In 2013, The Council of Europe adopted a resolution opposing ritual circumcision. Israel strongly denounced the decision, stating that it casted a “moral stain” and “fosters hate and racist trends in Europe.”
In light of the recent resolution, an international effort was initiated by the Legal Forum to have this decision overturned, by issuing a letter criticizing this resolution to all members of the Parliamentary Assembly as well as to the senior officials of the Council of Europe.
The letter states that circumcision has always been, from time immemorial, and still remains a central commandment in the Jewish religion and traditional Jewish practice that symbolizes the Jewish nation’s connection to G-d. The regrettable linkage in the resolution, and the perception that it creates in the eyes of all who read it between female genital mutilation (a dangerous procedure which causes severe and irreversible damage), which is rightly condemned, and the Jewish religious practice of circumcision, is detrimental. As such, there was reason to fear that the resolution will inevitably serve to stigmatize the Jewish religion and its most meaningful practices.
The resolution’s German author, Marlene Rupprecht, rejected the criticism and in a statement that appears on the Council of Europe’s website, she says the text “does not intend to stigmatize any religious community or its practices.”
To view the letter click here.