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Op-Ed: There are Times When an Honest Man Belongs in Jail

At stake today in Europe there is much more than brit mila. It’s the freedom of Jews and non Jews as well. A twenty-first century addition to the history of blood libels.
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012 1:56 AM



No people has been dogged with the blood libel for so long and through such a range of civilizations as the Jews.

Germany is now renewing the blood libel’ tradition by making an effort to ban circumcision and comparing it to torturing children.

For more than 3,500 years, Jewish people symbolized their covenantal alliance with God through this practice. At various times, from the reign of Antiochus IV, when circumcision was prohibited, to the Shoah, when circumcision could lead to death, many Jews have endured martyrdom rather than break the covenant.

Today’s Germany, where ZDF television broadcast, without protest,  an interview in which Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust, looks like the Soviet Union, where it was impossible for Jews to arrange for circumcision, and only the most hardy and brave were willing to risk it.

In their effort to obliterate all traditional religious observance, the Soviets would arrest and put on trial those religious Jews who chose to have their sons circumcised on the eighth day after birth. Circumcisors went into hiding.

In 2001, the Swedish Parliament also debated how to regulate the practice, the first restriction placed on a Jewish rite in Europe since the Nazi era. It’s the same progressive Swedish Parliament that didn’t have any ethical problem in promoting sterilization of the disabled.

A liberal can so easily turn into a Nazi.


A liberal can so easily turn into a Nazi.
More than 600 professionals and academics just signed an open letter, published in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, arguing against circumcision, saying “religious freedom can’t be a blank check for (sexual) violence against underage boys”.

These German anti-Semitic academics are like the Middle Ages’ pogromists.

According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, it was believed that Jews used Christian blood to heal the wound of circumcision, as an aphrodisiac and as a restorative elixir.

Now, in Germany, the war against the Jews is orchestrated by “enlightened” groups such as the Humanist Society and the Association of Pediatricians. They know that most of the Germans want to see circumcision banned. The polling group TNS Emnid showed 56% of Germans agreed with the Cologne ruling forbidding the Jewish ritual.

By the Middle Ages, the blood libel of the Jewish torturing circumcision of children was appearing in England (see Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”), France, Spain and Italy. It then moved west through Germany, Poland and Russia. It also cropped up in the Islamic world, where the accusation originated among Greek Orthodox Christians living in Muslim countries

“The circumcised” became the stock epithet used to describe the Jews. Jews turned it round into an expression they used with pride to identify one another.

In his magnum opus “Das Kapital”Kapital”, Karl Marx attacks “inwardly circumcised Jews”. And circumcision has always been a pretetx to kill the Jews.

When a male infant is circumcised, wrote a Moldavian Christian preacher, the rabbis take some blood from a Christian and place it on the wound. In this way, “the boy, not having been baptized with water, is saved by the blood of the martyred Christian, who was baptized by water, and whose blood was shed while suffering greatly, as was Christ’s”.

According to anti-Semitic mythology, a special piece of matzah, called “Afikomen”, is made by mixing in ashes from a piece of cloth that had first been soaked in the blood of a Christian and then burned. At the Passover meal, “it is obligatory for every Jew, even the youngest, to eat a little piece of that matzah, the size of an olive, which contains the blood of the Christian martyr”. The "Afikoman", of course, is obligatory, but it is a piece of matzah that is the last thing eaten at the Seder, in order to recall how nothing was allowed to be eaten after the Paschal lamb.

In Gloucester, 1168, the lie was that all the Jews of England assembled as if to celebrate a circumcision, but in fact to abduct a Christian child, and torture him to death. In 1230, three Jews in Norwich were accused of having circumcised the son of a Christian physician. Pogroms followed the blood libel.

The 19th century saw additional twists to the libel. By now, the victims were not male infants but nubile girls, and the sacrifices didn’t have to take place in the Passover-Easter season, as had been the tradition, but at any time the “Jewish blood-lust” needed to be satisfied.

In the Nazi era, the image of the blood-sucking Jew was employed to promote the idea of the “inhuman vampire”, the “malevolent conspirator”, the “manipulating capitalist” and the “enslaving communist”.

In the enlightened Europe today, there is hysteria against any authentic Jew with a beard and a skullcap.

The political-ideological environment is like a civil war. Everyone has to be “social democrat”, politically correct, anti-racist, progressive, eugenist, postmodern, Islamophile ... If you do not agree with this ideology, which is a historical falsification, you become a traitor. The religious Jews, however, have not been defeated yet. For Europe’s bureaucrats, the religious Jew is the instigator of every type of disorder. That’s why the Germans promoted a war on circumcision.

But the question now is: how are the rabbis in Germany opposing to the campaign of persecution? Many of them, by appeasement, which reminds one of  the atmosphere in 1933. The German Jews are looking for a compromise, they are searching for the authorities’ sympathy, they are trying to get permission from a society which refuses to bury its own anti-Semitism.

When did the Germans even care about Jewish babies’ cries?

Instead of accepting that the Germans allow only the doctors to perform the ritual instead of the mohels, the rabbis should break the law and risk prison to continue to perform circumcision as it’s written in Genesis 17: 9-14. That’s the only way to destroy the new blood libel.

During the Spanish Inquisition, circumcision was prohibited. So those who were circumcised either reported they were born circumcised, or that they had lost their foreskin during a childhood prank or as a result of an accident. Will the German Jews invent similar stratagems to avoid the “offense”?

At stake today in Europe there is much more than brit mila. It’s the freedom of Jews and non Jews as well.

Yes, there are times when an honest man belongs in jail.