Sunday, 5 January 2014
PARIS (JTA) — The Israeli government is wading into the burgeoning European debate over circumcision and receiving a mixed reception from the continent’s Jews.

On Dec. 11, Israel initiated a motion in defense of circumcision at the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organization devoted to enhancing cooperation among its 47 member states. Intended to offset a nonbinding October resolution approved by the council’s Parliamentary Assembly that condemned non-medical circumcision of boys, the Israeli initiative will be reviewed in January and possibly put to a vote by the assembly.

The earlier resolution shocked both Jewish and Muslim groups and threatened to internationalize an anti-circumcision campaign that, until now, has been waged mostly by local activists working in individual European countries.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs got involved following the passing of this resolution because claims that milah [Jewish circumcision] hurts boys go against the essence of the State of Israel and its responsibility for the fate of Jews everywhere,” said Nimrod Barkan, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, who spearheaded the motion.

The growing campaign to limit ritual circumcision of boys has generated considerable concern in Israel. The chairman of the Knesset committee on the Jewish Diaspora, Yoel Razbozov, said in October that if bans are enacted, circumcisions should be performed at Israeli embassies in such countries. But Israel’s incipient role as defender of European Jewry is dividing local activists, with some warning that Israeli involvement could complicate the lives of Jews in Europe.

“Jewish communities don’t want to mistakenly be regarded as an extension of the political State of Israel,” said Rabbi Lody van de Kamp, a well-known Dutch Orthodox figure. “Any involvement from the state in religious issues in the Diaspora communities’ work in that way [is] counterproductive.”

Representatives of Jewish groups active on the circumcision issue in Europe say that as an observer state at the Council of Europe, Israel has every right to lobby on issues of concern. But in off-the-record talks, some Jewish activists expressed worry that Israel is getting involved in an issue that does not directly concern it and with which it has limited experience.

“It’s not always beneficial to have the Israelis wade in,” one European activist said on condition of anonymity, citing a need to maintain good working relations with Israelis. “They do things differently to how we would.”

The activist recalled a vocal disagreement that leaders of Germany’s Jewish community had last year with Eli Yishai, who at the time was Israel’s minister of internal affairs, and Yona Metzger, who was then Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi. (Metzger has since been arrested in Israel on fraud and bribery charges.) Germany’s Central Council of Jews said that the Israelis had done more harm than good in their response to a German court ruling in Cologne that said circumcision amounted to a criminal offense.
“Metzger said there was no reason why we shouldn’t have a doctor present at every milah. That’s not a message we want to spread,” the activist said. “He said unhelpful things and put us in a difficult position.”

The 2012 ruling in Cologne, which was reversed earlier this year, was one of several recent high-profile actions aimed at limiting the custom across Europe. Most of the anti-circumcision activity has been led by secularists who believe the practice violates children’s rights or nationalists seeking to limit Muslim or Jewish influence in their countries.

The Cologne ruling prompted brief bans in Austria and Switzerland and led several Scandinavian politicians and health officials to express support for banning circumcision. Many Jews believe those statements could be a prelude to restrictive legislation in Scandinavia and beyond.

Shimon Cohen, who advises the British Jewish community on resisting measures to limit ritual slaughter and circumcision, said that large European Jewish communities are equipped to handle such threats. But in countries with very small Jewish communities, a ban could get through without anybody noticing and have a precedent-setting effect.
“One of the major advantages to this Israeli involvement is that, no matter what the size of the local Jewish community, there’s likely to be an Israeli embassy present with politically intelligent insight and open channels of communication with senior government officials,” Cohen said.

For Barkan, the Israeli UNESCO ambassador, spearheading the pro-circumcision motion at the Council of Europe has been an opportunity for rare cooperation with Muslim partners — particularly Turkey, but also Albania and Azerbaijan, whose representatives signed on fairly quickly, he said. As for the criticism from Jewish activists, Barkan chalks it up to cultural differences.

“European Jewish communities have very complex considerations to accommodate, and I understand that,” he said. “But I grew up in a place that taught me that if I wanted to achieve something, I better to go ahead and try.”
Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The claim that the Israeli government has any kind of responsibility for Jews resident in Europe is simultaneously an implicit acknowledgement of their alienness and an outrageous violation of currently prevailing norms based on citizenship. If this notion that European peoplehood is defined by an administrative status called citizenship is going to continue to form the basis for a sense of belonging at the official level, it must be applied consistently. Diplomatic relations with Israel should be terminated until the claim of extra-territorial authority is withdrawn. Similarly, any European Jew who makes or otherwise indulges this claim should be stripped of their European citizenship and expelled to Israel. If necessary, special legislation should be passed to make that possible. Nor should it be confined to Jews. Similar claims are now heard routinely in relation to Turks, Moroccans, etc. They and their governments should be treated in the same way.


Anonymous said...

Finally, a senseless Jew bashing article. I was beginning to think CZ was on vacation.

Anonymous said...

A "senseless Jew-bashing" article for another subversive effort by The Tribe. Get used to it and consider it to be a preview of a much larger and more open trend.

Anonymous said...

It is still not too late to repent. Yes, I mean you, anonymous 20:29

King James Version
Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 00:04

I have no idea what the hell that means. Anyway, I don't worship any god, let alone the Jewish god, so you can stop entreating me to "repent".

- Anonymous 20:29

Anonymous said...

The original verses in the Old Testament which concern circumcision refer to circumcising not only Abram, his children and those of his tribe, but also include those "bought with money of any stranger which is not of they seed." Slaves, in other words; and since judaic tribes were involved through the centuries in warfare and slavery, this mutilation was not solely a 'religious' rite, but one of control over others. There are apparently many Jewish groups which do not now support circumcision for their babies (the original verse refers to it being done eight days after birth for those of the tribe itself). Also, due to myriad claims made, especially in the latter part of the 19th century for supposed medical benefits of circumcision, millions of babies born in Western countries were routinely circumcised as part of hospital procedures following birth, and most of those would have been the children of Christian parents. The New Testament speaks specifically against circumcision as representing the old covenant which is superceded by the New Covenant of Christ, and the first Letter of the newly established Christian Church to its followers in Jerusalem expresses this rejection of circumcision. The ancient Greeks and Romans also opposed it as a violation of the innate integrity of the persona and the body. Circumcision does involve destruction of sensory nerves and medical claims for it are dubious and inflated (and do include supposedly preventing sexual diseases and curtailing 'unacceptable' sexual practices, all of which does underline the controlling intentions of such a process, as also with FGM). If one form of sexual mutilation is permitted then it becomes very difficult to prevent the other, as can be seen by the scarcity of prosecutions for female genital mutilation.

Anonymous said...

On a political note, Sarkhozy, when President of France, strongly pushed the concept of the Union of the Mediterranean which did include Israel as well as Jordan and Morocco amongst its envisaged enlargement of EU members, so one can detect the EU's intention to checkmate any protests against islamic practices by also bringing judaic practices under its umbrella of 'protecting' social/cultural 'practices' (circumcision of males and females is part of the islamic sunna).

Anonymous said...

Of coarse you don't worship any god. The bible says that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". Has it ever occurred to you that a country whose inhabitants were deliberately scattered to the four corners of the Earth 2000 years ago has come back and is thriving in its homeland just as promised over 40 times in the bible might be the work of God.

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occurred to you that your Biblical fairytales are a load of superstitious bullshit and that you're a delusional loser?

Anonymous said...

No it hasn't occurred to me. After Israel regathered the land was transformed from a barren wasteland to an exporter of fruit to Europe. The Roman empire, the Babylonian empire, the Third Reich are in the dustbin of history, but Israel is back from being dispersed. When Jesus walked the earth he proved his divinity by performing miracles of healing. Today he is proving his divinity by fulfilling prophecy. Why don't you put down the porn magazine and start reading the Bible. It has the power to change your life from being a hate filled degenerate, to a person who has peace of mind. It is still not to late.

Anonymous said...

The world must be a scary place for you, what with the atheists and the pornography, so much so that you must resort to carefully cultivated delusions to acquire "peace of mind". Why don't put down that book of fairytales and start reading reality-based literature? It could transform you from a freak with the mind of a child into a sane adult worthy of respect. It's still not too late.

Anonymous said...

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you, and God bless you.

hoosier said...

@Anonymous 20:29
Many times in the past in my foolishness and worldliness I have blashphemed the holy name of Yeshua. But I must now realize that there is no life outside of Him.

Psalm 73 "9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?"

The Word of Adonay is all that is Truth. I don't care that much about race anymore, unless you're black. I would much rather see a purified Christian theocracy than racial poltics now. I have seen my whole life how slutty white women are but for some reason for the past couple of years I was under a demonic delusion and said the white race is perfect even though white man isn't that great.

Proverbs 14:12-"There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death."

It's strange that you say "It could transform you from a freak with the mind of a child into a sane adult worthy of respect." Matthew 18:3-"And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

O Lord forgive me of my wickedness and reign forever enthroned between the Cherubim!

hoosier said...

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