Daily Israel Report

Merkel 'Acting Vigorously' on Brit Tussle

German Chancellor tells Jewish leader freedom of religion is "undoubtable" part of German democracy.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/26/2012, 8:42 PM

Chancellor Angela Merkel
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Flash 90

German chancellor Angela Merkel told a Jewish leader that her government is working "with vigor" to reach a quick solution in the brouhaha over a court decision to forbid the practice of Brit Mila, or Jewish circumcision of infants.

In a letter to Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the Rabbinical Center of Europe, Merkel wrote that freedom of religion is a component of Germany's democratic society "as a matter of principle," and that "there must be no doubt on this matter."

She added that the German government is committed to supporting Jewish religion and culture, and that she is "grateful that the Jews have once again found a homeland in Germany."

Germany's lower house of parliament recently passed a resolution to protect the religious circumcision of infant boys.

The resolution, jointly filed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, their liberal coalition ally (FDP) and the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), demanded that “the government present a draft law in the autumn ... that guarantees that the circumcision of boys, carried out with medical expertise and without unnecessary pain, is permitted.” The new law would overrule the Cologne court decision.

Merkel previously told her party that Germany risked becoming a “laughing stock” over the court ruling.