European Council Passes Anti-Circumcision Resolution

Rabbi Abraham Dauss, left, and Moishe Furer, a rabbinical student in Berlin holding his son Elchanan attend a circumcision ceremony in Berlin / AP


The Council of Europe passed a non-binding anti-circumcision resolution earlier this week saying the practice violates the "physical integrity of children."

The diplomatic organization said circumcision should not be preformed on children, male or female, who are unable to consent, according to Israel Hayyom.  While the resolution is not legally binding, the Council of Europe hopes to start debates in European nations aimed at ending circumcision of children.

News of this resolution troubled European Jewish groups and religious freedom advocates. According to Israel Hayyom:

"Although the adoption of this report is non-binding and does not represent any direct threat to milah [Jewish ritual circumcision], 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.

"This is the first time in recent memory that aggressive political attacks on milah have found a legitimate vehicle at the European level,"

Ritual circumcision is opposed in Europe by a coalition of right-wing anti-immigration activists and left-wing secularists. It affects Muslims, who circumcise their sons at age 7 or older and Jews, who circumcise 8-day-old boys.

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