US Jews to Germany: Restore circumcision

2012-07-06 10:00

Los Angeles - The Wiesenthal Centre on Thursday urged authorities in Berlin to overturn a court ruling banning circumcision, saying it would be "a stain on today's Germany" to let it stand.

The Los Angeles-based Jewish lobby group said Chancellor Angela Merkel and German lawmakers should act immediately to reverse the 26 June ruling by a regional court in Cologne.

The German court ruling "is an attack on one of the fundamental principles of Judaism", wrote Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Centre in a letter to Merkel.

"For 3 500 years, every male child has entered the Jewish people through the rite of circumcision. We are not talking about a mere custom, but a biblical principle that has defined the Jewish people from time immemorial."

They noted that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler said "in one of his infamous anti-Semitic rants" that "conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision".

"Since the defeat of Nazism, Germany has come a long way, and worked very hard to successfully chart a new course after the horrific legacy of the Holocaust by guaranteeing religious freedom and democracy," they wrote.

"It would be a stain on today's Germany to have this ruling stand," the rabbis added.

In a decision that sparked outrage from German Jewish and Muslim groups, the German court ruled against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents' wishes.

The judges ruled - in what could set a legal precedent - that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents".

The ruling marked a "big blow against integration", a spokesperson for the Co-ordinating Council of Muslims in Germany, one of about 20 groups representing most of Germany's around four million Muslims, said on Wednesday.

  • koo.doyle - 2012-07-06 10:22

    The fact that they've been doing it for 3 500 years doesn't make it right. What about the basic human right to decide what to do with your own body? Its barbaric, has risks attached, and is medically unnecessary. Let men decide when they're old enough.

      jaba.kov - 2012-07-06 10:52

      LOL Medically unnecessary - you must be joking! Just because Jews have been doing it for thousands of years might not suet your ideals - but don’t lie about the medical field. Most people today who get circumcised in the Western world are not even Jewish, but are done so for the pure and simple reason that it’s good for you. it is routinely done at birth for the majority of boys in the USA as well as many in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and much of the English speaking world. Overall it is estimated that a quarter of the male population is circumcised - about 750 million males. They cannot all be wrong!

      jaba.kov - 2012-07-06 10:52

      The benefits of circumcision: In older man it helps prevent bladder or prostate gland problems. Stops almost complete the chance of getting cancer of the penis. Cancer of the cervix in women is due to the Human Papilloma Virus. It thrives under and on the foreskin from where it can be transmitted during intercourse. At least 20% of cancer of the cervix would be avoided if all men were circumcised (the British Medical Journal in April 2002). Circumcised men are 8 times less likely to contract the HIV virus. Lots of men, and their partners, prefer the appearance of their penis after circumcision, it is odour-free, it feels cleaner, and they enjoy better sex. Awareness of a good body image is a very important factor in building self confidence

      jaba.kov - 2012-07-06 10:53

      Balanitis is an unpleasant, often recurring, inflammation of the glans. It is quite common and can be prevented by circumcision. lastly, Urinary tract infections sometimes occur in babies and can be quite serious. Circumcision in infancy makes it 10 times less likely. Do yourself a favour, no matter what religion your are, if you have a son - get him circumcised cause as time passes the medical fields finds more and more reasons why its useful to have done...

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-06 11:18

      3500 years ago the water they had was used for drinking in the desert not for washing. Thus they got infected and then came up with circumcision.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-07-06 12:18

      So true!! The evidence shows that there is no benefit, besides aesthetic (bull in my opinion, as an uncut penis is much more beautiful) to remove the foreskin. The whole thing where cut cocks are supposed to be less at risk of contracting HIV is also a fallacy. Condoms are the only thing that can prevent this. If i had to be forced to have my foreskin cut away, then i would have sued whomever allowed it. My body, MY DECISION It's sad that certain people/organisations don't respect that.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-07-06 12:37

      Did you know that when a baby is circumcised, his tiny body goes into shock because of the trauma of the pain? In fact they say that babies feel pain much more than us because of their hyper-developed immune systems? I guess you don't care about the baby's pain, just about the cut.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-06 19:14

      Did you know that same baby gets put under anesthesia?

      koo.doyle - 2012-07-07 00:26

      and you jaba.kov read and weep.

      sarabellefisher - 2012-07-07 00:29

      jaba.kov I find it odd that you assume grown men cannot keep their penises clean. How insulting to men everywhere. Also, a lack of caregiving by caregivers in nursing homes is no reason to cut off a newborn babies foreskin. Girls are much more likely to have urinary track infections, yeast infections and problems with thier vaginas and no one is arguing for labia amputation to curb this. You are ridiculous. I will teach my son to clean his genitals and practice safe sex. Seems pretty simple to me (and MUCH less invasive).

      joseph.mencarini.9 - 2012-07-07 06:07

      jaba.kov, we need references to all of your medical 'facts'...because all of the unbiased articles I've read say the opposite.

  • joe.bute.7 - 2012-07-06 10:32

    koo.doyle - STFU, educate yourself and then comment.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-06 10:46


      koo.doyle - 2012-07-07 00:21

      Wow you must make your mom proud you rude obnoxious ass. See a circumcision, see how the babies are in total agony. If you weren't supposed to have a foreskin, why are you born with one? There are too many cases of botched procedures, and complications. If you say it's so necessary, let each man choose for himself, what he wants to do with HIS body. Is female circumcision necessary too? I used to have no opinion on the matter, till I witnessed first-hand, what the babies go through. Its bull. Your body, your choice.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-07-07 08:15

      @Koo- I had a circumcision at age 4. No suffering. Don't you think I would have remembered it if it was such a "traumatic experience"?

  • Ricardo - 2012-07-06 11:09

    So there are similarities between Judaism and Islam which they can agree on... For a change they defending each other... Well Done Germany

      koo.doyle - 2012-07-07 00:27

      Agreed. Above and beyond religion, the most basic right, is the right to decide what to do with your own body.

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-07-06 12:15

    Reverse the law which was enacted to protect innocent children, who don't have a say on whether or not to have their penis mutilated?? Wonderful.

  • badballie - 2012-07-06 13:04

    JABA.KOV, you first line makes the rest of your rather lengthy speech immaterial, Although you are right in connection to the hazards of not being circumcised, the disease are all without exception a result of an unclean lifestyle and poor personal hygiene. Circumcision is not medically necessary by or under any definition, anyone that says it is will lie about other things as well. Do not confuse the difference between necessary and desirable.

  • michael.haltman - 2012-07-06 22:18

    Wasn't it MC Hammer who said "you can't cut this"? After an article written at The Political Commentator last week discussing the ban on circumcision in Cologne, Germany, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has issued a statement of its own urging Angela Merkel to get the ban reversed. Read the article at The Political Commentator here: Michael Haltman The Political Commentator New York, New York Twitter: @ThePoliticalCom

  • sarabellefisher - 2012-07-07 00:24

    There is not a health organization on earth (INCLUDING THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEDIATRICS) that supports routine infant circumcision... and you all claim there are health/ medical benefits for routine infact circumcision!?! Research then speak.

  • joseph.mencarini.9 - 2012-07-07 06:08

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -Upton Sinclair

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