Daily Israel Report

Turkey Backs Jews against German Circumcision Ban

Turkey has swayed from its anti-Semitic stance to fight the ban on religious circumcision in a German province. “A danger for liberty.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/29/2012, 8:21 AM

A Muslim boy is circumcised at a hospital in Algiers
A Muslim boy is circumcised at a hospital in Algiers
Reuters

Turkey’s European Union minister has swayed from Ankara’s anti-Semitic stance to fight the ban on religious circumcision in a German province. Turkish media have published and telecast numerous anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic films and programs since the "flotilla clash" between the IDF and Turkish IHH terrorists two years ago.

A Cologne judge imposed the ban several weeks after a four-year-old Muslim child was hospitalized for excessive bleeding after circumcision, a rite practiced by Muslims as well as Jews, so that Turkey's defense of circumcision is not surprising.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to back legislation to circumvent the court ban, which was based on the claim that circumcision should not be performed on a baby or small boy because it is deemed a violent act while he is not at the age when he can object.

Turkey's EU Minister Egemen Bağış wrote in a German newspaper Tuesday that the court ban “gravely contradicts the legally protected right to the free practice of religion,” the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported. He called the court decision a “danger to liberty.”

The newspaper reported out that the German postal service is, by  coincidence,  planning to issue a new stamp next month  referring to the fact that Jesus underwent circumcision when he was eight days old, the age at which the ancient commandment in the Bible is carried out unless there are medical reasons for a delay.  In Jewish practice, the baby is checked before circumcision can take place, and in addition to satisfactory health, must be above a certain weight.

Bağış wrote in Süddeutsche Zeitung that if the entire country of Germany were to ban circumcision, it would affect 5 million Muslims living there. “This is about freedom of conscience and that can’t be curtailed by courts,” Bağış said. However, he noted that rabbis have called the ban the “most serious intrusion into Jewish life since the Holocaust.”

He added, “Describing circumcision as an injury is a sign of huge cultural and historical ignorance.”

Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger, during a visit the past week to Germany to try to persuade leaders to overrule the ban, said that the Cologne judge who banned circumcision, was not anti-Semitic, but simply was uninformed “or perhaps silly.”

It appears to be only a matter of time before Germany passes legislation to protect religious circumcision, Merkel said last month. “I do not want Germany to be the only country in the world where Jews cannot perform their rites.”