mohels on how to perform Brit Mila, he added that Rabbi David Goldberg, who was just arrested, has performed over 3000 successful circumcisions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbi-lau-i-didnt-see-such-german-sensitivity-to-jewish-blood-during-the-holocaust/2012/08/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: