October 4, 2013
Israel: European anti-circumcision motion ‘fosters hate’
Israel called on the Council of Europe to rescind a resolution which is “fostering hate” by equating non-medical circumcision of boys with female genital mutilation.
“This resolution casts a moral stain on the Council of Europe, and fosters hate and racist trends in Europe,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement Friday. “We call on the Council of Europe to act without delay in order to annul it.”
The resolution in question was part of a report which the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe passed on Oct. 2. The Council of Europe is the continent’s main human rights body. Its resolutions are non-binding.
Entitled “Children’s Right to Physical Integrity,” the report called non-medical circumcision of boys a “violation of the physical integrity of children” and mentioned it along with female genital mutilation.
“Any comparison of this tradition to the reprehensible and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation is either appalling ignorance, at best, or defamation and anti- religious hatred, at worst,” the ministry said.
Israel rarely condemns motions by the Council of Europe or other institutions that do not concern it directly.
“Claims that circumcision harms young boys’ health and body are false, and do not rest on any scientific evidence,” the statement said.
Several European Jewish groups have condemned the resolution, including Milah UK and the European Jewish Congress.