Circumcision and Children’s Right to Physical Integrity

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |  Tsvi Sada

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe earlier this month put forward a resolution that essentially calls for the outlawing of circumcision.

The council said it is "particularly worried about a category of violation of the physical integrity of children ... This includes, amongst others, female genital mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early childhood medical interventions in the case of inter-sexual children and the submission to or coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery."

Notwithstanding its inability to evaluate religions or, apparently, to distinguish between religious and non-religious practices - hence equating ear piercing with circumcision - the Council of Europe is an organ that assumes the right to impose its liberal ethical standards.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the council has called for legislation that would force its world view on everybody else. In its attitude and action, the council behave like an out of control religious synod.

This most recent reaction against circumcision is not new. In the past, Jews were prohibited from performing this religious rite precisely because kings and rulers understood it to be the implementation of a divine commandment distinguishing the Jews from those around them.

Prohibition on circumcision was, and still is, an effort to erase the divinely-mandated distinctiveness of the Jewish people. In other words, the end of circumcision would mean the end of the Jewish people. It would seem that a continent whose soil is soaked with the blood of millions of Jews has still failed to learn the lessons of the past.

The same phenomenon can be seen with remembrance of the Holocaust, as Europe increasingly misses the point in viewing that black chapter as a simple genocide. Holocaust carries with it religious significance, while genocide is a more "secular" term, the use of which sets apart the Jewish genocide from others only by its enormity.

In this light, the Council of Europe's recommendation to ban circumcision should be seen as nothing less than a "positive" approach to the "Jewish problem."

Hitler, who took the negative approach, also thought of the Jews as morally inferior. In his mind, Judeo-Christian civilization was a corrupting element that had to be removed before Europe, and the world, could enjoy the full extent of human potential. Hitler's attempt to cleanse Europe of its Judeo-Christian elements can, therefore, be seen as a noble, albeit terribly misguided effort to make the world a better place.

Hitler's unforgivable mistake was that he descended to hell to find his solution to this religious problem. The Council of Europe should not be equated with Hitler, but their definition of circumcision as an act of violence against infants - the most innocent and vulnerable of all human beings - is an outrageous accusation that brings it a little too much in line with the fuhrer's thinking.

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