A resolution to outlaw male ritual circumcision, calling it a “violation of the physical integrity of children” was passed overwhelmingly by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Jewish rite of Brit Millah was compared in the resolution to the female genital mutilation (FGM) common in a number of Muslim and African countries,although no specific recommendations or resolutions condemning that practice or recommending that member states outlaw FGM was passed.
The resolution Called on member states to "adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted,” which targets Jews specifically since only Jews ritually circumcise their male children when they are eight days old, symbolic of the Covenant of Abraham.
The State of Israel's Foreign Ministry was quick to respond:
"Circumcision of male children is an ancient religious tradition of two important religions, Judaism and Islam, and it is also common among some Christian circles," the Foreign Ministry staid in a statement.
"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 resolution, the statement continued, is "an intolerable attack both on the respectable and ancient religious tradition that lies at the base of European culture, and on modern medical science and its findings. This resolution casts a moral stain on the Council of Europe, and fosters hate and racist trends in Europe. We call on the Council of Europe to act without delay in order to annul it."
The Israeli Foreign Ministry statement also said that the claims that circumcision harms the health of young boys are false and runs contrary to scientific evidence.
Needless to say, the European Parliament won't annul it.
My friend Carl has the right of it.
"Whenever the gentiles want to attack us, the first things they attack are circumcision, Torah study and ritual slaughter. Not necessarily in that order."
He's got that right.