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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Scandinavia’

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.”

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.

Israeli Farmers Love Valentine’s Day

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

       TEL AVIV – Although Valentine’s Day is not an official holiday in Israel, local farmers had reason to celebrate. Agrexco, exporters of agricultural products, reported soaring European demand for Israeli flowers and strawberries ahead of the holiday. Over 100,000 specially packaged heart-shaped boxes of strawberries were sold in the U.K. at major chains such as Marks and Spencer’s for prices that were 30% higher this year than last. Agrexco officials explained the increase in price was due to harsh weather conditions in Morocco and Spain, causing a shortage of the fruit in European markets. Israeli farmers were able to pick up the slack. Assaf Hadar, Agrexco director of strawberry exports, noted that another reason for the increase in demand is the better tasting berries that Israel is now growing.

 

         Amos Or, Agrexco director in the U.K., noted that Israeli fruit and flowers are also popular in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia and even the Far East, which are fairly new markets. Calls for a European boycott of Israeli goods by anti-Israel groups have little impact on sales,” said Or. “I’ve been here in the U.K. for four years and from time to time these pro-Palestinian groups will try and get people to stop buying Israeli products but it hasn’t hurt us so far.” Or said that the exports of fruit and flowers ahead of the Valentine’s holiday this year was expected to bring in at least a half a million Euros in sales.

 

(www.koshertoday.com)

Kibbutz Herb Business Expands Into Canada

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007




      Dorot Garlic and Herbs will soon export its frozen cubes of fresh garlic, ginger, parsley, basil, dill and cilantro to Canada’s largest supermarket chains: Extra Food and Real Canadian Superstore in British Columbia and the Atlantic Superstore and Previgo in Quebec. All four chains belong to Loblaws, Canada’s largest chain of supermarkets.


 


      The company’s products are already sold in the U.S. and Europe, namely at Trader Joe’s and at Sainsbury’s in Britain, as well as in Spain, Germany and a number of the leading supermarkets in Scandinavia.


 


(www.koshertoday.com)


 


 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/kibbutz-herb-business-expands-into-canada/2007/01/10/

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