The Progressive Party in Norway, one of the two ruling parties in the country (along with the Conservative Party) has announced that it intends to initiate a law banning circumcision in the country for males under the age of 16.
Over the weekend, the party held a national conference, in which the bill was put to a vote and passed by a large majority.
The initiators of the Norwegian law claim that circumcision constitutes mental harm to children and constitutes a serious violation of children's rights.
The head of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin, wrote an urgent letter to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett in which he called on them to work quickly to establish a joint working team for both government offices and Jewish organizations in Europe, in order to prevent the spread of anti-Jewish legislation throughout the European continent.
"I have no doubt that the State of Israel - the state of the Jewish people - can not remain apathetic against this, and I urge you to exert all your political influence in order to prevent the exclusion of Jews from life in various European countries." Rabbi Margolin wrote in his letter.
Addressing the Norwegian bill, Rabbi Margolin said: "We will act in every possible way to fight this shameful bill ... There is no doubt that this is an anti-Jewish decision that is blatantly anti-Semitic, because the bill does not harm Muslims who are not obligated to circumcise their children as infants and perform the procedure at older ages as allowed by the bill.
This is not the first time Norwegian politicians have tried to ban circumcision in the country. In 2013, the Norwegian Commissioner for Child Welfare, Anne Lindbo, called for a ban on circumcision in order to protect children's rights and the Norwegian health minister announced that his government was working to promote restrictions on circumcision in the country.
That initiative was halted following Rabbi Margolin's appeal to the Norwegian foreign minister and health minister to act decisively to ensure freedom of religion in the country. The government also pledged that the Norwegian government had never contemplated banning circumcision in the country.