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Ritual circumcision under attack In Europe

Ritual circumcision under attack In Europe

In Europe, ritual circumcision may be in danger of becoming illegal in the near future. Last week in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe a ruling pertaining to the banning of ritual circumcision was proposed. Jews of Europe are concerned that the proposal of this bill echoes a continent-wide sentiment that they are not welcome on the European continent.

In recent years there have been various attempts to pass laws banning ritual slaughter of animals in various European nations which not only affects Jews, but Muslims as well, whose diet is dictated by the laws of Halal which require ritual slaughter of animals. With the proposal of this recent law however, which directly affects the religious life cycle of Jews, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe seems to want to make it more and more difficult for Jews to live in Europe.

Many Jews are concerned that the life they have known in Europe may not be possible for much longer. For more information visit the Jerusalem Post.

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About Sandy Kubrick

Sandy Kubrick is a staff editor for God Discussion. Posts by Sandy may come from diverse contributors.
  • LA

    Excellent! Human rights–especially children's rights–is everybody's business, and tradition–which, in the words of George Bernard Shaw, is prone to "accustom a people to any atrocity"–must fall before them.

    The problem is that circumcised men don't THINK they have been damaged–it's the only penis they have ever known–just like circumcised Egyptian women don't THINK they have been damaged and continue to circumcise their daughters. It's psychology: no one wants to believe that something their parents did to their genitals when they were a child could possibly be damaging, so as a defense mechanism they are extremely biased to do the same to their own children.

    This is why most Jews, no matter how otherwise secularized, continue to practice this most bizarre and cruel aspect of their religion.

    It's sad, but the psychology, sexuality, and irreversibility, blended with the link to one's parents, makes the cutting of children's genitals–just that string of words ought to be horrifying to anyone–one of the most enduring religious, tribal, and/or cultural markers in the history of man. No one subjected to it wants to do away with it because that would be to admit that they were harmed–physically and sexually–by their own parents, the ones who were supposed to protect them from all harm.

    Even so, may we live to see this atrocity forever eradicated.

    ***

    Also, I encourage everybody to check out Soraya Mire. She is an amazing woman–a survivor of Type IV infibulation (the most extreme form of FGM) and a vocal opponent of both male and female cutting. She said, "The same universal human right to an intact body that I have fought for on behalf of women and girls must apply to boys as well, especially those who are too young to make an informed decision about the integrity of their bodies. We need to ask ourselves: How can it be wrong to surgically alter the genitals of a baby girl without her consent but okay to surgically alter the genitals of a baby boy?" Makes so much, sense right? Of course it does! Let's applaud any effort to end the cutting of children's genital (again, that phrase should be enough to make any normal human being gag).

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      Prove the damage exists.

      • LA

        http://m.pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896.full.pdf

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17155977

        Just one look at a supple glans protected by its foreskin its entire existence compared to one that has been exposed for decades is an answer more than sufficient. You can look up pictures yourself.

        If you don't think removing the foreskin harms men, and therefore you're OK with parents removing their sons' foreskins at birth, then logically you should be OK with parents removing the analogous part of their daughters, the clitoral hood, at birth. The glans and clitoris are both mucous membrane that ought to be protected throughout life, not permanent exposed, dried, and desensitized.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          Here's article two:

          BJU Int. 2007 Mar;99(3):619-22. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

          SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study included 373 sexually active men, of whom 255 were circumcised and 118 were not. Of the 255 circumcised men, 138 had been sexually active before circumcision, and all were circumcised at >20 years of age. As the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory does not specifically address the quality of sex life, questions were added to compare sexual and masturbatory pleasure before and aftercircumcision.
          RESULTS: There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision.
          CONCLUSION: There was a decrease in masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment after circumcision, indicating that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings.

          ___________

          This relates only to adult circumcision. It does not say whether or not persons circumcised as neonates have less or more masturbatory pleasure than persons not circumcised as neonates. Most important, it does not say why these men were circumcised. If they were circumcised because of phimoses, for example, it would follow that the scarring itself might decrease pleasure in masturbation. Moreover, sex is very subjective. If you believe that the foreskin is essential to your sex life, it is essential to your sex life. This does not mean that if you never had one, you would have a poorer sex life.

          • cosmopolite

            If the sexual experience is as subjective as you assert, then no human has the right to complain about anything being cut off! The subjectivity of sex is not a reason to denigrate people's opinions about sex but rather to cherish them.

            The biomedical technology to needed to quantify and compare the sexual pleasure of human beings does not yet exist (it will by the end of this century). To ask a man after he was circumcised to compare and contrast his sexual experiences before and after the adult operation, is not a promising avenue to good scientific data. Memory is unreliable, and circ cannot be undone. Much more reliable is to ask women who have dated men of both kinds.

            But we can investigate whether circ status is correlated with PE, ED, painful erections, meatal stenosis, unsatisfying sex, jackhammer intercourse, and more. There is no careful N American work here, and that is a deplorable situation.

          • LA

            Wow, you're really grasping at straws here. Would you be as hesitant to apply the findings of such an adult study to neonates if the body part in question was any other part of the genitalia?

            And yes, men should have the right to determine what parts of their genitals are essential to their sex life, or what parts at least make it better. And if a man determines that a foreskin makes his sex life better, he should damn well have the right to have one; he was born with it, after all. If a woman determines that labia makes sex better, she should damn well have the right to own a pair.

            This really isn't hard to see, Roxanne, and it's seriously troubling how far you'll go to justify something that is 1) medically unnecessary and 2) is so obvious a violation of male bodily integrity and potentially sexuality.

            You don't know if that baby whose foreskin you're cutting off will value the foreskin someday–but shouldn't he have the right to do so as much as his sister does her labia?

  • Copper Stewart

    People should not be made to feel condemning a superstitious and atavistic act of genital mutilation is anything other than defense of children. Religious circumcision should is contemptible and should be criminalized. The practice should not be tolerated, and branches of the religion that will not reform should not be permitted in any democratic society that recognizes consent as the basis of human rights.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      Unfortunately, the reality is that a legal ban yields severe discrimination against Jews historically.

      One might regulate the practice, but to ban it outright would signal to the violent that it is time to hunt Jews down & kill them. I just had an online discussion with someone who also claimed Stalin was infinitely worse than Hitler & that there was no difference between death in a Nazi slave labor camp & death in a Nazi gas chamber.

      Far better is simply to use persuasion such as you possess. By the same token, there is good evidence that neonatal circumcision decreases the risk of various sexually transmitted diseases.

      • forensicgirl

        I would argue restricting circumcision to consenting adults 18+ is regulating the practice. It doesn't stop an adult from choosing the procedure for himself.
        And no, circumcision does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms do. Look at the US-high percentage of circumcised men, high STD transmission rates. This is not true in countries like Japan, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          That's not what the articles say. Here's number 2 on PubMed Circumcision:

          Annu Rev Med. 2013 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

          Male Circumcision: A Globally Relevant but Under-Utilized Method for the Prevention of HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections. Tobian AA, Kacker S, Quinn TC. Departments of Pathology and Medicine, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21287;
          Abstract
          Randomized trials have demonstrated that male circumcision (MC) reduces heterosexual acquisition of HIV, herpes simplex virus type 2, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital ulcer disease among men, and it reduces HPV, genital ulcer disease, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis among female partners. The pathophysiology behind these effects is multifactorial, relying on anatomic and cellular changes. MC is cost effective and potentially cost saving in both the United States and Africa. The World Health Organization and Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS proposed reaching 80% MC coverage in HIV endemic countries, but current rates fall far behind targets. Barriers to scale-up include supply-side and demand-side challenges. In the United States, neonatal MC rates are decreasing, but the American Academy of Pediatrics now recognizes the medical benefits of MC and supports insurance coverage. Although MC is a globally valuable tool to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, it is underutilized. Further research is needed to address barriers to MC uptake. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Medicine Volume 65 is January 14, 2014.

          • cosmopolite

            The randomised trials in Africa were badly designed, badly executed and badly interpreted. Trials using African subjects are not relevant to the middle classes in North Atlantic nations, where men shower daily, and can buy condoms at the supermarket. The clinical trials were cut short after 18 months, which ruled out learning whether risk compensation applies.

            The problem with "cost effective" is that the cost does not include the damage to sex lives. It is invalid to extrapolate findings from African clinical trials to the American and Canadian population. Europe and Japan, despite not circumcising, have lower rates of STDs than the USA, where about 80% of adult men are circumcised.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          The first article is not a research article, but a summary of arguments against the American Academy of Pediatrics. As such, it does not in itself prove a loss of pleasure exists due to neonatal circumcision. Moreover, there is a much more powerful response to that article from the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you like, I can post that response, but that's simply meaningless, being but one review article versus another.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          My apologies, for my responses were to LA. Circumcision does indeed protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

          Sex Transm Infect. 2006 Apr;82(2):101-9; discussion 110.

          Male circumcision and risk of syphilis, chancroid, and genital herpes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

          Weiss HA, Thomas SL, Munabi SK, Hayes RJ.

          Source

          MRC Tropical Epidemiology Group, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK. helen.weiss@lshtm.ac.uk

          Abstract

          OBJECTIVES:

          Male circumcision is associated with reduced risk of HIV infection. This may be partly because of a protective effect of circumcisionon other sexually transmitted infections (STI), especially those causing genital ulcers, but evidence for such protection is unclear. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analyses of the associations between male circumcision and infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), Treponema pallidum, or Haemophilus ducreyi.

          METHODS:

          Electronic databases (1950-2004) were searched using keywords and text terms for herpes simplex, syphilis, chancroid, ulcerativesexually transmitted diseases, or their causative agents, in conjunction with terms to identify epidemiological studies. References of key articles were hand searched, and data were extracted using standardised forms. Random effects models were used to summarise relative risk (RR) where appropriate.

          RESULTS:

          26 articles met the inclusion criteria. Most syphilis studies reported a substantially reduced risk among circumcised men (summary RR = 0.67, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54 to 0.83), although there was significant between study heterogeneity (p = 0.01). The reduced risk of HSV-2 infection was of borderline statistical significance (summary RR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.01). Circumcised men were at lower risk of chancroid in six of seven studies (individual study RRs: 0.12 to 1.11).

          CONCLUSIONS:

          This first systematic review of male circumcision and ulcerative STI strongly indicates that circumcised men are at lower risk of chancroid and syphilis. There is less association with HSV-2. Potential male circumcision interventions to reduce HIV in high risk populations may provide additional benefit by protecting against other STI.

          • cosmopolite

            The vast majority of the studies included in this meta study were conducted in the Third World or with subjects from STD clinics in First World slums. Not relevant. Europe and Japan are not in the least impressed with these studies, which are oblivious to how the natural penis enhances sex. Heterosexual USA is also NOT at high risk of HIV.

            Circumcision does not "protect" against STDs. The claim is that it reduces the chances of getting an STD from a single sex act with an infected woman. This is worthless, if circumcised men have more unprotected sex! (See Risk Compensation in Wikipedia.) Circumcision does not protect women from infected men, is utterly worthless for male-male and anal sex ,and for nonsexual transmission.

            Every child born in Dunedin New Zealand in 1972-73 has been followed lifelong. The subjects include about 500 males. About 40% were circumcised. The lifetime incidence of STDs in the circed and intact groups were identical to 3 decimal places.

      • forensicgirl

        Additionally, protecting the human rights of the child has nothing to do with discrimination. Every religion and culture must obey basic human rights, including Jews, Christians and Muslims. Circumcision forced on infants and children violates those rights. The freedom of religion of the parents ends where the human rights of the child begins.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          It has a lot to do with anti-Judaism. Bring back the Spanish Inquisition after the Jews leave. You will want to monitor all descendants of Jews to ensure they are not circumcising in secret.

          • cosmopolite

            The equation "deplores infant circumcision" = "anti-Judaism" is simply false.
            To circumcise boys in secret at home, would be utterly deplorable, given that they can undergo circumcision in the open after they turn 18.

      • ml66uk

        Most of the people behind this would be the people most likely to defend Jewish people, or any other minorities if they were being hunted down. They're interested in protecting children, not persecuting people.

        We didn't regulate any form of female genital cutting except to ban it, and there are forms of FGC that are far less invasive than the usual form of male circumcision. Even a symbolic pinprick is banned though. The people that promote FGC (usually cut women) also claim religious and medical reasons to do it. As long as male circumcision is allowed, it's hard to campaign against FGC in other countries. They don't see a fundamental difference even if some of us do (and I for one don't).

        The evidence that circumcision, neonatal or otherwise reduces the risk of STI's is surprisingly weak btw, and is obviously dwarfed by sexual behavior.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          History shows the opposite of what you say. Virtually all Jew haters banned circumcision. Please show me an article that shows circumcision does not drop STD rates. Then we'll discuss it.

          • cosmopolite

            You and I do not know all members of the set "Jew haters". Therefore your assertion is unverifiable.
            There is a history of French anti-semitism. I know of no attempt in France to ban circumcision ever.
            The USA has the highest circ rate in the OECD, and also the highest STD infection rates. American research claiming prophylactic benefits of circumcision is seriously dishonest. Honest research would required choosing a random sample of 5000 boys, randomly circumcising half of them, and then following the 5000 males for the rest of their lives. This would be as expensive as it would be unethical.
            The UK used to circumcise 35% of its boys. New Zealand, 80-90%. The rate in both countries is now zero. In Australia and Canada, RIC was the norm 50 years ago. It's now 15% in Australia and 30% in Canada. I know of no study showing a rise in urological problems and STD incidence in any of these countries as RIC declined.

          • ml66uk

            The longest-running study of male cicrcumcision and STI's shows a slightly *higher* rate of STI's among circumcised men:
            http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(07)00707-X/abstract

            From a USAID report:
            "There appears no clear pattern of association between male circumcision and HIV prevalence—in 8 of 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence is lower among circumcised men, while in the remaining 10 countries it is higher."
            http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/CR22/CR22.pdf

            "The percentage of circumcised men reporting a diagnosis of genital warts was significantly higher than uncircumcised men"
            http://journals.lww.com/stdjournal/Fulltext/2008/04000/Seroepidemiology_of_Human_Papillomavirus_Type_11.8

            If we found out that cutting off part of a girl's genitals reduced her risk of contracting an STI, would that make it acceptable?
            This study shows exactly that:
            http://www.ias-2005.org/planner/Abstracts.aspx?AID=3138
            Kanki et al. also reported that, in Senegalese prostitutes, women who had undergone female circumcison had a significantly decreased risk of HIV-2 infection compared to those who had not. (Kanki P, M'Boup S, Marlink R, et al. "Prevalence and risk determinants of human immunodeficiency virus type 2
            (HIV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in west African female prostitutes". Am. J. Epidemiol. 136 (7): 895-907. PMID)

            Babies aren't going to be getting any STI's before they're old enough to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts of their genitals cutting off. It's their body; it should be their decision.

      • LA

        Go get circumcised. Then let's talk.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          My relatives all have. Of course, when you force all the Jews to leave Europe, it will be justice to you. Then you can kill them all in Israel.

          • LA

            No, Roxanne. I mean YOU. You go get your clitoral hood removed. Then let's talk.

            • RoxanneRoxanadana

              Had it been removed at birth, I would not really care.

              • LA

                OK, at least you're consistent. What's really frustrating is when people argue that one should be legal but the other shouldn't be.

                • RoxanneRoxanadana

                  More surprising is equating female genital mutilation, which removes the clitoris, with circumcision, which removes the prepuce. As you indicate, those who do that are incredibly dishonest, as would be expected by those who really want the Jews to die.

                  I don't think I would notice a difference, frankly. In fact, I would have not the slightest problem with a frenulectomy were it religiously required.

                • LA

                  I agree, a foreskin does not equal a clitoris, but the same principle–bodily/genital integrity–that should ethically prevent parents from removing their daughter's clitoris should also prevent them from removing their son's foreskin.

                  As I mentioned in my comment above, it's especially refreshing to hear this from someone who actually had her clitoris removed, Soraya Mire, a Somalian woman's and children's activist who first introduced me to FGM through her book, The Girl with Three Legs.

                  If anyone could say, "But FGM is so much worse than just snipping a little skin!", it would be her–but she doesn't. She sees male and female cutting as more comparable than the average American is comfortable seeing and therefore opposes one just as much as the other.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggqa6CCTR-4

                  http://www.intactamerica.org/soraya

                  I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.

                • RoxanneRoxanadana

                  The opinion of one person, not a physician, not an anatomist, is not definitive to anyone. Moreover, the standard argument is that men who have been circumcised (& therefore should "know the best") are unable to speak to this issue (unless they are speaking against it). Hence, there is great contradiction in what you are saying here & what the anti-circumcision group says in general. It is commendable that you would say that people who have had the procedure done are fully in a position to argue about it. The vast majority of men who have been circumcised do not see a problem with the procedure.

                • LA

                  I would point out that many women who have been circumcised do not see a problem with it either–until someone tells them they should (for good reason), as they only have in the past few decades.

                  Same for circumcised men. Now they are getting information about how unnecessary and damaging the procedure is, so in the coming years we will see more and more men speaking out against it. The population of men who are "just fine with it" grew up hearing that foreskins are disgusting and worthless, but that is changing–just compare message boards about infant circumcision from today versus 15 or even 5 years ago.

                  Same thing with women in Africa–the word is getting out.

                • cosmopolite

                  Your opinion is not definitive either.

                  American doctors and anatomist have bungled the management of the most sexual part of the male body, the tip of the penis for 100+ years. They simply do not understand the intensely sexual nature of what is removed.

                  Circumcised men often tragically rationalise away what was done to them. A growing number of American men have come to realise that what their parents did to them when they were 1-2 days old was an injustice.

                  "The vast majority of men who have been
                  circumcised do not see a problem with the procedure."
                  But some are very angry about it. Should they be told to shut up and sit down because they have been "outvoted"??

                  There never has been a study, based on a large random sample, of the possible correlation between circ status and PE/ED/vaginismus. The lack of such studies, even though American hospitals have circumcised over 100M boys since 1880, is utterly unconscionable. USA doctors simply do not know what they are doing.

                • cosmopolite

                  Many women who have undergone FGM have no damage to the clitoris. African women who have undergone FGM swear they orgasm with their husbands.
                  What is dishonest is the eyes closed to the occasional circumcision that goes wrong. To adult circed men with damaged penises. With chronic PE and ED. The men over 40-50 who find sex dull.
                  The frenulum is one of the intensely sexual parts of the natural male body. Cutting the frenulum is very painful. I would definitely have issues with a religion that demanded that men give up their frenula.

                  I want Jews to have better sex lives and more children.
                  When the next murderous persecution comes, I want Jewish males to have the option of disappearing into the gentile crowd, thus frustrating the murderers.

                  L'chaim!

              • cosmopolite

                You need a long talk with a sex positive feminist.
                The clitoral hood is the ground zero of female masturbation, and female masturbation is the training wheels of female sexuality. THe only reliable way to assure orgasm every time you have sex with a man, is to combine playing with your clitoris with penetration by him. 25 years of marriage have taught me that.

      • cosmopolite

        What is very often lost sight of is that what is proposed is not a ban but a minimum age. A young man would be completely free to opt for a bris if he wishes.

        "…to ban it outright would signal to the violent that it is time to
        hunt Jews down & kill them."
        Over the top.

        "I just had an online discussion with someone who also claimed Stalin was infinitely worse than Hitler…"
        Hitler's concentration camps killed at least 11M people. The Gulag may have killed even more than that.

        "…there was no difference between death in a Nazi slave labor camp & death in a Nazi gas chamber."

        People shipped to Auschwitz usually died with 24 hours by Zyklon B. In the Gulag you died overr many months, while being worked to the bone in Arctic conditions. I prefer Auschwitz.

        "Far better is simply to use persuasion such as you possess."
        I do not support legislating against ritual circumcision. But I have no difficulty with our sexual culture evolving in such a way that circumcision comes to be seen as sexually degrading and damaging.

        "… there is good evidence that neonatal circumcision decreases the risk of various sexually transmitted diseases."
        The "evidence" is not good, and is nearly all taken from the Third World, and from First World slums. Does the USA have lower rates of STDs than Japan & Europe? STDs are not like the flu and the common cold; they don't just "happen". STDs require the active cooperation of the infected person, in the form of irresponsible sexual acts. Teach responsibility; don't alter the genitalia.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          Actually, you can find articles showing it works in America in general.

          That you see no difference between executions of racial groups at Auschwitz & a proportion of deaths at labor camps says much about you.

          • cosmopolite

            What is "it" that works?

            I could say the same about your refusal to see that the Stalinist USSR was fully as bad as the Third Reich. Again, read Anne Appelbaum.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          I cannot believe you are actually saying that mass murder in gas chambers was no worse than the deaths Stalin induced. You have no idea how horrific that is to say.

          • cosmopolite

            Why should they object to what I say?

            Read Anne Appelbaum's 2003 book on the Gulag, which convinced me that the only difference between Kolyma and Auschwitz is that the former was much colder, slower in its killing methods, more profitable to the Soviet state, and indifferent as to the ethnicity of its victims. I also read Solzhenitsyn in the 1970s.

            Stalin was at least as bad as Hitler. And these facts and value judgements in no way impugn me. They do not impugn the intactivist movement, because they are my own.

      • cosmopolite

        No one proposes a ban, only a minimum age.
        In the past, circumcision was banned by authoritarian jerks, who had a persecutory agenda, and who had ridiculously high penalties. That does not mean that those who deplore routine infant circumcision today have a hidden agenda of mass murder or wish in any way to "destroy" Judaism.

  • forensicgirl

    Good. This bill is entirely justified because circumcision, when performed on unconsenting minors, violates their human rights. The religious practices of the parents end where the human rights of the child being. The correct thing to do is to restrict the procedure to adults 18+. Let them choose for themselves how much of their penis they want to keep. This is not anti-Semitism but rather the protection of human rights. And if restricting one ritual to consenting adults is going to end the Jewish way of life, then doesn't that mean Judaism has bigger problems? Requiring Christians to use adult-only baptism wouldn't cause Christianity to collapse (although baptism and circumcision are not comparable because baptism does not involve the permanent and damaging amputation of a healthy body part). Nor should any one religion be exempt from being criticized. People criticise Christianity all the time.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      It does mean that Judaism has bigger problems – so many who oppose circumcision want to persecute Jews.

      Rest assured if sanitary measures were to be imposed on the wine & the bread for Catholics, that would cause a great uproar.

      • cosmopolite

        "…many who oppose circumcision want to persecute Jews."

        I have been reading and thinking for 30 years about the growing opposition to American routine infant circumcision, and can assure you that there is no anti-semitic hidden agenda. The founding book was by Edward Wallerstein, a secular Jew. The launching point of the intactivism of mothers was a book by Rosemary Romberg Weiner, who is married to a secular Jew for 40 years. Miriam Pollack is a powerful voice against RIC and bris, and is a Conservative Jew.

        "Rest assured if sanitary measures were to be imposed on the wine &
        the bread for Catholics, that would cause a great uproar."
        I bet the Roman Catholics would accept such restrictions more meekly.

  • cosmopolite

    The principle object of the opposition to ritual circumcision and religious slaughtering, is Moslem immigrants to Europe. Think of Jews as being collateral damage.

    "In Europe, ritual circumcision may be in danger of becoming illegal
    in the near future.Last week in the Parliamentary Assembly of the
    Council of Europe a ruling pertaining to the banning of ritual
    circumcision was proposed. "
    The Council of Europe has no governmental authority whatsoever. Also, what is being proposed is not a "ban" but a requirement that it be performed only on those having attained their majority.

    "Jews of Europe are concerned that the proposal of this bill echoes a continent-wide sentiment that they are not welcome on the European continent."
    How can you be sure that you know what all European Jews think of this motion (which is not a "bill", BTW)? Many secular or liberal European Jewish families no longer circumcise, but do not wear that fact on their sleeves.

    "In recent years there have been various attempts to pass laws banning
    ritual slaughter of animals in various European nations which not only
    affects Jews, but Muslims as well, whose diet is dictated by the laws of
    Halal which require ritual slaughter of animals."
    Most European Jews do not keep kosher.

    "With the proposal of this recent law however, which directly affects the religious life cycle of Jews, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe seems to
    want to make it more and more difficult for Jews to live in Europe."

    Judaism is more than a "religious life cycle", and Judaism has and will evolve over time. I do not agree with legislation putting heavy restrictions on ritual circumcision. But I also deny that delaying circumcision until age 18 or 21 makes it very difficult for Jews to live in Europe.

    "Many Jews are concerned that the life they have known in Europe may not be possible for much longer."
    This overlooks the fact that most self-identified European Jews are not very religious.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      This bill will stigmatize Judaism. Most of the Jews will leave. Guess what? Israel is hated more than any other country in Europe.

      • cosmopolite

        It is not a bill, because the Council of Europe is not a legislative body. It is only a debating society.
        Most European Jews will not leave, because most are not very religious.
        This bill will "stigmatise" Moslems and Americans much much more. But you know, all sorts of laws "stigmatize" all sorts of human communities. Soviet law stigmatise landowners and private business men.

        The most hated country in Europe are Belarus and Moldova.

        1. European Jews will remain free to be Zionists or not. In the future, vocal Zionists may be told curtly to make aliyah and shut up.

        2. The problem is not male circumcision, but doing it before the 18th birthday.

        3. The availability of kosher meat outside of Israel and North America may become a major issue. But keep in mind that many Jews do not keep kosher, and that eating vegetarian is definitely an option.

        ************************
        Turkey's behaviour in Cyprus is not admired. But I have not heard that people are being kept in N Cyprus against their will.
        The ear piercing of young daughters in Latin America is becoming mildly controversial.
        The hunting of mammals with guns will grow more controversial.

        What is hypocritical is the eagerness of western nations to criminalise FGM, which only African immigrants practice, and to ignore the circumcision of boys in great numbers, often done for no reason other than the parents find the natural penis disgusting.

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