Tuesday, October 8, 2013

COUNCIL OF EUROPE: When Israel Says "Jump," Secretary General Says "How High?"

It's been only a few days since the Council of Europe declared the medically unnecessary circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors, to be a human rights violation, and, as predicted, it has drawn non-stop fire from Jewish organizations.

Said Benjamin Albalas, President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece:

"This is a sign of anti-Semitism."
The Jerusalem Post

If one reads the comments to these articles criticizing the Council of Europe for their stance, the argumentum at Hitlerem is never-ending.

Israel Gets Involved
Apparently, Israel has gotten involved, with President Shimon Peres, sending a letter to Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, asking for his intervention.

Parliamentary Assembly Session January 2011
Thorbjorn Jagland,
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
And, apparently, the Secretary General has complied, signaling that the Council of Europe has begun to backpedal.
According to a tweet from Jagland's press spokesman Daniel Holtgen, Jagland has expressed:
“Female genital mutilation violates human rights. Male circumcision does not.”
But this was to be expected; Israel also got involved when the Cologne ruling was handed down in Germany, causing the Bundestag to write up a resolution "protecting" non-medical child genital mutilation.

Poor Europe, stuck between a rock and a hard place; they must perform a delicate balancing act, wanting to protect basic human rights, while at the same time, appeasing Jews who hold the Holocaust ever over their heads.

Special Pleading
In his letter to the European Council Secretary General, Shimon Peres stressed that infant circumcision is of "great importance" in Jewish and Muslim religious tradition. (Since when does the Israeli President care about Islam?) He also noted that male circumcision has been practiced by Jewish communities for thousands of years and is a " fundamental element and obligation of Jewish tradition." Peres stressed that Jewish communities across Europe would be "greatly afflicted to see their cultural and religious freedom impeded upon by the Council of Europe," which Peres observed is "an institution devoted to the protection of these very rights."

Of course, Shimon Peres, and other advocates of circumcision that make these arguments are employing logical fallacies, either inadvertently, or quite deliberately.

Of course, where it is practiced, female circumcision has also been practiced "for thousands of years," and those who practice it see it as a "fundamental element" and obligation for their traditions. Communities across Europe who practice female circumcision are also "greatly afflicted" because their "cultural and religious freedoms" are infringed upon by the local government. But, apparently, while the Council of Europe is to condemn the forced genital mutilation of females, ad antiquitam should afford male genital mutilation special treatment.

Circumcision is Not Exclusive to Jews
Accusations of anti-Semitism are based on three assumptions:

1) That circumcision is exclusively Jewish
2) That circumcision is universal among Jews
3) That intactivists focus on stopping only Jewish circumcision

The fact is, circumcision is not exclusive to Jews.

Circumcision also happens to be Muslim practice. It is considered a rite of passage in the Philippines, and it is considered a rite of passage in many parts of Africa, where, as in female circumcision, boys and men of varying ages are forcibly circumcised in the wilderness using raw materials. Not to mention that in the United States, 1.2 million baby boys a year are circumcised, only about 3% or so, comprising of Jewish brisim.

A commenter on Facebook made the following observation:
Jews are 1.7% of the US population (5,425,000 out of 313,900,000) and only about 30% of American Jews have a bris; the remainder have their son circumcised in the hospital or doctor's office just like all other American boys or skip circumcision. By my math, 30% of 1.7% is just over one half of one percent, or one-sixth of your figure.

In Muslim tradition, boys are circumcised at later ages,
when they can remember. Here, a boy is being circumcised
at a medical facility in Turkey. Note his white circumcision outfit.

In Marikina, east of Manila, boys "receive" their "free" circumcisions.

 Boy in Africa being circumcised.

In Indonesia, an infant girl undergoes "sunat" to fulfill religious and cultural tradition.

Not too far away, an infant boy undergoes circumcision for precisely the same reasons.
(Notice the mother: "Shh! Quiet!")

(Only one of the above "traditions" should be a human rights violation, according to circumcision advocates. Can you guess which one?)

In addition, circumcision is not universal among Jews. There are Jews in Europe who have been leaving their children intact for years. A growing number of Jews are forgoing a traditional Bris Milah circumcision ceremony, and instead opting for a more peaceful, non-cutting Bris Shalom naming ceremony. Even in Israel, there is a growing number of parents who are not circumcising their children. A recent poll reveals that 1/3rd of Israeli parents question the practice.

And finally, it would be one thing if intactivists targeted the Jewish ritual of infant circumcision. The fact is that intactivists oppose the forced genital cutting of ALL minors, regardless of race or creed. Jewish bris is only one form of male infant genital mutilation. We're opposed to ALL of it.

It is dishonest for Jewish advocates of circumcision to pretend like they're being "singled out," when this clearly isn't the case. Little by little people are seeing through this smear tactic, as more and more people have the courage to speak out, despite the threat of being labeled Nazi-Germans.

Questions to consider:
For better or for worse, the forced genital mutilation of females has also existed "for thousands of years," and it is considered an important rite of passage where it is performed. In some tribes and communities, a woman who has not undergone genital cutting is seen as a social outcast.

Is declaring the forced genital cutting of girls to be a "violation of human rights" not "affliction" to those living in Europe who practice it?

Is being against the forced cutting of girls and women "anti" ethnic groups that do it? (e.g. anti-African, anti-Indonesian, anti-Malaysian, anti-Brunei, etc.?)

Is a ban on female circumcision not infringing on "religious" or "parental rights?"

If leaders of countries where female genital cutting is practiced were to write to the Council of Europe, would they be obliged to soften their stance against the forced genital cutting of girls?

Why the special treatment of only MALE forced genital mutilation?

When are world leaders going to cut the political pandering and call a spade a spade?

Related Posts:
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Non-Medical Circumcision a Human Rights Violation

The Cologne Ruling and the Limitations of Religious Freedom

Germany "Protects" the Forced Genital Mutilation of Boys

Intactivism: It's Not Just for Gentiles Anymore
The "Anti-Semite" Card No Longer Washes
So Where's the "Sunat Party?"


  1. I wonder if Thorbjørn Jagland is intact? If we were to circumcise him, would he then feel
    it necessary to call it a human rights violation?!?

  2. I suspect not. An intact man would know the harm involved. It's pathetic that the world's leaders cannot stand up to child harm in the name of religion.

  3. Some Jews do get it. But the ones who don't/never will, do wield a lot of clout. Watch how they manoever the PACE resolution into a Merkel stlye capitulation. Look at what they and the ACLU did in San Francisco to Lloyd Schofield, and in NYC how they continue stymie the Health Dept. as well as intimidate politicians. Their reps are now working on a "parent's rights" bill in the Congress. And three sitting SC Justices are Jewish. As irrational as their thinking on RIC may be, they are, along with ACLU et al in a very strong position to sink any MGM legislation in the US. The mgmbill.org proposed MGM bill cannot find a single sponsor in, and is consistently ignored by all members of Congress as well as State Legislators. Glick says that as Americans stop circumcising so too will the Jews who truly want to assimilate, and be American Jews not just Jewish Americans. Why not sideline them with an exemption that would defend more than 98% of our baby boys, while they arrive at their own pace to the same conclusion? The docs have NO argument at all. Meanwhile, as time drags on, over a million boys a year are getting routinely mutilated without any end in sight. This while politicians cravenly cringe at the spectre of Jewish clout just waiting to cripple or destroy their careers.

    1. Because these particular, annoying Jews aren't stupid. There's a reason why that Jewish Colorado state senator tried to introduce state funding for circumcision, citing the need to help poor families be 'equal' with wealthier families who could afford to pay for such child abuse.

      They know that when non-Jews stop, the game is up, so they'll continue to push the faux-medical angle and the equality angle and the generic-religious-freedom angle as far as they can, anyway.

      There's no way that special exemption is going to make a difference, so why bother? We might as well be a direct thorn in their side. Also, you know what? Boys born into "Jewish" families are humans, too; they deserve to have their rights protected as much as anybody else, rendering any kind of special exemption repugnant.

  4. You nailed it. Great article, and shameful hypocrisy from the Council of Europe chair Jagland

  5. Well written piece, Joseph. The double standard is breath-taking. He may not believe his own statement but he feels he has to lie for political reasons. Shameful. He will, however, be called up on it, you can be certain of that.

  6. Dear Joseph,

    Thanks for writing so extensively about this. Living in Norway (that is, in Jagland's country), I thought I should translate an article he published today in Aftenposten, one of the leading newspapers in Norway and in all of Scandinavia. Here it is:

    A Jewish Right
    By Thorbjørn Jagland

    Circumcision. Circumcising newborns contributes to ensuring the existence of the Jewish people.

    Inger Anna Olsen, Aftenposten, writes in a commentary published last Sunday that on Monday evening [that is, on November 11, 2013], when I am participating as a guest of honor at a dinner that will probably constitute the largest gathering of rabbis to take place in Europe since World War II, the Council of Europe’s resolution on circumcision is likely to be discussed.
    The resolution was put forward by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the consultative body of the Council of Europe. In matters of this kind, the European Council is represented by the Council of Europe Convention and European Court of Human Rights. Against this background, I have explicitly defended the rights to religious freedom and circumcision. It is for this reason and because the Jews of Europe see us as a supportive ally in fighting antisemitism that I will be a guest of honor this evening.
    According to the Jews, the right to practicing one’s religion is critical to whether it is possible to live as a Jew in Europe.

    A Covenant
    Circumcision has its origin in the Torah, in which it is mentioned thirteen times. We are familiar with how Abraham, the father of all Jews, met God. God asked him to kill his only son, Isaac, to prove that he obeyed God. When Abraham raised his dagger, God's angels interfered. He had proved his willingness to obey. This is how the covenant between God and the Jewish people was sealed. God ordered every Jewish male to be circumcised as a sign of Jewishness. It is important that the circumcision takes place on the eighth day, because it was on this day that Abraham changed Isaac's name to Israel.
    For this reason, circumcision is a fundamental act in Judaism and for the Jewish people. By circumcising the newborn, continued and permanent existence for the Jewish people is ensured.

    Signs of Tougher Times
    In view of the historical circumstances, no one should be surprised that new calls for banning or restricting circumcision are causing fear among the Jews. Whenever the Jews have been exposed to this, it has been a sign of upcoming difficulties, including tyranny and pogroms.
    In present-day Europe, one should proceed cautiously before interfering with religious feelings. Growing religious diversity may prove to be an explosive potential. Extremism preys on conflict and ignorance.
    Fitting everything into a rational, medical, and scientific way of viewing things is wrong. Circumcision is, in our eyes, a traumatizing act. Hence, circumcision has become a medical issue we would like to solve by introducing a ban or a lower age limit.
    In this country [that is, in Norway], when the Night of Broken Glass draws near, we are good at expressing the correct opinions in speeches and editorials. However, the ability to understand in a deeper way the religious feelings and the historically based fears of the Jews leaves much to be desired. Far too often, it is "our" identity that becomes the norm.
    Rather than banning and restricting, we should arrange for providing safe and hygienic medical male circumcision services. This is the least we can do for a people that we, too, tried to exterminate.

    1. Except religions and peoples that practice female circumcision. Right Mr. Jagland?

      What about THEIR "religious feelings?"

      Female circumcision was banned unanimously without these same "discussions." No talk about arranging for providing "safe and hygienic female circumcision services."

      Ugh, this is simply unbelievable.

  7. Let's stick to the point here - that about improving pain relief after surgery. This should not in fact be hijacked to debate whether circumcision is right it wrong. That's a totally separate issue. But not surprising from those of you who think it is the root of all evil. Personally - having been done as a baby myself - I have no problem with it. Having been with my son when he was done and he slept through it all is enough to convince me it's not quite what several opinions would have you believe. But again were I to bring that up I'd be doing exactly what several are doing here and missing the point which is improving the issue of pain relief should patents opt for this surgery.

    1. I'm sorry, but pain is not the issue here; I'm afraid you miss the point entirely.

      Without medical or clinical indication, how is it doctors can even be performing surgery in healthy, non-consenting minors, let alone discussing pain relief with parents, let alone giving them any kind of choice?

      Yes, most babies won't remember pretty much anything you do to them. I'm sure if your entire penis were cut off as a baby, you wouldn't have remembered that either. Would that be a legitimate excuse for you to do the same to your child?

      You should talk with the women who were circumcised and they were old enough to know about it; most actually have no problem either. You ARE missing the point.

      I don't believe a word you say about your son "sleeping through it all."

      Babies. They sleep through it all.

      This must be why they have circumstraints at hospitals right? (Do you know what one is?)

      This must be why the AAP includes an entire section on pain relief in their latest statement, which, by the way, stopped short of your hoped-for recommendation. Is this correct?

      Improving the issue of pain relief "should parents opt for this surgery."

      You miss the point entirely, but no, let's continue with your poor line of thinking.

      What if there were a "painless way" to remove a girl's clitoris? Do you agree that, as long as girls are going to have their genitals snipped, there should be adequate pain relief?

      Oh? Is that different?

      Don't mix issues that are totally separate now...

      (Notice how the hierarchy of issues changes all of a sudden...)